Substantial incentives for educators to stay in Maranoa
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Innovative scheme sees ECEC educators in Maranoa eligible for substantial bursaries

Innovative scheme sees ECEC educators in Maranoa eligible for substantial bursaries

by Freya Lucas

March 21, 2024

Early childhood educators in Queensland’s Maranoa region have welcomed a new initiative from Maranoa Regional Council which is offering substantial bursaries to those who stay and work in the region. 


The Council initiated the $100,000 program in an effort to attract and retain qualified educators to combat ongoing staff shortages in the sector.


Bursaries are in varying amounts, depending on the applicant’s qualifications and also how long they intend to remain in the area. Ideally, applicants would be fully qualified (or due to complete their qualifications in 2024) and be willing to remain in Maranoa for a year or more. 


Certificate III educators could receive $1,000, while Diploma and Bachelor level applicants would receive $2,000 and $3,000 respectively. 


If they remain in the area for three years, those holding a Diploma or Bachelor qualification would benefit from eligibility for a retention bursary, which is worth up to $5,000. 


Hope McGrath (pictured), an educator with Milestones Early Learning Roma, has been inspired by the opportunity, and has commenced study towards her Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care through the Affinity Learning Academy, an opportunity which is fully funded, meaning she will not only receive a free qualification, but an added financial bonus for doing so. 


“Bonuses for completing your studies and staying local is a great way for the local council to recognise the important role we are playing for local families and children in Roma,” Ms McGrath said. 


Affinity Education Group Chief People Officer Linda Carroll has also welcomed the initiative, saying “we are thrilled to hear of this generous and meaningful initiative by the Maranoa Regional Council to further encourage the sector to commit to long term work and study in the area.” 


Member for Warrego, Ann Leahy, said the program is “a step in the right direction,” one which she hopes will alleviate the pressures being felt by local services. 


“From my visits and discussions with local Roma (ECEC) providers, staff retention is a major issue in the current tight labour market,” she shared with The Courier Mail.


Applicants can apply for the bursary here, with applications closing 31 March. More information is available here. 

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