2024 Budget Review - Measures impacting ECEC workforce
The Sector > Workforce > Other > 2024 Budget Review – Measures directly impacting the ECEC workforce

2024 Budget Review – Measures directly impacting the ECEC workforce

by Jason Roberts

May 18, 2024

Since Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ handed down his 2024/25 Budget the lion’s share of focus has been on the historic commitment to fund educator wage increases once the Fair Work Commission has completed its Annual Wage Review and Gender Pay Equity Research processes. 


Even though both of these exercises are well advanced and due to complete soon the Government did not make any financial provision to back up its commitment, leaving educators in an effective holding pattern for the foreseeable future. 


That being said, the commitment to fund educator wage increases is now on the record and has been supported by an investment of $30.0 million over two years in IT and payment services to ensure that payment infrastructure to facilitate funding towards wage increases is in place going forward. 


But outside of the wage increase theme were there any other areas where educators were in focus in this year’s budget? 


The answer to that question is yes, but the policy measures were targeted at certain sub sectors of the community rather than universally applicable to all. 


Measures for educators studying for qualifications:


  • A new Commonwealth Prac Payment of $319.5 per week will be available from 1 July 2025 for students undertaking supervised mandatory placements as part of their studies including those studying for certificate, diploma and degree qualifications. No longer will educators need to use leave, paid or otherwise, to attend and complete practicums without reimbursement. 


Measures for ECEC trainees:


  • Although this is not a new measure the Government has extended the Incentive Systems payment scheme through which educators on a traineeship could receive bonuses of as much as $5,000 and their employers may be eligible for a slightly higher sign on incentive. 


Measures for inclusion focused educators:


  • The Government has substantially boosted the funding available for services to increase their capacity to support children with additional needs, which will inevitably create opportunities for educators specialising in these areas. 


Measures to support First Nations teachers:


  • Through the First Nations Teacher Strategy $2.4 million has been allocated to improve the attraction and retention of First Nations teachers.


The next key milestone of the ECEC workforce will undoubtedly be the completion of the Fair Work processes referred to above, with Annual Award Wage increases expected in early June and the results of the Gender Pay Equity Research project in July to August. 

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