NSW Deputy Premier Car launches online series to connect with sector ECEC #1 priority: NSW Deputy Premier Car launches online series to connect with sector
The Sector > Policy > Changes > NSW Deputy Premier Car launches online series to connect with sector

NSW Deputy Premier Car launches online series to connect with sector

by Anna Boshell

June 21, 2023

A “strong, valued and respected workforce…ready to meet the demand of high-quality early education and care across NSW” is the New South Wales Government’s “number one priority”, NSW Deputy Premier Prue Car told attendees at ECE Connect this week. 


Opening ECE Connect, a government-run series of webinars and face-to-face activities for the sector, Minister Car launched a revitalised approach focused on engaging with the sector to bring about much-needed change.


Ms Car told attendees that the Government was serious about addressing the shortage of qualified early childhood educators and teachers and the numbers planning to leave the sector, committing $22 million to workforce development initiatives, including a $3 million research study focused on developing a strong workforce pipeline.


“This is just the beginning of the investment we will make in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce. A strong workforce, a skilled workforce and a valued workforce makes all the difference to our children, families and communities.”


During the 19 June stream – Early childhood education in focus – Ms Car, who is also the NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning, was able to speak directly with the sector and address questions about government commitments.


Ms Car said ECEC provision would be a major focus of the Minns Labor Government, creating opportunities for the sector to change and grow over the next decade.


“We can expect to see support for the expansion of early learning services in areas where they are most needed, to offer innovative solutions to drive more affordability and flexibility – at the same time as nurturing existing services and improving access for families in every corner of the state.”


Ms Car said the Government is “deeply committed” to working towards universal access to preschool, with consultation and work underway to deliver 100 new preschools on public school sites and a further 50 on non-government school sites. 


“Our work will be informed by genuine and thorough consultation with the broader sector so that we can strive towards universal access to preschool and meet the needs of the community we serve – this requires an all-of-sector approach,” she said. 


NSW Education Secretary Murat Dizdar, who joined Ms Car for the event, added: “Our commitment to early childhood education and care is just as strong as our commitment to schools.


“We know that play-based learning experiences in quality early childhood and out of school hours settings is the key to setting children up for a strong transition to school, and for happy, healthy and successful lives.”


Ms Car also affirmed the Government was committed to equity in education, including for children from multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, as well as children with disabilities and additional needs.


“Our vision is for every child to grow, learn and thrive in a safe and high-quality early childhood service, delivered by a dedicated, professional and valued workforce, supported by an ongoing commitment to preschool funding for quality preschool programs.”


Connect with policy makers: register for ECE Connect 


The Department will provide updates on policy initiatives, programs, funding, and regulatory matters through the online ECE Connect series, which will run from 19 June until 30 June.


So far, the Department has received more than 10,000 registrations for the June online forums, which include sessions about wellbeing in the workforce, self-assessment, allergen management, safe sleep procedures and safe transportation of children.


Following the online webinars, the NSW Government will be undertaking a face-to-face listening tour with ECE services across the state. The tour will have a particular focus on making preschool more accessible for families and enhancing quality across the sector.

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