- Priority area: Communication, wellbeing (social and emotional), access and inclusion
- Primary audience: Children
- Delivery mode: Professional services
- Strength of evidence: Level 3 – Promising research evidence
- AEDC sub-domains:
- Language and cognitive development – basic literacy
- Language and cognitive development – interest in literacy/numeracy and memory
- Language and cognitive development – advanced literacy
- Communication skills and general knowledge
- Emotional maturity – anxious and fearful behaviour
- Emotional maturity – aggressive behaviour
- Emotional maturity – hyperactivity and inattentive behaviour
- Social competence – responsibility and respect
- Physical health and wellbeing – physical independence
- Item cost: High (>$2,000 per person/item)
The 'Additional Educators' item should be used by services when they employ additional teachers or educators on a regular and long-term basis.
'Additional Educators' can be engaged by services with significant levels of educational disadvantage and children with vulnerability characteristics (for example 'Out of Home Care') to:
- expand kindergarten program hours, or
- reduce child-to-staff ratios in existing programs.
This is intended for cohorts of children with high complexity of need where the additional support could effectively improve learning and development outcomes.
Where additional teachers and educators are being used to reduce child-to-staff ratios, their presence in the program should increase social and educational interactions with children through integrated teaching and learning approaches to enhance their learning and developmental outcomes.
'Additional Educators' can also be used in a scenario where a service wishes to employ a new staff member on a regular basis over a long-term period with the specific purpose of providing coverage for program staff to engage with SRF activities.
'Additional Educators' should not be used solely to:
- support routine activities at the service, such as toileting or meal preparation
- conduct manual tasks such as cleaning or packing up
- support or conduct administrative tasks for the service.
Costs are based on hours and type of employment (full-time, part-time or casual) and relevant industrial awards. Services should also allow for on-cost provision.
These full-time early childhood teacher salary rates are a guide only:
- Level 3: $83,000–$108,000
- Level 2: $71,000–$81,000
- Level 1: $63,500–$65,500
- Target population: Children experiencing educational disadvantage and vulnerability enrolled in a kindergarten program. Early childhood teachers and educators.
- Program/practice descriptions and details: Services engaging 'Additional Educators' through SRF should clearly outline how they will be used in the service to support the developmental and educational outcomes of vulnerable cohorts at the service.
- Staffing: 'Additional Educators' are staff employed by a service on a regular and longer-term basis for the purposes outlined above only. 'Additional Educators' can be degree-trained Early Childhood teachers or Diploma or Certificate-III trained educators. If providing a three-year-old kindergarten program, a service must ensure it has the capacity to staff the three-year-old program before planning to engage 'Additional Educators' under SRF. Services will be asked to confirm this capacity in their SRF plan before the 'Additional Educators' item is approved.
- Factors to consider: The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets out the agreed minimum educator-to-child ratios that underpin the delivery of a quality program. 'Additional Educators' funded through SRF should therefore be used to lower educator-to-child ratios beyond the agreed minimum outlined in the NQS. Services must ensure that their use aligns with the overarching purpose of SRF which is to reduce educational disadvantage and improve children's outcomes in the 3 priority areas.
Item uses these practice principles
- Reflective practice
- Partnerships with families
- High expectations for every child
- Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
- Equity and diversity
- Assessment for learning and development
- Integrated teaching and learning approaches
- Partnerships with professionals
Item responds to these sub-outcomes
- Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
- Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media
- Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts
- Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work
- Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking