Boost to early childhood education and care workforce

The Hon Dr Anne Aly MP
Minister for Early Childhood Education
Minister for Youth
The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education
The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

Australia’s early childhood education and care sector has grown by more than 14,000 workers since May 2022, with a further 123,000 additional educators and teachers in the training pipeline.

These encouraging figures come as the first payments from the Albanese Government’s $72.4 million Early Childhood Education Workforce package are delivered, helping to retain the existing highly skilled early learning workforce.

The workforce package will benefit more than 80,000 early childhood educators across the life of the program, with a targeted focus on regional and remote services and First Nations organisations.

The package is enabling positions to be backfilled while early childhood educators, teachers and centre directors undertake professional development opportunities.

The funding is also helping existing educators upskill by providing financial support to help complete on-the-job teaching placements required by teacher education courses.

Additionally, early childhood educators are being supported to undertake a practicum exchange at a different service, with a living allowance for students undertaking a practicum in a rural or remote location.

More than 1,200 early childhood education and care services have already received payments to support professional development and training opportunities for more than 15,000 educators.

Shaped by engagement with the sector, the workforce package is another way the Albanese Government is recognising the professionalism of early childhood educators.

TAFE is playing a significant role in securing a sustainable early childhood education workforce into the future, with 113,000 people enrolled in a Certificate III or Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care.

The Albanese Government’s successful Fee-Free TAFE program is helping encourage people into the sector, with the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care the most popular Fee-Free TAFE course.

Through Fee-Free TAFE, the Government has slashed fees for Australians training in the early childhood education and care ensuring a stronger workforce.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly:

“It’s wonderful to see growth in such a vital workforce which has been struggling with shortages for several years.

“We’re working with states and territories along with the sector and unions to build a quality and sustainable early childhood education sector Australia needs.

“Improving the capacity and capability of services is vital to delivering the quality early childhood education sector that families rely on.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“The first five years of a child’s life are everything and our early educators and teachers play an important role in preparing our young people for school.

“There are more educators and teachers in our early education and care sector than ever before, but we need even more.

“That’s why our Early Childhood Education Workforce package is so important to retain the existing workforce and why Fee-Free TAFE is so important to help attract more workers.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor:

“The early childhood sector is a key target for our Fee-Free TAFE program, which slashes training fees in priority sectors to get Australia the skilled workers it needs.

“A future early childhood educator studying a Cert III in Early childhood Education and Care at TAFE in SA can save up to $4,118 because of Fee-Free TAFE.

“From 2024, the Government has also committed to funding 300,000 further fee-free training places across priority sectors including early childhood education.”

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