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New programs offer more career pathways in early childhood education

The Victorian State Government is making more training and career pathways available in early childhood education.

Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn today launched two new programs supporting employment pathways for new early childhood teachers and educators as well as passionate workers already in the workforce looking to take the next step in their career.

The new Early Childhood Tertiary Partnerships (ECTP) program will support up to 2,000 Victorians to complete a Certificate III, Diploma or early childhood teacher qualification through 11 programs at universities, TAFEs and other tertiary education providers across Victoria.

Participants will have access to a range of tailored supports like financial assistance, academic and placement mentoring, relocation supports for regional placements, culturally responsive professional resources, and employment matching – helping them to deliver the best education for local families across the state.

ECTP expands on the State Government’s Early Childhood Innovative Initial Teacher Education program, which is already helping 1,700 diploma-qualified educators to become qualified teachers through study programs and financial supports – boosting the supply of early childhood teachers in Victoria.

The ECTP program builds on this success, encouraging greater diversity in the early childhood workforce by supporting Aboriginal Victorians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability and men to take up tertiary education opportunities and join the early childhood workforce.

To increase the number of diploma-qualified educators working in Victoria’s kindergartens, the new Certificate III Upskill Support Program (CUSP) will provide up to 400 educators with $7,000 in financial support to complete a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care to take their learning further.

The program will ease cost-of-living pressures for current educators returning to study, particularly during unpaid placements, and support the transition from study to employment in a diploma-level position.

Becoming diploma-qualified offers opportunities for educators with a Certificate III qualification, deepening their knowledge of early childhood education so they can play an even greater role in guiding children’s learning and development. Applications for the first round of CUSP are now open and close on 21 January 2024.

“These new initiatives build on a range of workforce attraction and retention programs already in place for the early childhood education sector, including scholarships, financial incentives, coaching and mentoring,” Minister Blandthorn said.

“Our new tertiary partnerships program will give thousands of Victorians the support they need to have a career in early childhood education, with the Certificate III Upskill Support Program another great way we’re helping early childhood educators to build their careers while working in a job they love.”

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