WA announces special incentives for local governments to attract and retain ECEC staff
14 regional local governments in Western Australia have been awarded grants to support them to attract and retain early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals in light of ongoing workforce shortages which have particularly affected regional and rural areas.
The grants will be used to fund relocation allowances, provide subsidised accommodation and support professional development and training.
“We know that regional towns can face greater challenges in finding workers and the choice of early childhood education and care services on offer can be limited, and I’m pleased to see so many local governments applying for and receiving grants that will help bring workers to regional towns,” said Community Services Minister Simone McGurk.
The $1 million program is being delivered with the support of the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), which was established in 2021 to help address the issues faced by ECEC services in regional WA in finding and retaining staff.
After the initial funding round of $250,000 received considerable interest, additional funds were made available.
Services can also use the funding to set up traineeships, partnerships with local TAFEs and campaigns to attract more people to take up early childhood education as a career, as well as incentivising First Nations people to enter the profession.
Funding can also be used to provide incentives for Aboriginal people to enter the early childhood education and care workforce, and to support staff in undertaking professional development.
The grants program is part of the State Government’s $5.1 million commitment to improve access to early childhood education and care in regional WA.
The McGowan Government has also reduced the course fees for Certificate III and the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care qualifications with the aim of increasing the supply of early childhood educators across WA.
A full list of grant recipients is available here.
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