Sunday, September 18, 2016

Salary of Montessori Teachers (8 years later)

Recently I reread an old post that I wrote in 2008.
It was an article I wrote about teacher's salaries when I was working in New South Wales.

Has much changed since then?
A lot has actually changed in terms of regulations, qualifications, and higher pay slips. But essentially, childcare (preschool) and below still remains a low paying occupation. At least still in Australia.

In the last three years, I've put childcare on hiatus, and completed a Cert III in Patisserie, as well as Commercial Cookery. and I've always completed my restaurant service.

The hospitality watchdog has been cracking down on restaurants who underpay their internationals, cooks and foreign staff.

The watchdog claim that these staff are being underpaid at $16.00 an hour, and should be paid at least $24/ hour.

I'm like, seriously? A carer working in the childcare needs to study a Diploma in childcare in order to even earn that much, and yet I really don't see anyone working in the restaurant requiring Cert III in Commercial Cookery in order to earn that much. Eeesh.

They don't even need a Work with Children Check which costs a whopping $119 just to apply for one to work (You're paying to start working... )

That's just how Australia is. It's ridiculous how there is so much difference in requirements among the industries but this is exactly how it is.

But anyways, that's not the point of this entry.


The point is that there will be many Malaysians still (maybe foreigners as well) who will ask me should they undertake the Montessori Diploma (or anywhere) before coming to Australia?

My short answer is: YES.

I completed my formerly offered Int. Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy (Montessori Centre International UK) in Malaysia with SEGI College before completing my BECH in USQ Toowoomba.

If you have the chance to do it, please do so in your own country.

It is a UK certification, and is recognised as much.

The MCI Int. Dip Montessori Pedagogy (edit: still offered at SEGI Uni) is the equivalent of the Cert III Childcare Services level (in Queensland only).

It is cheaper (when you compare its fees to the AMI Diploma Fees in Australian dollars). Cost of labour for lecturers is higher in Australia, which explains part of reason for the higher tuition fees.

Should you decide to migrate here (and gain your permanent residency before coming), then I'd suggest you apply for the Diploma in Childcare studies through the local TAFE colleges.

The Int Dip in Montessori Pedagogy will allow you to gain exemptions towards completing your local  Dip. in Childcare Studies from TAFE.

That way, you would have both qualifications, and will have the options to work whether in a Montessori childcare centre, or play based childcare centre.


A qualified assistant in Australia requires a Cert III, and the Director of the centre a Diploma in Childcare services.

In every childcare centre, there is normally a maximum of two degree holders as dictated by Ministry of Education regulations for a 59 student licensed centre.

The award wages goes by the higher you are qualified, the higher the pay will be. Unless the management is holding their monies tightly, it is normally not in their financial interest to have in employment more than two bachelor degree holders working in a preschool/long day care/childcare centre.

A normal Bachelors means at least two more years of study (For a 4 years bachelors) after completing a Diploma from your local TAFE, lots of student internship, high university fees, and lots of paperwork.

If you were planning to work as a registered teacher in primary school, then yes. Then its really worth it. (you are required to complete a four years bachelors). The salary is much higher for the same amount of work and time put in. A registered teacher in Primary School starts out at 60k minimum per year.

An ECT teacher in preschool (depending on where you studied your ECT bachelors, it could be 3 or 4 years depending on the university), will be looking at probably starting pay of 40k  minimum a year. or maybe more. You see the difference in the pay gap?

In essence, if you are insisting on completing a Bachelors, its preferable to go straight to university than to waste your time completing a Dip from TAFE. But do your homework and research and choose your university wisely. 

If you're still insisting on studying a 3 years BECH, USQ still offers the three year programme. Elsewhere in the rest of the country, its only available in four year study periods.

When I was completing my BECH which had a collaboration with SEGI College (through my MCI Int Diploma) in 2006, I only needed to do about four more internships units, plus roughly about 1.5 to 2 years of study).

I am not sure if this collaboration still exists, but as such an agreement existed then, it should probably make it easier for new students apply to go in through this method in terms of the number of exemptions given.

There is no easy path.

I'd advise to take the four years bachelors (that allows for teacher registration in primary school),
 if you already have a childcare qualification. However, the four years bachelors is not an easy qualification to complete due to differences in culture, adaptation as well as expectations from the locals.

The four years bachelors is easier for an australian local to complete as sometimes its not the paperwork or units that you do, but the necessity of whether your supervisor  pass or fail you during your Teaching Internship, as you have to go through an interview with the Education Board in order to be gain local teacher registration at the end of your study program.

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