19 May 2020
The re-introduction of a 100% qualified teacher funding band is good news for centres that currently have a fully qualified staff within the regulated staffing ratio.
However, there are a couple of outstanding issues:
- There is no requirement that centres must employ or work toward 100% qualified certificated teachers or even 80%.
- There is still a higher funding rate table for some centres (kindergartens) that the government supports to provide pay parity to their teachers and a lower one for all other education and care centres.
The amount difference between the 100% and the 80 – 99% rates from 1 January is not significant. For example, for under-2s a centre will get 32 cents extra an hour on the 100% rate compared to the 80% rate. Multiple 32 cents by the maximum ratio infants (5) per teacher and that equals a maximum of an extra $1.60 an hour for employing 100% qualified in an under-2s centre.
What you need to know
- Maintaining 100% and not slipping to 99% can be very difficult for centres.
- Teachers counted in the staff head count need to be present with children and not engaged in other tasks such as cleaning and office work.
- Unqualified staff and students can still be employed, but are not counted within the minimum adult-child regulated ratio for funding purposes.
- Practising certificates held by staff must be 'full', 'provisional' or ‘subject to confirmation’ – or staff must have a letter from the Teaching Council saying that certification has been approved.
- It is suggested that services maintain a list of certificated relievers who are available when certificated teachers are absent or become ill during the day.
- Discretionary hours are 40 per funding period.
- Breaks/absences of 15 minutes or more must be recorded on the Staff Record to maintain transparency and may be counted as one discretionary hour.