In 2022, three-year-old children across Victoria will be able to attend at least five hours of funded kindergarten a week. It's a significant milestone on the road to a 15-hour per week, state-wide program for Victorian children by 2029. And it's teachers and educators who will make it a success.
In April 2021, the Victorian Government released the policy paper Working Together to Build Victoria's Early Childhood Workforce (pdf - 1.78mb), to consult with the kindergarten sector on our broad-reaching strategy to support the attraction, retention, and quality of the kindergarten workforce. We heard from kindergarten program teachers and educators, service leaders, diverse service providers, local and federal governments, employer peak bodies, unions, higher education providers, TAFEs and other VET providers. Stakeholders provided valuable feedback about current challenges and opportunities, roles and responsibilities, new partnerships and innovation across the sector.
A new policy paper, Next steps in Victoria’s Kindergarten Workforce Strategy (pdf - 2.79mb) provides an update in response to what we heard. It contains:
1. The key themes heard through the consultation, with case studies showcasing
best practice and partnerships from across the sector.
2. New workforce initiatives launched in response to key findings, including:
- A new $2.2 million initiative with Jobs Victoria to deliver an Early Childhood Educator Traineeship Program, creating 150 educator traineeships in 2022.
- An expansion of Innovative Initial Teacher Education to grow teacher supply.
- New supports and resources to improve workforce wellbeing that will be available to both educators and teachers.
3. The latest directory of existing government programs and supports
4. Discussion about connections with the National Children’s Education and Care
Workforce Strategy and opportunities to continue this national conversation for reform.
This update builds on our $209.9 million investment over seven years in initiatives to attract and retain staff and support high-quality kindergarten programs.
We thank the sector for their contributions and engagement with Victoria’s strategy. We will continue to encourage and empower the sector to best leverage government investment and take their own actions to build and deliver the kindergarten workforce Victorian children need.