Victorian Premier announces $9.2 million ECT support package
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews visited Charlton and District Kindergarten late last week to announce a $9.2 million package to support early childhood teachers at the beginning of their careers, to support the roll out of the $5 billion decade-long reform to deliver a full 15 hours of Three-Year-Old Kinder.
The roll out of Three-Year-Old Kinder is expected to create around 6,000 jobs, of which 4,000 will be early childhood teachers (ECTs), and 2,000 additional early childhood educators as the program expands state-wide.
Over $92 million was allocated in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 towards supporting, training and recruiting the required teachers and educators to support the expanded offering, including scholarships of up to $34,000 for those studying an early childhood teaching qualification and incentive payments of up to $9,000 for those who choose to teach in roll-out areas.
In terms of future proofing the initiative, and ensuring a steady supply of educators and ECTs moving forward, the Victorian Government has also added the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Certificate III in Early Childhood Education to the Free TAFE list.
The $9.2 million New Workforce Package will give new early childhood teaching graduates professional development and mentoring support and includes grants of up to $2,872 to support Provisionally Registered Teachers progress to full registration, which can be challenging for those in standalone kinders and in more rural locations where they are often some distance from experienced mentors to support them through the process.
Professional development and networking opportunities are also supported, with funds to support attendance for new teachers.
Placement opportunities are also supported in the funding package, which has allocated $2.8 million for new partnerships between universities and the early childhood sector.
Source: The Sector