Record budget investment in kindergarten for every three-year-old

‚ÄčThe Victorian Government is investing an unprecedented $881.6 million to get the roll-out of subsidised kindergarten for Victorian three-year-olds under way. Delivered as part of the Victorian Budget 2019/20, the investment will cover the first four years of the reform, with significant support for the early childhood workforce and kindergarten infrastructure.

The budget invests $92.4 million to support the early childhood teachers and educators, who are at the core of this reform. This funding will be used to provide employment incentives, support for pre-service teachers, and professional development and mentoring opportunities.

There are plenty of additional scholarships on offer to those choosing their career, upskilling as an educator, or already studying a teaching qualification. For more information see scholarships and incentives to become an early childhood teacher below.

A further $22 million will support practitioners to deliver quality educational programs, including through access to tools and capacity-building resources to strengthen strategies for teaching three-year-old children.

The scale of the three-year-old kindergarten reform means that more than 6,000 early childhood teachers and educators will be needed. As well as offering a range of scholarships, the Victorian Government has expanded the Free TAFE priority courses list to include the Certificate III in and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care from 2020.

The budget includes $473.2 million for early childhood infrastructure. This initial funding will support the sector to invest in almost 1,000 new and expanded kindergarten facilities, when and where they are needed most. The kindergarten infrastructure program will continue to grow as the roll-out continues.

Early childhood investment also includes $32 million to support for children with a disability or developmental delay, or those experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage, to access and meaningfully participate in three-year-old kindergarten programs, including through Kindergarten Inclusion Support, additional preschool field officers and an expanded pre-purchased places program.

The Victorian Government is also boosting the Australian-first school readiness funding initiative by $26 million to extend it to three-year-olds.

These investments will enable the reform to start off on the right footing. The Department will be providing support, advice and resources to early childhood teachers, educators and service providers throughout the transition.

For more information, see www.education.vic.gov.au/3YOkinder

Scholarships and incentives to become an early childhood teacher

Scholarships are available now to support people to undertake study leading to work in early childhood education and care.

 There is up to $34,000 available in scholarship funding for people studying a degree and up to $24,000 for a post-graduate qualification.

 People already working as educators seeking to upskill and those who have already started their teaching studies are encouraged to apply. There are scholarships available for people who started studying after January 2017.

The Aboriginal pathway scholarships enable people to become educators or teachers. Aboriginal people may choose to study a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care through to a postgraduate qualification.

There has never been a better time to pursue a career in early childhood.

There are also Early Childhood Teacher Incentives of up to $9,000 available for qualified teachers to teach in the roll-out locations next year. These locations are:

  • Buloke Shire
  • Hindmarsh Shire
  • North Grampians Shire
  • South Gippsland Shire
  • Strathbogie Shire
  • Yarriambiack Shire.

To find out more and apply please visit the scholarship and incentive program's website.