Boosting Victoria’s Early Childhood Workforce

The Andrews Labor Government will boost the number of experienced and highly qualified early childhood teachers in kindergartens to ensure our youngest Victorians get the best start in life.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos today joined early childhood professionals at the annual Together We Grow: Early Childhood Education Conference to announce a $9.7 million workforce package.

This includes $8 million for scholarships to attract new early childhood teachers to the field and for existing educators who wish to upskill to a teaching qualification.

These scholarships will be offered to students seeking to start studies in 2019 and continue to build a highly skilled early childhood teaching workforce to meet growing enrolments in kinder programs in Victoria.

Evidence shows that a highly-skilled and professional workforce is essential to achieve the best outcomes for children.

A further $225,000 will fund a targeted scholarship program to attract Aboriginal Victorians into the early childhood profession, which will support the 10-year Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan as well as additional bilingual educators.

The package includes $1.5 million to enable early childhood teachers to familiarise themselves with a new online system for writing transition statements. This new online format, which includes a direct transfer of statements between kindergartens and schools, will help schools better support their newest students.

Minister Mikakos also launched the Literacy and Numeracy Tips to Help Your Child Every Day guide at the conference, which provides tips for parents to help their children learn maths and writing through fun and accessible activities.

This useful resource, targeted at children aged 0 to 12, is available at www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/literacynumeracy/Pages/literacyactivities.aspx

These initiatives build on the work already underway through the Labor Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which recognises the importance of giving families support in early childhood so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“With these scholarships we’re growing our workforce of highly skilled early childhood educators – giving Victorian kids the best start in life.”

“Sharing books with children is one of the most powerful things we can do to help build a child’s love of literature and reading.”

“We want more Victorian families reading to their kids more often because we know how beneficial it is.”