Financial incentives and supports extended to Victorian early childhood educators
While many are aware of the amazing incentives available to early childhood teachers (ECTs) who live and work in Victoria, or who are willing to make the move, what is less well known is that many of these offerings have recently expanded to include early childhood educators too.
Educators now eligible for financial incentive payments
Central to the recently announced $1 million expansion of the Early Childhood Incentives program is the news that, for the first time, qualified early childhood educators will join ECTs in being eligible for financial incentives for joining or returning to the sector, as well as those coming from interstate and New Zealand.
Educator Individual Incentives of $9,000 are available for qualified educators starting their careers, re-joining the sector or relocating to Victoria. Educator location incentives of $9,000 are also available for educators willing to relocate to priority services across the state.
On top of these incentives, between $2,000 and $8,000 in relocation support is also available to educators who are awarded an incentive and are relocating more than 200 kilometres to take up a role.
Find out more about eligibility for incentives and how to apply.
Incentive recipients, and their families, supported to make the move
A barrier to the uptake of the range of incentives for many teachers and educators has been the cost of relocating families and loved ones to take advantage of the adventure of working somewhere new.
Understanding this, the Victorian Government has worked to include particular supports for teachers and educators who relocate more than 200 kilometres from their current place of residence, with contributions paid in the first milestone payment. These relocation supplements are only available for people that are eligible to (and have been awarded) an incentive.
For those relocating alone the following support applies:
- $2,000 for those moving between 200 to 500 kilometres from their current home
- $4,000 for those moving more than 500 kilometres
- $6,000 for those moving from New Zealand.
For those who are relocating with family or dependents:
- $3,000 for those moving between 200 to 500 kilometres from their current home
- $6,000 for those moving more than 500 kilometres
- $8,000 for those moving from New Zealand.
Trainees now have more chances to learn
Trainees who are beginning their careers in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector now have even more opportunities to learn, with the popular Educator Traineeship Program at Chisholm Institute of TAFE expanding from 150 to 200 places in 2022 and 2023, funded by Jobs Victoria in partnership with the Department of Education and Training . Gowrie Victoria are also continuing their Early Childhood Traineeship Program with the next intake in October 2022.
Ashleigh Robinson has been learning with Gowrie Victoria and working with Mitchell Shire Council towards her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education as a trainee since February 2022, and is loving the experience, saying it has given her the opportunity to put theory into practice and added a depth of understanding to her studies.
“Mitchell Shire Council and Gowrie Victoria have both been very supportive, flexible and accommodating of my requirements. Having access to the facilitators and mentors at Gowrie and working alongside experienced teachers and educators at the service has been invaluable in creating my personal and professional philosophy,” she added.
Ashleigh is well supported by two in service mentors, and has full access to the extensive pedagogical support team at Mitchell Shire. While undertaking her traineeship she has completed several professional development days with the Council, including working with Phoenix Support for Educators and undertaking a professional development on sensory processing.
“There is no harm in having the conversation and finding out if you and a service can collaborate to meet each other’s needs.”
“I have been fortunate to be able to complete my traineeship part-time, allowing me to continue to support my young family,” she said, encouraging those who are on the fence to strongly consider taking up the opportunity.
Innovative ECT courses continue to grow, with places still available for 2023 intake
To support passionate educators to make the transition to becoming ECTs, the Victorian Government has invested in Early Childhood Innovative Initial Teacher Education (IITE) with high quality universities in Deakin University, Victoria University and the Australian Catholic University.
The IITE program allows educators to “earn while they learn” and gain a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education or Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching in a compressed time frame of between 18 months and two years via a combination of online, face to face and intensive study options, and recognition of prior study and professional experience. Given the enormous popularity of the program, the Victorian Government has made an extra 175 places available in the 2023 intake for Australian Catholic University.
Applications for Victoria University’s IITE program have now closed, however places are still available for the 2023 intake of:
- Australian Catholic University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
- Deakin University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
Continuing your professional growth and development once you start teaching
Once a teaching role has been secured the Victorian Government provides a range of Career Supports, many of which are targeted at teachers in the early stages of their career.
Additional funding is available for early childhood services to support provisionally registered early childhood teachers (PRTs) to move to full registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). There is also support available to assist PRTs to access a mentor through Gowrie Victoria, to help them through the VIT process.
A series of free interactive webinars are available to meet the needs of ECTs in their first months of teaching. All teachers in their early career stage can also access the Beginning Teachers Conferences which are designed to prepare and inspire all beginning early childhood teachers as they commence their education careers.
Significant professional development supports exist for teachers in the first five years of their career, to have an exceptional start in the profession through the end-to-end career supports program. These include:
- professional coaching for teachers in their first year of practice to support the development of pedagogical practice
- Communities of Practice for second to fifth year teachers to explore common topics and support the development of high-quality practice aligned to the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF)
- a significant library of professional early childhood resources
- an “alumni” group for those who have been through the program, to help them to stay connected and share professional expertise.
There is a commitment to continue to build on, and develop the range of professional development, mentoring and coaching opportunities for teachers and educators throughout their career pathway. Watch this space.
Support to find roles with financial incentives
To learn more about the expanded Best Start Best Life reform and the range of opportunities available in Victoria, head to the Early Childhood Teachers and Educators website.
The Early Childhood Jobs website allows job seekers to search specifically for positions with location incentives attached, as well as by role, opportunity type (part time, casual or full time), location, and even company or organisation. For those who meet the eligibility criteria, individual incentives are available for any ECT or educator role advertised on the Jobs Board (if the service is delivering, or plans to deliver, a funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program in 2023).
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