More funding announced for early learning in Victoria
The Sector > Policy > Ingrid Stitt visits Merri Community Child Care Centre to outline government support

Ingrid Stitt visits Merri Community Child Care Centre to outline government support

by Freya Lucas

April 05, 2023
a set of three colourful cubes are shown sitting on a wooden table

Victoria’s Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep Ingrid Stitt visited Merri Community Child Care Centre and Kindergarten in Thornbury earlier this week to meet with Chelsea Ford, one of more than 3,500 teachers who have joined Victoria’s kindergarten workforce through government-funded scholarships since October 2018.


During the visit she outlined the Government’s continued commitment to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, which will be further strengthened by a $159 million investment in training and development which was announced during her visit.


The new investment takes the Government’s total commitment to almost $370 million which has been put forward to attract high-quality teachers and educators to the sector and support existing professionals.


In order to support the roll out of Pre-Prep in Victoria from 2025, the Government is also helping key sector partners plan ahead, with up to $8.5 million in Workforce Planning grants now available to help local governments and Early Years Managers profile their local workforce, forecast future needs and deliver plans to support teacher and educator demand.


For those wishing to join the ECEC sector, the Victorian Free TAFE initiative is also in play, with thousands of students enrolling in the Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care courses since 2020.


When it comes to offering immediate support for those seeking to hire more teachers and educators there are a number of targeted financial incentives and access to recruitment agencies available to help early childhood services recruit. 


Eligible professionals are being offered up to $50,000 to move to hard-to-staff locations, plus $9,000 to join or re-join the workforce. To support workforce development and retention, a range of free career development opportunities are available, including mentoring for first-year teachers, communities of practice for second and third-year teachers, and Early Years Learning Networks for teachers in leadership roles to share professional expertise.


Experienced early childhood teachers and educators can also develop their coaching and mentoring skills through a new professional learning program starting in Term 2.


“A quality early childhood education starts with the best teachers and educators. That’s why we’re supporting the sector with workforce initiatives, training opportunities and planning grants to ensure kindergartens have the highly skilled professionals they need,” Ms Stitt said. 


More information about incentives, supports and ECEC sector initiatives is available on the Department’s website. 

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