Country SA town of Kimba takes a train local approach to beat ECEC shortages
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Country SA town of Kimba takes a train local approach to beat ECEC shortages

Country SA town of Kimba takes a train local approach to beat ECEC shortages

by Freya Lucas

September 09, 2022

The Eyre Peninsula town of Kimba, in country South Australia, is taking a “train local” approach to combating shortages in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, establishing a scholarship to fill skills gaps in the community. 


Kimba Economic Development Manager Mel Garibaldi spoke to local news source In Daily sharing that the town’s workforce planning strategy had identified a lack of people in several trades and skills, and early childcare education was one of them.


Any community member who is interested in receiving an early childhood qualification can apply for a $2000 dollar scholarship, which is only open to people residing in the District Council of Kimba to cover the cost of the course and any additional costs such as potential travel to Port Lincoln or Whyalla for professional learning.


Kimba is one of the  largest wheat producing areas in the state, with roughly 1211 residents. The local ECEC facility has indicated that it will happily take anyone for placement, Ms Garibaldi continued. 


The plan to increase the number of childcare educators also has an aim to improve childcare facilities in the community, with the council hoping more educators will attract investment in current childcare facilities and future developments.


The Council, Ms Garibaldi said, was originally focused on making facility arrangements to cater for rising ECEC demand, before realising that the skills issue was likely to prevent this from being successful. 


“While we were doing this research, looking at what could be done, we realised there’s a lack of skilled workers in childcare at the moment here,” she told the paper.


“We’re remote, we are regional and we have a lot of issues like regional towns do but our community is really hands-on and they always come up with really creative solutions,” Ms Garibaldi continued.


Applications for the scholarship have opened. Further details are available from the Council. 


“This is a little bit of a test run, at the moment we have one scholarship available and depending on the amount of applications that we receive, we will reassess to see if we will keep our scholarship going,” Ms Garibaldi said.


Access the original coverage of this story here

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