2016-2019 Rural and Remote Early Childhood Teaching scholarships

These scholarships supported the delivery of quality preschool programs by qualified early childhood teachers working in rural and remote preschools and long day care services.

2019 Rural and Remote Early Childhood Teaching Scholarship applications are now closed.

For Diploma-qualified early childhood educator, the NSW Department of Education offered the opportunity for them to apply to upgrade to an early childhood teaching qualification.

The department's 2019 Rural and Remote Early Childhood Teaching Scholarships were designed to support educators to study for a bachelor's degree in early childhood teaching.

30 scholarships were available in this round, at up to $10,000 each.

Application dates

Applications are now closed.

Importance of upgrading to an early childhood teaching qualification

Early childhood teachers are invaluable to the quality and care of centre-based 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 the Education and Care National Regulations, NSW centre-based services with 30 or more preschool-aged children are required to have at least one early childhood teacher in attendance.

Furthermore, the NSW Education Standard Authority recognises the importance of early childhood teachers, and requires early childhood teachers to have their qualifications professionally accredited.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply for a Rural and Remote Early Childhood Teaching Scholarship, applicants had to:

  • work in a long day care service, or centre-based or mobile preschool in a rural or remote area of NSW
  • hold an approved diploma qualification in early childhood education, recognised by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • intend to enrol in a bachelor's degree leading to a four-year university early childhood teaching qualification or equivalent recognised by ACECQA
  • not have already commenced an early childhood teaching degree prior to applying for the scholarship
  • not be in receipt of any other scholarship funding related to the course for which the scholarship is sought.

Scholarships were offered for study in the 2019 academic year. There were a limited number of scholarships for applicants who commenced study in the last semester of the 2018 academic year.

Rural or remote services

Generally, services outside of Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong are considered to be rural or remote.

Services with an ARIA + classification of Inner Regional, Outer Regional, Remote or Very Remote were considered to be rural or remote services for the scholarship application. Applicants were able to check whether their service is located in a rural or remote area of NSW, by using the Department of Health's remoteness search tool.

The Remoteness description for the service was also provided on the NQA ITS database.

The department assessed the location of applicants and was responsible for making the final decision about whether an applicant was eligible.

Scholarship guidelines

  • Successful applicants were offered a scholarship of up to $10,000 to complete a four-year early childhood teaching degree qualification or equivalent, such as a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching).
  • The degree must be recognised on ACECQA's Qualifications List of approved early childhood teaching degrees.
  • Successful applicants were required to sign a Deed of Agreement setting out the terms and conditions of the scholarship.
  • Payments were made via EFT in instalments over the course of the degree.
  • After successful applicants provided official proof of enrolment, the signed Deed of Agreement, and other required documentation, an initial scholarship payment of $1,000 was paid.
  • The remainder of the allocated scholarship funds was paid in instalments upon successful completion of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the whole course.
  • Scholarship recipients can decide how best to use the funds to support their studies. This may include, but is not limited to, purchase or hire of textbooks and resources, costs associated with attending study sessions, technology to support study, or course fees.
  • Scholarship recipients could defer their study for a maximum of 12 months, with the department's prior approval.
  • To retain the scholarship, recipients must maintain employment in a rural and remote early childhood education service in NSW.

Application process

Applicants were asked to supply:

  • proof of their diploma in early childhood education
  • a supporting statement
  • a supporting statement from their employer
  • details of the degree in which they intended to enrol
  • certified proof of their Australian citizenship or permanent residency.

Eligible early childhood teaching degrees

Details of available courses in NSW and ACT are listed on the Universities Admissions Centre's (UAC) website and on the relevant higher education providers' websites.

The course had to be recognised on ACECQA's Qualifications List of approved early childhood teaching degrees.

Scholarship recipients could enrol in a course offered by any registered Australian higher education provider located in another state/territory. To retain the scholarship, recipients had to be employed in and maintain employment in a rural and remote early childhood education service in NSW.

Payment request form

To claim a scholarship payment successful applicants had to complete and submit the payment request form (PDF 147KB) with required documentation.

More Information

The scholarships form part of the department's Rural and Remote Education: A blueprint for action. The program is designed to support educators working in rural and remote communities, and areas with an identified shortage of early childhood teachers.

The scholarships were being offered to support the delivery of quality preschool programs by qualified early childhood teachers working in rural and remote preschools and long day care services.

Up to 30 scholarships have been awarded every year from 2016 to 2019.

If you have questions about the 2019 Rural and Remote Early Childhood Teaching Scholarship, email the Early Childhood Directorate on ecec.scholarships@det.nsw.edu.au.

Up to 30 scholarships were available. Applicants were notified of the outcome of their application in September 2018.

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