G8 invests in development to fight workforce shortages

As the early childhood education and care sector grapples with a workforce shortage crisis, G8 Education is investing in the next generation of educators, creating more than 100 Educator-in-training roles across New South Wales and Victoria to pilot its first mass induction of new trainees.

Early childhood education sector vacancies are at an all-time high, with more than 7,200 positions currently advertised online across Australia.

That number has grown by 1000 in just six months, with 57 per cent of those vacant roles in New South Wales and Victorian centres.

G8 Education’s Chief People Transformation Officer Tabitha Pearson said the workforce shortages are at a critical level and are having ripple effects across communities.

“Providers, including G8 Education, are being forced to partially close centres, reduce operating hours and even halt on taking new enrolments due to workforce shortages,” she said.

“While we do our best to minimise these service changes, in the current environment it is, at times, unavoidable and this causes disruptions to our families.

“Our dedicated team members do an amazing job educating and nurturing the children in our care and we’re committed to finding innovative ways to recruit and develop more wonderful educators and teachers to help us support Australian families.”

One way G8 Education is addressing the workforce challenge is investing more in its sector-leading Trainee and Study Pathway programs to grow and develop its team.

Company statistics show employees who complete a VET qualification through the G8 Study Pathway Program stay, on average, twice as long as non-study pathways qualified team members.

“We know we need to think differently if we want to overcome our current workforce challenges, which is why we are so excited to invest more in ‘growing our own’ and creating sector-leading study and development pathways for our current and prospective team.” said Ms Pearson.

G8 Education is one of Australia’s largest early learning providers, dedicated to its purpose of creating the foundations for learning for life.

Zoe Bumpstead joined one of G8 Education’s centres, Great Beginnings Mount Clear, six months ago as an Educator-in-training after discovering the ‘earn while you learn’ traineeship offering. Zoe, Julie and Sienna

“I wanted to start in the early learning sector, but I wasn’t sure how I would juggle work with study until I found the role at Great Beginnings Mount Clear where the study is actually embedded into your daily routine,” she said.

“I have been so supported to succeed in both my study and on-the-floor practice by the team at the centre.

“Working in early childhood is just incredible. We get to witness huge milestones in children’s lives every day like learning to walk or saying their first words, and it is such a privilege to be a part of those moments.”

Julie Wilshire, the Centre Manager at Great Beginnings Mount Clear, started as a trainee with G8 Education 10 years ago, so she understands first-hand the importance of supporting trainees in their development.

“I started my journey as a trainee and I have been supported by G8 Education to grow within my career ever since,” she said.

“Trainees bring fresh ideas and energy to centres which reignites the passion in teams.

“If we are going to overcome our current workforce shortage challenges, investing in growing our own Educators and Teachers and nurturing meaningful career pathways is so important.”

Great Beginnings Mount Clear is just one of around 90 G8 Education centres currently recruiting for Educators-in-training in New South Wales and Victoria.

You can learn more about the role and view all the current trainee opportunities available here.

Thousands more Australian children to benefit from world-first program

Hundreds of Early Childhood Teachers will have access to an evidence-based rhythm and movement program to support children’s self-regulation thanks to a new partnership between early learning provider G8 Education, and QUT’s world-first RAMSR program.

The Rhythm and Movement for Self-Regulation (RAMSR) program sees children perform complex, coordinated movements to specially developed music tracks to help support the development of their attentional and emotional skills.

“Research has established musicians have more connected and efficient brains and that group music experiences contribute to social cohesion,” said Associate Professor Kate Williams who developed the RAMSR program.

“Our research showed greater teacher-reported self-regulation skills in the RAMSR children across the kindergarten year than those of the control groups.

“Self-regulation includes the important skills of regulating attention and emotion, working memory, ability to shift attention between information and tasks, impulse control and concentration which all affect learning and social development.”

A new professional development partnership between G8 Education and RAMSR will see more than 600 Early Childhood Teachers from across Australia trained to deliver elements of the RAMSR program – enabling them to support thousands of children to improve their self-regulation in their learning environments.

“We include some brain tricks to practise impulse control such as asking children to be still even when music is playing- the brain’s ‘air traffic control system’ has to kick in to restrain the natural impulse to move,” Assoc. Prof. Williams said.

“The children love the ‘slow down’ end of the session when they are asked to ‘stand tall like a tree’ or ‘sit down and breath like a bubble’.

“G8 Education’s Early Childhood Teachers will be equipped with practical skills and resources to be able to implement the basics of RAMSR into their learning environments immediately.”

“RAMSR is travelling the country with the G8 Education team for our inaugural Early Childhood Teacher Roadshow, which will see our network of Early Childhood Teachers collaborate with sector-leading researchers and professionals such as RAMSR,” said Ali Evans, G8 Education Head of Education and Early Learning.

“I think what is special about the RAMSR program is we know what incredible benefits it has for children, but it also supports Educator and Teacher wellbeing by promoting the importance of ‘play’ for adults.

“We are committed to empowering our Teachers to tailor their programs to meet the needs of the children in their classrooms, so RAMSR will be yet another great addition to that collection of skills, knowledge and programs.”

Click here if you’d like to learn more about RAMSR.