The NSW Government is supercharging the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, supporting families with better access to world-class services, through a $281 million package in the 2022/23 Budget.
This package is designed to boost the supply of early childhood teachers and educators and includes new higher education and vocational education and training (VET) scholarships of up to $20,000. In addition, there will be employer supplements for staff retention and partnerships with tertiary and VET providers to create new pathways into early childhood careers.
Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres said NSW is leading the way on improvements for our youngest learners and their early childhood education, and that having quality educators is key to that.
“Early learning professionals are invaluable. The work they do sets our children up for brighter futures, which is why we are making a record investment in the early childhood education and care workforce,” Stuart Ayres said.
“Increasing the early childhood workforce will increase access to high quality early childhood education and care, give families greater choice and give more children the best start in life.
“I welcome this investment from the NSW Liberals and Nationals that supports families in Penrith and ensures a brighter future for NSW.”
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said this significant investment underscores the commitment of the Liberals and Nationals Government to the ECEC sector and will create lasting benefits now and into the future for NSW children, families and the economy.
“I have had many conversations with early childhood teachers and educators, peak bodies, service directors, and stakeholders about the need to invest in our early childhood education and care workforce, and I am so proud that the NSW Government is delivering that support in spades today,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Growing and supporting our workforce will help ensure our youngest learners develop strong educational foundations ahead of starting school and have the opportunity to thrive as lifelong learners.”
The system stewardship initiative will also enable the Department of Education to develop the data capabilities to understand key drivers of ECEC access, quality and affordability in NSW. It will also develop an ECEC sector support network to provide more information and support to services.