Government backs skills boost for Lady Gowrie Qld kindies and early childhood services.
Queensland kindies and early childhood services can now bid for grants from a $3 million pool to boost the skills of their staff.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Plan Your Future Workforce Grants of up to $30,000 aimed to future proof the growing early childhood education sector.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to giving Queensland children the best start and that includes access to quality early childhood education for every child,” she said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how critical the early childhood sector is to our community, and the national need for more qualified people. “The grant funding will allow services to plan for their future workforce needs, support educators to meet national qualification requirements, and assist with staff retention. “We know that staff qualifications can lead to higher quality early learning for children to boost their development and wellbeing. “This is especially so for the wellbeing of children experiencing developmental vulnerabilities.”
Lady Gowrie Queensland provides early childhood education and care to more than 5000 families and children across the state, and the organisation’s chief executive officer Louise Jackson has praised the workforce grants.
“The program is a fantastic initiative that will support educators to complete their qualifications,” Ms Jackson said. “We are particularly pleased that many of these grants will be available to support our services in regional Queensland.”
Ms Grace said the grants would be prioritised for eligible kindergarten services without a qualified early childhood teacher, single or small service providers, and services within economically disadvantaged areas of Queensland.
Funding can be used for paid study leave for educators, tutoring expenses, travel and accommodation costs for staff to complete their subjects or practicums, on computers and software, text books and e-books, and on professional development on leadership or building staff capability in inclusive practice of all children.
Grant applications close on Friday, 12 March 2021 and the Education Department is holding information sessions by teleconference on the funding criteria and application process.