Victoria positions for a year of growth with wide ranging recruitment and retention initiatives
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Victoria positions for a year of growth with wide ranging recruitment and retention initiatives

Victoria positions for a year of growth with wide ranging recruitment and retention initiatives

by Freya Lucas

January 24, 2023

The Victorian Department of Education is positioning for a year of continued growth and development in the early childhood education space, with a number of exciting initiatives and supports for those who are ready to be part of the Best Start, Best Life reforms.


Such powerful reforms require support for educators who are already in the sector, and encouragement for those outside the sector to take on further education and become a part of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce. 


Educational Leaders Conference kicks off year of professional growth 


For those already working in the ECEC sector, professional development opportunities are a core component of maintaining an understanding of best practice while allowing for invaluable networking opportunities. 


The inaugural Best Start, Best Life 2023 Educational Leaders Conference is one such opportunity, catering for Educational Leaders who hold the educational leader role formally in a long day care or sessional service which offers a Victorian funded kindergarten program. 


The conference will be held on Wednesday 15 February 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and live streamed, setting the stage for a year of growth and learning for Victoria’s ECEC professionals. 


The conference will be an exciting opportunity for educational leaders in early childhood education services to hear from world-leading experts and other leaders in the field about practical, evidence-based approaches to lift the quality of early childhood education.


The event is free of charge.


Employers of Educational Leaders attending the conference in person or online may be eligible to claim a contribution towards backfill for that day.


Employers of attendees traveling a long distance to attend the conference in person may be eligible for a travel contribution.


Early childhood leaders from across the state will participate in a day of exploration and learning through keynote presentations and a panel discussion. The conference program has been carefully curated, showcasing the perspective of three renowned international experts:



All Victorian kindergarten services have recently received an invitation for their educational leader to register for the conference. One educational leader per funded kindergarten service in Victoria (including long day care and sessional services) is eligible to attend the conference, online or in person.

For more information and to register for in person or online attendance, refer to Best Start, Best Life 2023 Educational Leaders Conference.

Chisholm initiative allows trainee educators to earn while they learn


The Jobs Victoria Early Childhood Educators Traineeship Program is one program which is supporting emerging professionals to step up and meet the need for engaged and passionate educators to work with Victoria’s young citizens. 


A joint initiative between the Department of Education, Jobs Victoria and Chisholm Institute, the program aims to create 200 new early childhood education jobs in Victoria, and supports trainees to gain a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care while gaining practical workforce experience and earning an income. 


The program focuses on providing opportunities for people who are long-term unemployed or at risk of being long-term unemployed, under 25- or over 45-years-old, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Victorians, people from CALD backgrounds, and women.


While there are opportunities all over Victoria, regional and rural trainees are in particularly high demand. 


Through the program, Chisholm Institute will find trainees who are ready to work and contribute valuable skills to early childhood services across the state, giving priority to Victorian early childhood services that are offering funded kindergarten programs with the opportunity to engage one or more trainees in 2023.


Support for ECEC employers


To help services meet the costs associated with employing a trainee, the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments have a range of programs including: 


  • the Commonwealth Government’s Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System (AAIS), which allows services to access up to $12,000 (max of $1,500 per quarter) in wage subsidies per trainee over the duration of time it takes a trainee to complete their Certificate III (maximum of 2 years)
  • A $4,000 reimbursement payment to services for the time needed to supervise and mentor trainees from Chisholm Institute.
  • Ongoing mentoring, professional development and training for the existing workforce to upskill them for working with trainees.  
  • Program supports to enable a service to provide adequate supervision and mentoring to trainees on-the-job.


Help for trainees 


There are also a wide range of initiatives to support including: 


  • Completing a Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care qualification under the Free TAFE program, while undertaking a paid traineeship in an ECEC service.
  • Up to $2,500 in Australian Apprentice training support payments for a one-year traineeship.
  • Trainees may also be eligible for a further $4,000 in milestone-based training support payments from Chisholm Institute.


Next steps 


ECEC employers who are interested in recruiting trainees through the program can attend an upcoming online information session to learn more.


There is also an online information session for people interested in becoming trainees. Interested applicants can apply now through Jobs Victoria. Places are limited.


For more information, refer to Jobs Victoria Early Childhood Educators Traineeship program Chisholm TAFE.


To view the opportunities across Victoria you can search and apply for a position on the Early Childhood Jobs board. You can also register your interest to hear more about opportunities and incentives from the Department of Education here

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