More than 5,500 aspiring early childhood educators are set to receive a financial boost as the NSW Government announces a new scholarship program.
The NSW Government is investing $23.5 million to provide scholarships worth up to $3,000 for students studying a Certificate III and up to $5,000 for a Diploma qualification.
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the new VET scholarships are part of the NSW Government’s $281.6 million package announced in the Budget early this year to attract, retrain and support early childhood educators and teachers in NSW.
“Our early childhood workforce is critical to delivering a quality early learning for our youngest learners, and these scholarships will help attract and retain this important workforce,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The scholarships will work in conjunction with the 25,000 fee-free places for a Cert III or Diploma qualification, which means scholarship recipients will receive a cash boost to support their studies in addition to not having to pay course fees.
“I encourage our existing Certificate III workforce to take up this extra support on offer, whether you’re in the public, private, long day care, preschool, family day care or outside school hours care (OSHC) sectors.
“Early childhood education and care professionals make all the difference to the lives of children and families in NSW, and this new initiative will help this critical workforce to grow and upskill.”
Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the scholarships will work in conjunction with the 25,000 fee-free training places for a Certificate III or Diploma qualifications.
“Since August, the NSW Government has delivered thousands of fee-free places to bolster the pipeline of skilled and job-ready workers for the early childhood education sector,” Mr Henskens said.
“These scholarships will help people upskill and provide a welcome cash boost to assist with their studies, which in turn supports their ongoing education and employment pathways.”
The scholarship round will be open from 15 November 2022 to 15 January 2023.
The NSW Government has committed $15.9 billion to deliver a brighter future for every child in NSW through a revolutionary transformation of early childhood education, child development and women’s economic participation over the next decade. Through the introduction of a universal pre-Kindergarten year, the Brighter Beginnings initiative, workforce package and affordable preschool funding, the Liberals and Nationals Government are ensuring NSW is the best state to live, work and raise a family.
Current and aspiring educators are encouraged to explore the new dedicated Early Childhood Careers section of the Department of Education’s website by visiting education.nsw.gov.au/EarlyChildhoodCareers.