Financial support to study and work in early childhood

Financial support in the form of scholarships and employment incentives are available for people looking for a rewarding career in the early childhood sector. 

Those choosing to work in early childhood will play an important role in implementing funded universal kindergarten programs for all three-year-olds across Victoria over the next 10 years.

Whether you are starting your study, upskilling as an educator, or already studying an early childhood teaching qualification there are a range of scholarships available. People wishing to undertake study or who began studying an eligible bachelor or postgraduate teaching qualification after January 2017 are encouraged to apply.  

Financial incentives are also available for qualified teachers who take-up positions in kindergarten services that are delivering funded universal kindergarten programs for three-year-olds from 2020.

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Early childhood scholarships and incentives program guidelines

For a full list of early childhood education qualifications approved by Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) from Certificate III through to postgraduate qualifications, see: approved early childhood qualifications

Early childhood teacher scholarships and employment milestone payments
(bachelor degree and postgraduate qualifications)

This scholarship is for eligible individuals wanting to study to become an early childhood teacher. This is open to those who have never worked or studied in early childhood as well as current educators looking to upskill. People who are already studying an approved bachelor or post-graduate qualification and commenced study after January 2017 can also apply for a scholarship.

Apply for this scholarship on the early childhood scholarships and incentives application portal

Early childhood Aboriginal pathway scholarships and employment milestone payments
(certificate III to postgraduate level qualifications)

This scholarship is for eligible Aboriginal people wanting to become an early childhood educator or early childhood teacher, including those looking to upskill.

Those completing vocational training must enrol in one of the following eligible courses:

  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)
  • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113).

The study component of scholarships will not be available for the Certificate III in and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care being studied in a TAFE setting once these courses become funded courses through the free TAFE initiative in 2020. For further information, see: Free TAFE

Aboriginal people studying a free TAFE course can however apply for a scholarship to receive employment milestone payments at the completion of their course.

Scholarships for the Certificate III and Diploma qualifications will continue to be available for Aboriginal people studying at non-TAFE registered training organisations.

Apply for this scholarship on the early childhood scholarships and incentives application portal

Hear from students and teachers talking about becoming an early childhood teacher in the videos below.

Early childhood teacher incentives

Employment incentives are available to attract qualified teachers to work in the initial six roll-out local government areas for subsidised kindergarten for three-year-olds:

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

The locations where incentives are available will change each year in line with the roll-out of funded kindergarten for three-year-olds. For further information about the roll-out schedule after 2021, see: Kindergarten for three-year-old children

To be eligible to receive an incentive payment, early childhood teachers must:

  • be registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching
  • provide confirmation from their employer that they are filling a vacancy at a service that is rolling out a funded kindergarten program for three-year-olds.

Priority will be given, with available resources, to:

  • people who are not currently working as a kindergarten teacher in a roll-out area
  • people taking on positions with higher working hours, such as full time roles. 

Teachers do not need to have received a scholarship to be eligible for an incentive payment. Additionally, eligible teachers may receive both a scholarship and an incentive payment.

Apply for this incentive on the early childhood scholarships and incentives application portal

Existing and past scholarship recipients

Scholarships and incentives are delivered by Early Childhood Australia Victoria Branch on behalf of the Department of Education and Training.

For more information, please contact 1300 651 662 or email: