Investing in our workforce

The NSW Government is investing $281.6 million over 4 years in a package of measures to attract more staff to the early childhood education and care sector, retain current teachers and educators and provide more opportunities for existing workers to upskill.

This landmark investment is expected to benefit over 18,000 current and future early learning professionals.

It recognises early childhood educators and teachers for their unsurpassed dedication and commitment to lives of children and families in NSW.

The workforce package will address the ongoing shortage of – and increasing demand for – qualified early childhood educators and teachers.

The department will work closely with the early childhood education and care sector to design and deliver a wide-ranging suite of activities with a strong focus on outcomes for our children and meeting the needs of early childhood teachers and educators.

Scholarships

The workforce package will turbocharge our scholarship program by creating more scholarships, with greater flexibility and a focus on retention after study.  

Higher education scholarships

Scholarships of up to $25,000 are on offer to provide financial support for students completing a bachelor level qualification in early childhood teaching.

Students may also be eligible for a completion incentive payment if they remain employed in the early childhood education and care sector.  

VET scholarships

Scholarships of up to $2,000 are on offer to provide financial support for students completing VET qualifications in early childhood education and care.

These are in addition to the existing fee-free pathways for Certificate III and Diploma qualifications which are currently on offer for job seekers and existing workers looking to upskill or reskill in ECEC through NSW Job Trainer.

Any eligible NSW resident who wishes to enrol and meets the criteria can access this fee-free training, regardless of employment status or prior qualifications. Enrolments close on 31 December 2022.

Streamlined pathways

The department will work closely with Universities, RTO’s and employers to deliver innovative and streamlined pathways that better support teachers and educators to upskill.

This will include supporting Certificate III qualified-staff into Diplomas and Diploma-qualified staff into Bachelor qualifications.

Support through the fund

The early childhood education and care workforce will be a key priority for the Affordable and Accessible Childcare and Economic Participation Fund, which represents an investment of $5 billion over 10 years.

Find out more about the Affordable and Accessible Childcare and Economic Participation Fund.

Scenario

What this means for Sam and her employer

Sam now sees her future in early childhood education and care

Sam has worked at a Campsie long day care for 3 years. Sam finds working with children rewarding but she struggles to see options for career progression and increased pay and is thinking about leaving to join another industry.

With the NSW Government’s new workforce initiatives, Sam gets support to study for an early childhood teaching degree while she is working. 

Sam feels more valued by her employer and is looking forward to graduating with her teaching degree and the rewards that it will bring. She sees opportunities to grow her career and is no longer considering moving out of the sector she loves.

Sam's centre director now finds it easier to upskill and keep their valued staff

The centre director at Sam’s workplace, Sunita, has been struggling to find and keep experienced staff. Sunita works with the NSW Department of Education to access the different new workforce initiatives. Sunita is pleased to see her staff being rewarded and learning new skills, and she is experiencing less staff turnover. As each year passes, she also sees an increased supply of qualified educators and teachers across the sector.

Early childhood educator sitting with two students at play table
Image: For illustrative purposes only

More information

For all the latest updates from Early Childhood Education, you can follow us on Facebook.

To provide feedback or ask us a question about the Early Years Commitment please contact:

Early Years Commitment team
EarlyYearsCommitment@det.nsw.edu.au

Return to top of page Back to top