2022-23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Education Scholarships and Early Childhood Education Scholarships Program
The 2022-23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Education Scholarships and Early Childhood Education Scholarships Program has been developed to help increase the number of qualified early childhood teachers in the early childhood education sector in NSW.
The 2022-23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Education Scholarships and Early Childhood Education Scholarships Program is the third year of a three-year scholarship program.
Applications have now closed.
To increase the number of early childhood teachers working in the early childhood education sector in NSW (preschools, including mobile preschools and long day care services). This supports the vision of a highly qualified and sustainable workforce which meets the needs of children and families, including those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds; culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; in regional and remote locations; and children with disability and additional needs.
Importance of an early childhood teaching qualification
Early childhood teachers are invaluable to the quality and care of centre-based services and mobile services. They deliver high-quality teaching and learning to young children, and help them get a strong start to their school life.
To align with Education and Care National Regulations, NSW centre-based services with 30 or more preschool-aged children or under are required to have at least one early childhood teacher in attendance.
The NSW Education Standard Authority recognises the importance of early childhood teachers, and requires early childhood teachers to have their qualifications professionally accredited.
An increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood teachers will help ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives are embedded in early childhood education, and that preschools are welcoming and inclusive places for all children.
About the scholarships
The scholarships provide financial assistance to scholars who intend to be or who are employed in NSW early childhood education services.
The program may also link students with an appropriate mentor for the duration of their studies where this is desired.
Scholarships of up to $25,000 each will be offered to those commencing or completing a bachelor-level early childhood teaching degree. This degree can be studied at universities or other vocational education and training providers (e.g. TAFE).
The final number of scholarships awarded may vary depending on the financial award provided to each scholar (for instance if there is substantial recognised prior learning or the scholar has partially completed a qualification).
Applications for Round 1 were sought from scholars intending to commence or continue studying from Trimester 3 2022, or from 2023.
Applications for Round 2 are sought from scholars intending to commence or continue studying from Trimester 1 2023.
Interested applicants do not need to be currently working in the education sector to apply. To be eligible to apply for the 2022-23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Education Scholarship or the Early Childhood Education Scholarship program, applicants must:
- intend to enrol or already be enrolled in a bachelor's degree leading to an approved early childhood teaching qualification recognised by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). This degree can be studied at universities or other vocational education and training providers (e.g. TAFE).
- be intending to complete the degree in no more than 6 years.
- not be in receipt of any other scholarship funding related to the course for which the scholarship is sought.
- be an Australian citizen or permanent resident residing in NSW. An exemption from the NSW residency requirements may be provided where the applicant can demonstrate they are working or intend to work in NSW early childhood education services. An example of this would be an applicant living in a border region where the applicant is already employed in a NSW early childhood education service.
Applicants may study full-time or part-time.
How to apply for a scholarship
Applications closed on 12 September 2022.
Applicants were asked to supply the following information.
- Verified copy of proof of identity and proof of home address.
- Details of the bachelor-level degree in which they intend to enrol in/are enrolled in.
- Supporting statements outlining motivation to engage in early childhood education as a career in NSW, how the scholarship will assist you with the completion of a degree, information on how you intend to use your qualification and any previous qualifications or experience that support your application.
- If relevant to your application, wether you identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.
- If relevant to your application, details of any prior qualification/s and experience.
- If relevant to your application, details of employment if currently employed within a preschool (including mobile preschool) or long day care in NSW and a proof of employment letter.
- Certified proof of your Australian citizenship or permanent residency.
Application assessment process
Applications for Round 2 of the 2022-23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Education Scholarships and Early Childhood Education Scholarships Program will close on 12 September 2022.
Following the closing date, applications will be checked for eligibility and completeness. The Department may contact applicants during this phase to clarify factual information, particularly on the eligibility criteria.
Assessment of applications will be based on information provided by applicants. The Department may also seek information provided by referees to support the assessment process. A competitive assessment process may be utilised. The assessment process will also consider how the applicant will contribute to the NSW ECEC sector.
Endorsement of scholarships awards will be subject to the number of applicants considered through the assessment process to be suitable for a scholarship grant award, and the available budget.
Successful applicants will be offered a scholarship of up to a total of $25,000 to undertake or complete an approved bachelor-level early childhood teaching degree qualification recognised by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).
Individual grant award will be confirmed with each scholar up to the maximum amount of $25,000. Individual grants awards will take into account the application information, and an adjustment to reflect any completed units (for instance if there is substantial recognised prior learning or the scholar has partially completed a qualification). Individual grant awards will be confirmed as part of an individual Deed of Agreement.
Payments will be made in instalments upon successful completion of milestones based on a scholar’s progress in the degree. Further detail regarding payments will be provided as part of the information package for successful applicants. Payments will not be made for units of study completed prior to the award of the scholarship.
Use of funds
- Successful applicants are required to sign a Deed of Agreement setting out the terms and conditions of the scholarship.
- Scholarship recipients can decide how best to use the funds to support their studies. This may include, but is not limited to, costs of undertaking the degree and living expenses.
- Upon completion of study there is an expectation that scholarship recipients seek employment in the early childhood education sector in NSW (preschools, including mobile preschools and long day care services) if not already employed in this sector.
- Scholarship recipients may defer their study for a period of up to 12 months, with the Department's prior approval.
Eligible early childhood teaching degrees
The course must be recognised by ACECQA's Qualifications List of approved bachelor-level early childhood teaching degrees.
Scholarship recipients may enrol in a course offered by any registered Australian higher education provider located in another state/territory – including universities and vocational education and training providers (e.g. TAFE).
If you have questions about the 2022-23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Education Scholarships and Early Childhood Education Scholarships program, email the Early Childhood Directorate on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 619 113.