The main purpose of this study was to estimate teacher supply and demand, which is essential to secure qualified teachers, in the field of early childhood care and education. In addition, this study intended to identify current levels of professional performance among kindergarten teachers and childcare providers and surveyed their professionalism enhancement an improved teacher qualification system, including a pre-education program and a certification system.
To achieve these purposes, the performance level of teachers’ professionalism was examined using questionnaires from 1,847 staff members working with young children, including directors, kindergarten teachers, and childcare providers. Moreover, 190 professors in the field of teacher pre-education participated in this study; their opinions on methods to improve teachers" professionalism and certification were surveyed. In addition, the supply and demand of teachers of young children from 2006 to 2020 were estimated using time series techniques. Finally, a series of workshops and meetings with experts were held in order to review the methods found to improve professionalism.
The findings of this study can be summarized as follows:
According to time series estimates, the demand for kindergarten teachers was expected to steadily decrease, from between 203 to 319 teachers annually. In addition to this lowering demand, the annual rate of retiring kindergarten teachers was anticipated to be between 1,409 to 1,852 people. Conversely, the number of new kindergarten teachers was expected to be around10,000 per year. Based on these results, the supply of kindergarten teachers is expected to be seven times larger than the demand in the next fifteen years.
Using time series techniques, we estimate an annual additional of between 1,224 to 1,956 childcare providers would be needed at day care centers over the next fifteen years . In addition to this increasing demand, the annual rate of retiring kindergarten teachers was expected to be from between 9,088 to 9,614 people. Conversely, the number of new childcare providers at day care centers would include more than 33,700 people per year. Based on these results, the supply of childcare providers was expected to be three times larger than the demand in the next fifteen years.
Regarding the professionalism of staff from early childhood programs, the scores from childcare providers and their directors were poorer, compared to those of staff working at kindergartens. While kindergarten teachers and childcare providers considered working conditions and salaries as the most significant factors affecting their professional performance, directors in both sectors regarded personal qualities as the most significant.
In addition, both kindergarten teachers and childcare providers reported that pre-service teacher training curricula were appropriate in regards to the total number of credits and major subject areas. On the other hand, professors of these programs favored a longer period of training and the obtainment of more credits before teacher certification, especially for the certification of childcare providers. These professors also emphasized a need to strengthen the requirements of the practicum and liberal arts courses for kindergarten teacher training, and teaching profession courses and courses focusing on infant care for childcare providers.
Based on the major findings from this study, several methods for improving teacher professionalism were intimated. A mid-and long-term plan for adequate teacher supply needs to be set out based on future demands. In order to improve teacher professionalism and respond to an emerging teacher surplus, it is also necessary to improve the working conditions of teachers at private kindergartens and childcare centers, strengthen the qualifications of childcare providers, evaluate caregiver training programs and institutions, develop a training program for prospective infant caregivers, and provide appropriate in-service training programs. In particular, a standardized pre-service teacher training curriculum should be developed, and the two teacher certificates for kindergarten teachers and childcare providers should be integrated.
Table Of Contents
Ⅲ.육아지원인력의 수급 현황 및 추계
Ⅳ.육아지원인력의 전문성 수준 및 관련요인
Ⅴ.육아지원인력의 자격제도에 대한 평가와 요구
Ⅵ.육아지원인력의 전문성 제고 방안