The McGowan Government has delivered a $1 million election commitment to boost early childhood education and care services in regional Western Australia.
The grant funding is being made available over four years to assist local governments attract and retain staff, which will in turn help providers offer more childcare places and allow parents and carers to return to work.
Payments of up to $25,000 are available for individual Local Government Authorities to deliver a range of initiatives to attract and retain childcare workers in the regions, including subsidised accommodation, relocation costs, intrastate travel and training and professional development.
Early childhood education and care services in regional WA face unique challenges in attracting and retaining qualified staff. Access to suitable facilities is often through arrangements with local governments.
Child-to-educator ratios are set in legislation and the number of childcare places available at a service is often dependent on the number of staff available.
For more information on the grants and to make an application visit https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/attraction-and-retention-packages-regional-childcare-workers-program
As stated by Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
“Parents and carers in regional areas sometimes face long waiting times to get places in childcare services, with the number of places often dependent on the availability of staff.
“This $1 million State Government funding package will help local governments attract and retain childcare workers, in turn giving more parents and carers access to childcare so they can return to work.
“This is especially important in regional towns where there are greater challenges in finding workers and the choice of early childhood education and care services on offer can be limited.
“By delivering this important election commitment, the McGowan Government is not only bolstering early childhood education and care services, but providing important benefits to children, working parents and regional communities.”