Early Childhood teacher scholarships a positive step

The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch has welcomed Victorian Labor’s election commitment to provide scholarships and incentives to attract and retain teachers in the early years sector.

Victorian Branch President Meredith Peace said the commitment would help address the significant workforce shortage in early childhood education.

“The early years are a time of rapid brain development. From birth to the age of five, we have an opportunity to help set children up for life through high quality, play based learning delivered by qualified early childhood teachers and educators,” Ms Peace said.

“But workforce shortages are putting this opportunity at risk.”

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver 700 scholarships between $12,000 and $34,000 to help people qualify as early childhood teachers, and incentives of up to $50,000 for teachers to move into or re-join the early years sector.

“These measures will help attract and retain early childhood teachers to Victorian preschools and early childhood education services.

“However, there is a critical shortage of teachers across public education in Victoria, including public schools and TAFE.

“This shortage puts additional pressure on public school principals, teachers and education support staff – a workforce already experiencing stress, burnout and high levels of turnover.

“This has an unfortunate but unavoidable impact on students, who may miss out on studying particular parts of the curriculum due to the lack of qualified teachers.

“The AEU is calling on all political parties to create bold initiatives and measures to address the teacher shortages in public education, including retention payments, studentships and paid placements,” Ms Peace said.

20 November 2022