NSW $54.3 million initiative will make ECEC trainee training free
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > NSW $54.3 million initiative will make ECEC trainee training free

NSW $54.3 million initiative will make ECEC trainee training free

by Freya Lucas

October 31, 2019

The New South Wales Government will invest additional funding – to the tune of $54.3 million over the next five years – to cover the qualification fees for 70,000 trainees starting their traineeship qualification from 1 January 2020. 


The Fee-Free Traineeship initiative will save trainees or their employers from having to pay up to $1,000 for training costs per trainee, as under the initiative the NSW Department of Education will pay the student fee on behalf of trainees who fit the eligibility requirements. 


A number of early childhood education and care (ECEC) options are available at both Certificate III and Diploma level in outside school hours care (OSHC) and early childhood. NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell noted the importance of this intiative for the ECEC sector, saying a skilled workforce is one of the most important factors in delivering high quality early childhood education.


“It’s encouraging that the most popular traineeships are in early childhood education with over 10,000 students since 2015 taking up a traineeship” she added.


The fee will be paid directly to the approved Smart and Skilled training provider, with eligible trainees able to access up to three fee free training places over the life of the initiative. 


Approved training providers include TAFE NSW, adult and community education colleges and private training providers. Traineeship qualifications on the NSW Skills List are subsidised when delivered by an approved Smart and Skilled provider, and are fully subsidised for eligible trainees under the fee free traineeship initiative.


Access to fee-free training is available to trainees, including school-based trainees, whose training:

  • is funded under the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled program, and 
  • commences on or after 1 January 2020.  


Details of the eligibility criteria can be found here, with more information available by contacting the NSW Department of Education on 1300 772 104 or by emailing [email protected]  

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