Victoria has something for everyone in ECEC
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Financial support to study, join or return the sector – Victoria has something for everyone

Financial support to study, join or return the sector – Victoria has something for everyone

by Freya Lucas

April 18, 2023

2023 is a year of opportunity for the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector.


In Victoria efforts to provide those who work, or want to work, within the ECEC sector with opportunities to study and train are well underway, supporting the State’s ambition to give every child the best start in life. 


The Victorian Government is delivering the most significant change to Victoria’s early childhood sector in a generation. An investment of $14 billion over the next decade will deliver Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and the Best Start Best Life reforms – including Free Kinder and the transition of Four-Year-Old Kinder to ‘Pre-Prep’, becoming a universal, 30-hour a week program of play-based learning.  


To ensure Victoria’s early childhood workforce has the support it needs now and into the future, the government continues to invest in initiatives to attract high-quality teachers and educators to the sector.


Financial support, in the form of scholarships, supporting you to study 


For educator Marion Tuiono, the availability of the Early Childhood Aboriginal Pathway Scholarship during her learning journey provided an opportunity to have “a little celebration for achievement” as she worked towards becoming Diploma qualified. 


Marion heard about the great range of financial support offered by the Victorian Government through her tertiary education provider, ultimately going on to secure an Early Childhood Aboriginal Pathway Scholarship


“After receiving the email, I had a look at the financial support and for me, it was pretty simple,” Marion said. The quick response from the department helped too, with Marion saying “the wait time wasn’t long at all! ” 


More early childhood scholarships of between $2,500 and $34,000 will be available over the next four years. Over 3,500 scholarships to study early childhood education have already been awarded since October 2018. 


The Early Childhood Aboriginal Pathways Scholarship is just one of the many ways the Victorian Government is supporting ECEC professionals to grow their careers. 


To read about the full range of financial support available to study and work in Victoria and program eligibility requirements, see here. 


Financial incentives for early childhood teachers and educators 


Victoria’s financial incentive packages are among some of the best on offer in Australia, with options for those at all levels of their career to be supported to make a move to a new opportunity. 


Emily Hocking is one of the many passionate and experienced educators who have taken advantage of Victoria’s financial incentives. Emily first heard about the incentives while studying, and then explored them more deeply when she started working in the sector. 


I was interested in a job that was out of my usual work zone and I had heard about this incentive,” she explained. 


Knowing she had access to the incentive payment really helped Emily to “push out of her comfort zone” and support her to work more permanently in a town she had previously only done casual work in. 

“My position took me to rural Victoria and it has been the biggest and best opportunity I could have taken for myself and my career.” 

For others who are thinking of seeking out incentives, Emily’s advice is do it! 


“Sometimes the changes we make end up being the best ones we can take and really help us excel in the chosen path we have taken. The process is easy and you’re supported the whole way through.”


For early childhood educators, there are two types of incentives available:


  • Individual incentives of $9,000 for eligible educators working outside funded kindergarten in the Victorian early childhood sector, to take up an eligible role at a service delivering funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
  • Location incentives of $9,000 for eligible educators to take up a role in a funded kindergarten program at selected services.


Early childhood teachers, can access two types of incentives: 


  • Individual incentives of $9,000 for eligible early childhood teachers working outside the Victorian early childhood sector to take up a teaching role at any service delivering, or planning to deliver, funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
  • Location incentives of between $9,000 to $50,000 for eligible early childhood teachers who secure a teaching role at selected services. 


A relocation supplement of between $2,000 and $8,000 is also available to any eligible incentive recipient who relocates more than 200km from their current place of residence. This includes those moving with family or dependents.


How to apply for an incentive


Search for jobs with a Location Incentive on Victoria’s Early Childhood Jobs website, by clicking ‘Opportunity type’ and selecting ‘Position with a location incentive’. You can also contact one of the partnered recruitment agencies to help support your search or register here.


Eligible early childhood teachers and educators should apply for an incentive via the early childhood scholarships and incentives application portal within 60 days of accepting a position. You can check your eligibility by reviewing the Eligibility Checker in the program guidelines on the department’s website, or by contacting Busy At Work (who administer the incentives programs on behalf of the department) at [email protected] or 1300 161 396.


You can email [email protected] for further information.

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