Accelerated degree for early childhood educators
An accelerated pathway will give diploma-qualified educators in the early childhood sector the opportunity to upskill while continuing to work.
01 March 2023
Plans to supercharge the early childhood workforce are underway to support the introduction of a universal pre-Kindergarten year in NSW and lower childcare costs for families.
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is partnering with the University of Wollongong to develop and deliver an accelerated high-quality pathway to support current early childhood educators to gain a bachelor degree in two years instead of four.
“The first stage of universal pre-Kindergarten has already begun with more than 70 services across the state trialling the model ahead of further rollout,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The success of universal pre-Kindergarten will be underpinned by a strong, quality early childhood workforce and this program will support our experienced educators to upskill to early childhood teachers.”
Ms Mitchell said building a larger workforce in the critical early learning sector is crucial to the success of universal pre-k but also to families and their budgets.
“The Liberal and Nationals know the value of early learning and we also know that it is a major cost for families. By training more educators we can help create more places and lower the costs of childcare for families across NSW,” Ms Mitchell said.
Available through the University of Wollongong, the accelerated pathway will give diploma-qualified educators currently working in the early childhood sector the opportunity to upskill while continuing to work. It will also better recognise work experience and prior learning.
Participants in the accelerated program will be offered career mentoring and support throughout their studies, enabling meaningful relationships to develop between students and industry experts.
University of Wollongong Associate Professor Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett said the new accelerated pathway is evidence-informed.
“It will provide educators with a connected and valuable learning experience, to help them perform a vital function for children and families in NSW,” she said.
Enrolments will open in mid-2023.
More than $5.8 billion in the 2022/23 NSW Budget was allocated to begin the delivery of a universal pre-Kindergarten year for all children in the year before school in NSW by 2030. A record $281.6 million was also invested in the early years workforce to support more than 18,000 early childhood teachers and educators to enter the sector or boost their skills.
It’s part of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s revolutionary $15.9 billion Early Years Commitment to deliver a brighter future for every child in NSW.
- Ministerial media releases