Cultural diversity in the Australian early childhood education workforce: what do we know, what don’t we know and why is it important

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Abstract

This paper reviews current literature and research relevant to the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce in Australia, including data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Australia is a highly multicultural society, with one out of every three people born overseas. Anecdotally, the Australian early childhood sector is reported to have a highly multicultural workforce. Yet there is a noticeable lack of data and research concerning cultural diversity in the Australian ECE workforce. This paper reports on the data from the ABS-Census of Population and Housing (ABS-Census), the small body of literature on the CALD ECE workforce and literature pertaining to CALD in other Australian workforces to argue that more data and research is needed. Developing a richer understanding of the status, experience and contributions of CALD educators would enable the sector to recognise and support the potential benefits of such a workforce for children and families and social cohesion in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • CALD
  • Cultural Diversity
  • ECE Workforce

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