NSW Nationals Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has announced a new Early Childhood Education scholarship program to increase the number of qualified early childhood teachers, in line with the NSW Nationals in the state government’s Early Childhood Education Workforce Strategy.

The NSW Nationals know how important dedicated and passionate early childhood educators are, and we’re proud to be recognising their positive contribution to improving outcomes for children in NSW.

“These scholarships support the NSW Nationals in the state government’s vision of a highly qualified and sustainable workforce which meets the needs of children and families, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those in regional and remote locations as well as children with additional needs,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Supporting high quality candidates to study and take up careers as early childhood educators is key to our commitment to ensure children across NSW have access to quality early education wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.”

Ms Mitchell said early childhood educators play a critical role in children’s development. Attending early learning services teaches children social skills, practical skills and early literacy.

“Our early childhood educators are there guiding children, building their confidence and helping them make sense of the world around them,” Ms Mitchell said.

Successful applicants will be offered a scholarship of up to $20,000 to undertake or complete an approved early childhood teaching degree qualification recognised by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)External link. Up to 40 scholarships will be awarded each year for three years.

Scholarships will be prioritised to meet emerging workforce needs including those already employed in eligible early childhood education services, Aboriginal people, those in regional and remote areas and/or those with high numbers of disadvantaged children. Applications close October 4.