New partnership will give high school students a head start on an ECEC career
The Sector > Workforce > New partnership will give high school students a head start on an ECEC career

New partnership will give high school students a head start on an ECEC career

by Freya Lucas

October 12, 2021

Secondary school students wanting to work in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) career path can now receive an early start on their next steps thanks to a new partnership between a national early childhood provider and the Victorian Government’s Head Start program


Victoria’s Minister for Education James Merlino launched a Head Start partnership with Think Childcare yesterday, the largest brokered by the Head Start initiative for the early childhood education qualification. 


At least one Head Start school-based trainee will be placed in each of Think Childcare’s 49 centres across Victoria ─ providing a supported pathway for almost 50 students to gain experience and training in the growing early childhood education sector while also helping meet workforce needs in local areas. 


Trainees will receive a high-quality education from early learning training specialist Selmar Institute of Education ─ helping them gain a Certification III Early Childhood Education and Care qualification. In the first year, they will spend one to two days per week in paid employment, increasing to three to four days in their final year. 


“We are pleased to provide a supported pathway for students to take the first step into the growing early childhood education sector, while also helping meet local workforce demand,” Victoria’s Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt said.


Speaking on behalf of Think, Quality Advisor Kylie Morris said the partnership with the Department “will open so many doors to the courageous trainees who choose to go on this journey with us”. 


However, she continued, the real winners will be children who will benefit from the impact these students make in their lives.


The $49.8 million Head Start initiative is a model for apprenticeships and traineeships for school students, supporting them to complete their VCE or VCAL alongside paid on-the-job training so they can achieve both a vocational and school-based education. The initiative will deliver up to 1,700 apprenticeships and traineeships by 30 June 2022, supported by school-based staff responsible for matching students with high-quality employers – with 10 Head Start clusters already established across 130 schools in Victoria. 


Selmar Institute of Education Chief Executive Officer Jo Asquith said the provider is excited to be able to provide “future-ready, caring and compassionate skills to young career makers aspiring to become the next leaders in such a vital sector”.


For more information, please visit the Department website

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