The NSW Government has this morning announced additional support to the early childhood education and care sector, focussed on supporting the early childhood workforce and reducing costs to families.
Measures to support the workforce are contained in a $281.6 million package to be included in the 2022/23 NSW Budget. The package includes early childhood teacher higher education scholarships of up to $25,000, VET scholarships of up to $2,000 and employer supplements for staff retention.
Measures to expand access to high quality, affordable care are contained in a commitment of up to $5 billion over the next decade. With an initial investment of $775 million over the next four years, the Affordable and Accessible Childcare and Economic Participation Fund, which will be established in this year’s budget, includes:
- Grants to childcare providers to expand infrastructure and establish new centres, targeting areas with limited access to childcare centres or where a shortage of childcare places poses the highest disincentive to parents returning to work.
- A focus on supply to complement the Commonwealth’s focus on reforming demand such as changes to Child Care Subsidy.
- Trialling new service models to meet the needs of families.
CCSA welcomes the NSW Government’s continuing and additional support to the early childhood education and care sector, including its recognition that these issues exist across the entire state, not just Sydney.
It is anticipated that further details on implementation of the packages will be announced by the Department of Education in coming days, as well as the State Budget to be handed down on 21 June 2022. CCSA will bring information to our members as soon as it is released.