In May 2002 the NSW Department of Community Services introduced an interim policy to deal with increasing reports from children's services about a shortage of qualified early childhood teachers (ECTs). This interim policy states conditions under which a service that has been unable to recruit an ECT can gain approval from the Department to appoint to this position for up to one year a less qualified person who is studying towards an ECT degree or is willing to enrol. So far 176 interim approvals have been granted, all of them to long day care centres. The Department is currently reviewing this interim policy. It commissioned the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) to assess the impact and effectiveness of the interim policy and recommend future options. SPRC researchers analysed quantitative data on children's services and interim approvals provided by the Department, conducted 20 interviews with stakeholders and presented their findings to the Department's Reference Group for the Early Childhood Teachers Interim Policy Review.