Workforce-boosting incentive for Victorian early childhood educators - Education Matters Magazine

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Workforce-boosting incentive for Victorian early childhood educators

workforce-boosting incentive

A financial incentive to attract early childhood teachers to priority positions in Victoria has been expanded to qualified early childhood educators, meaning those joining or returning to the sector – including from interstate and New Zealand – can receive at least $9,000 on top of other potential relocation payments.

The move is part of the Victorian Government’s $9 billion Best Start, Best Life reform – a 10-year reform to early childhood education and care in Victoria to:

• Deliver Free Kinder for three- and four-year-old children in Victoria in 2023
• Transition Four-Year-Old Kinder to Pre-Prep over the decade
• Establish 50 government-owned and operated childcare centres from 2025

An additional 5,000 teachers and educators are needed over the decade to support this significant reform.

Minister for Early Childhood Education and Pre-Prep Ms Ingrid Stitt announced the $1 million expansion of the Early Childhood Incentives program in July 2022, which is still available today. She hoped it would address shortages in parts of Melbourne and rural and  regional Victoria.

“We’re supporting our early childhood workforce with more financial incentives and innovative courses to ensure we attract, retain and support dedicated staff to deliver the best educational start for Victorian children,” she said.

The latest initiative involves individual incentives of $9,000 for qualified teachers and educators starting their careers, re-joining the sector or relocating to Victoria from interstate or New Zealand. A similar scheme was also announced for school teachers.

There are location incentives of $9,000 to $50,000 for early childhood teachers and educators who take up a role at a priority service.

On top of these incentives, between $2,000 and $8,000 in relocation support is also available to incentive recipients who are relocating more than 200kms to take up a role.

The Early Childhood Jobs site provides a free online platform for the early childhood sector to look for, apply for and advertise jobs and incentives.

More educators upskilling their qualifications

The Victorian Government is also supporting more people to become early childhood teachers, with up to 175 extra state government-funded places available in the 2023 intake of Australian Catholic University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, as part of the Innovative Initial Teacher Education (IITE) program.

The program of accelerated study allows diploma-qualified educators to complete a bachelor’s degree and become early childhood teachers in 18 months, after receiving recognition of their eligible prior studies and experience.

Register your interest to hear more information about the range of opportunities and incentives available from the Department of Education for early childhood professionals here.

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