ECEC numbers double in WA thanks to free training
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > ECEC trainee numbers almost double in WA thanks to significant funding boost

ECEC trainee numbers almost double in WA thanks to significant funding boost

by Freya Lucas

July 19, 2023

Significant investments in free and low-fee training has seen the number of early childhood education and care (ECEC) traineeships almost double in the past year, helping to boost the numbers of professionals working in the sector. 


Specifically, in the 12 months leading up to 30 April 2023, Western Australia recorded significant increases in ECEC traineeship commencements (up 37 per cent) and completions (up 94 per cent) compared to the same period last year.


In 2023, all new worker traineeships including trainees in relevant ECEC qualifications and all Job Ready programs are eligible for fee-free training through the FREE IN ’23 initiative. This includes the Certificate III in ECEC, Diploma of ECEC, Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, and Introduction to Early Childhood Education and Care Skill Set.


As a result, there have already been more than 4,650 fee-free enrolments in ECEC qualifications in WA this year.


In the traineeships space, an employment-based training pathway, the sector has benefited from almost 2,400 new entrants in the past year and almost 800 skilled people having completed their training.


“Maintaining a strong early childhood education and care sector is a critical part of the WA economy and supports working parents particularly women to return to the workforce across all occupations,” said Premier Roger Cook. 


Fee-Free training is now available across more than 130 courses including a range of qualifications and skill sets, with all Western Australians eligible to access the program at WA TAFE colleges and training providers.


“Early childhood education traineeship completions have more than doubled in the past year and it is pleasing to see these increases are flowing through to the in-demand care sector and women’s increased workforce participation,” added Training Minister Simone McGurk. 


The State Government introduced low-fee existing worker traineeships for the ECEC sector and other initiatives from 1 January 2022, to support the childcare industry (sic.) to upskill existing workers.


A new ECEC Job Ready program was also introduced in partnership with the ECEC sector, and is providing entry-level candidates with a new pre-employment pathway into traineeships and jobs in the sector.


Based on results from the latest national Student Outcomes Survey, it is estimated that more than 90 per cent of students who completed a Certificate III in ECEC or Diploma of ECEC traineeship were employed or in further study after training.


“We know the benefits of good early childhood education and we can’t do that without quality and dedicated early childhood educators and staff,” said Early Childhood Education Minister Sabine Winton.


“These educators play such a huge role in supporting our young children’s development and growth. The opportunities available are endless there’s never been a better time to become an early childhood educator and help set up our children for the best start in life.”

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