The Andrews Labor Government is offering scholarships to aspiring kinder teachers.

Member for Werribee Tim Pallas encouraged Werribee District residents to consider pursuing careers in early childhood education, with an additional $3.82 million available in scholarships and incentives to start supporting those pursuing careers in this rewarding field.

Early childhood education is one of Victoria’s fastest growing professions, with more teachers and support staff needed as the Labor Government delivers universal three-year-old kindergarten for all children.

The roll-out of nearly $5 billion for this program begins in 2020. Over the next decade, every Victorian child will have access to a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder.

This package is part of a $92.4 million investment in workforce initiatives to attract aspiring early childhood teachers and retain them, which includes establishing a pool of mentors to support new teachers and holding four early childhood teacher conferences to support graduate teachers at the start of their careers.

This money will help cover costs including course fees, study materials and financial support in the early years of their career.

The roll out of three-year-old kinder is expected to create almost 7,000 jobs. More than 4,000 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators are needed as the program expands statewide.

To apply, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/professionals/profdev/Pages/scholarships.aspx

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“Introducing universal three-year-old kindergarten is one of the biggest social reforms in Victoria’s history. There’s never been a better time to be an early childhood teacher, and change children’s lives for the better.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas

“For Werribee residents considering a career change into kindergarten teaching, now is the time. These scholarships will help to cover the costs of study and provide incentives to get started in a new career.”