Victorian ECEC professionals promised free TAFE should Labor win election
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) educators would benefit from free TAFE courses with Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care to become fully funded should the Victorian Labor Party be re-elected at this weekends election.
Dan Andrews, head of the Victorian Labor party, said the provision of free training was a move to support the “huge job growth” expected as part of Labor’s plan to introduce universal access to three year old kindergarten.
“This is a big reform, and it needs a massive workforce investment to support it. We estimate that the three-year-old kinder reforms will create almost 7,000 jobs, with 4,900 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators needed over the next 11 years.” Mr Andrews said.
To further support this demand Labor will also provide over 8,000 scholarships for people studying to become kindergarten teachers at university.
The move to fully fund ECEC courses comes as part of the proposed transformation of Victoria’s training sector, with the Victorian Labor Party promising to create 30,000 new training places, upgrade and rebuild TAFE campuses and make TAFE free for 30 priority TAFE courses and 20 pre-apprenticeship courses.
“Introducing universal three-year-old kinder is one of the biggest social reforms in this state’s history. But we know that we need to train people to deliver it. That is why Labor will make another two early childhood TAFE courses free to ensure we can meet this demand and help passionate people to become highly skilled early educators.” Mr Andrews said.
The Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) welcomed the announcement, urging Victorians to elect a state government committed to a long term approach to planning and implementing preschool education.
Meredith Peace, president of AEU Victoria, said rapid growth in Victoria’s population meant the need for at least 7000 new teachers and educators in the coming years, and that building a qualified workforce was vital to delivering high quality programs for children.