Tasmanian Government commits to ECEC should it be re-elected
The Sector > Policy > Politics > Tasmanian Government commits to ECEC should it be re-elected

Tasmanian Government commits to ECEC should it be re-elected

by Freya Lucas

March 15, 2024

Tasmania’s Premier Jeremy Rockliff has released his government’s 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s future ahead of the upcoming election for the state, which will take place 23 March 2024. 


Should a majority Liberal Government be re-elected, he said, it will work with the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector to “address constraints to the growth of quality childcare in Tasmania, including workforce development, access to allied health services and land availability.”


“We understand the importance of access to quality early childhood education and care for working Tasmanian families and that workforce is a critical factor in growing these services,” Premier Rockliff said.


“Over the next four years, we will work with the sector to grow and upskill the ECEC workforce through a $5 million Early Years Workforce Development Fund, with the investment to go to more than 500 workers.”


The fund will deliver:


  • 200 scholarships of between $15,000 (Diploma & CERT III) and $30,000 (Bachelors & Masters ) for education and care qualifications, and to work with a Tasmanian ECEC service for two years;
  • $500,000 to fund 20 additional scholarships for speech pathologists and psychologists;
  • Settling incentive of $2,500 for ECEC staff to relocate to locations including Flinders and King Islands and the West Coast; and
  • Retention incentives of a $2,500 bonus every year for between 4-6 years for staff in rural, isolated or hard to staff areas.


Minister for Education, Children and Youth, Roger Jaensch pledged that a re-elected majority Liberal Government would also invest $32 million to build four new Child and Family Learning Centres (CFLCs) to meet growing demand at:


  • Huonville;
  • Smithton;
  • Longford; and
  • Scottsdale.


CFLCs are purpose-built facilities where children 0-5 years of age and their parents and carers can access free support services and activities that assist them with the challenges of parenting and early childhood development, including free access to psychologists, speech pathologists and social workers.


There are currently 15 CFLCs operating in Tasmania, with three more under construction. The four new centres will bring the total to 22 state-wide.


The four new centres will also be built to meet the National Quality Standards so they can partner with providers to deliver early education, long day care and vacation care where there is unmet demand for these services.


The outside school hours care (OSHC) sector would be supported, in the event of a re-election, with $10 million being made available to support primary and district schools to undertake capital works to support new or expanded onsite OSHC services in partnership with local ECEC providers, and through the identification of government-owned land suitable for development of new ECEC facilities.


The Tasmanian branch of Early Childhood Australia would be allocated $890,000 over three years to employ two project officers to assist with policy development and community partnerships, with Minister Jaensch saying the Liberals “value the important work being undertaken, and the ongoing partnership on strategic issues, including workforce development.”


Finally, the Ministers pledged to establish an Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce Round Table, involving ECA and ECEC providers, to “focus on growing the workforce in this sector quickly and sustainably and ensuring strong collaboration and communication between government and the sector.”


The initiatives will complement the existing Working Together program, which offers free quality early learning to 220 eligible 3 year olds at 43 locations across the State, and the Early Learning for 3 Year Olds initiative.


The total cost of the pledges from the Liberals amounts to $48 million ($42 million capital and $6 million recurrent).

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