Improved Educator to Child Ratio in Funded Kindergarten Programs

From 1 January 2016, Victorian kindergarten services are required to move from an educator to child ratio of 1:15 to 1:11. In accordance with the National Quality Framework the improved ratio will allow staff to give more individual attention to each child and support better learning outcomes. For more information, see: Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)

The Victorian Government is providing a range of supports to assist funded kindergarten services to transition to the new ratio.

Resource material

The Department of Education and Training has worked in partnership with Catharine Hydon, an early childhood consultant, to develop a suite of resources for early childhood teachers and educators. The resources focus on building relationships with individual children and their families, reflecting on current practices, working collaboratively with other professionals and maximising learning outcomes.

Tip sheet 1 - Collaborative teaching: teaching as a team
Ratio Tip Sheet 1 (pdf - 293.94kb) | Ratio Tip Sheet 1 (doc - 704kb)

Tip sheet 2 - Learning in a larger group: teaching strategies to support engagement
Ratio Tip Sheet 2 (pdf - 321.36kb) | Ratio Tip Sheet 2 (doc - 1.17mb)

Tip sheet 3 - Utilising physical & social environments to maximise learning
Ratio Tip Sheet 3 (pdf - 323.56kb) | Ratio Tip Sheet 3 (doc - 1.32mb)

Tip sheet 4 - A place for everyone: responding effectively to every child
Ratio Tip Sheet 4 (pdf - 336.36kb) | Ratio Tip Sheet 4 (doc - 1.14mb)

Tip sheet 5 - Secure relationships: creating strong connections & building relationships with all children & familiesRatio Tip Sheet 5 (pdf - 327.21kb) | Ratio Tip Sheet 5 (doc - 1.2mb)

Tip sheet 6 - Multi-age groups: working with mixed-age groups
Ratio Tip Sheet 6 (pdf - 329.43kb) | Ratio Tip Sheet 6 (doc - 1.19mb)

Tip sheet 7 - Kindergarten access for all children: ensuring the sector is responsive to the community
Ratio Tip Sheet 7 (pdf - 359.98kb) | Ratio Tip Sheet 7 (doc - 1.18mb)

Funding for services

The Victorian Government is investing up to $83.7 million over four years in additional funding to support kindergartens to transition to the improved educator-to-child ratio.

Support from Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA)

The Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) is available to provide tailored advice to individual services regarding practical and efficient models to accommodate the new educator to child ratio. Please contact ELAA to speak to an Early Years Advisor on (03) 9489 3500 (metro), 1300 730 119 (rural) or via email on elaa@elaa.org.au

Waivers

A number of different temporary waivers are available to assist services that may require additional time to transition to the new ratio requirements. Services may consider applying for a temporary waiver if they are not able to meet the ratio requirements in 2016. Services may be eligible for a ratio or staffing waiver if they are unable to meet the ratio or staff qualification requirements. Some services may be eligible for a space waiver to temporarily increase their approved places. For more information, see: Waivers (pdf - 106.66kb) I word (docx - 72.03kb).

Educator Configurations

The educator to child ratio is calculated according to the total number of children being educated and cared for by the service. For example, where a service has between 45 and 55 children in a two room kindergarten, five educators are required to meet the 1:11 ratio. These services require an early childhood teacher for each group, however, may consider having a fifth educator working across the two groups when the groups are operating at the same time. For more information, see: Educator configurations (pdf - 136.39kb) I Word (docx - 82.5kb)

Workforce incentives and scholarships

Workforce incentives and scholarships are available to provide services with financial support to attract and retain qualified early childhood educators to deliver kindergarten programs. Educators currently employed in an approved education and care service have the opportunity to upgrade or attain an approved early childhood qualification through the Early Childhood Qualifications Fund.

Certificate III educators may also consider upgrading to diploma level, to help meet the increased demand for diploma qualified educators with the new ratio.

For information about workforce incentives and scholarships, see: Scholarships and Professional Development

Digital stories

A suite of digital stories have been developed to support services to implement the improved ratio requirements.