Early childhood workforce

The Australian Government has a range of initiatives to support the early childhood education and care sector attract, develop and retain high-quality educators and early childhood teachers.

On this page:

National Workforce Strategy

A 10-year National Children’s Education and Care Workforce strategy, Shaping Our Future, was released by ACECQA in October 2021. The strategy aims to foster a sustainable and high-quality workforce of early childhood teachers and educators for the future.

Learn more about the National Workforce Strategy.

National Workforce Census

The National Workforce Census provides quality information for developing and measuring policies and programs for the sector. The census collects data about service use, children with extra needs, access to preschool programs, and staffing.

Learn more about the National Workforce Census.

Support for providers

Pre-employment projects

The Launch into Work program can help early childhood education and care services identify job seekers with the right values and attributes for a role in early childhood.

Job seekers can develop their skills and experience through a pre-employment project.

Projects are co-designed to ensure employer and job seeker needs are met. These projects include training, work experience and mentoring to help job seekers move into sustainable employment.

Learn more about the Launch into Work program.

Find job seekers in your region

The Local Jobs Program focuses on upskilling, reskilling and establishing employment pathways for job seekers at the local level.

Employment facilitators are available to work with early childhood education and care services and other local stakeholders to develop employment and training opportunities in their region.

Learn more about the Local Jobs Program.

Workforce Contact Centre

The Workforce Contact Centre can help early childhood education and care services fill entry level positions. 

They can work with you to:

  • advertise vacancies on the department’s Jobs Hub or help you advertise on the jobactive jobs board
  • connect you with employment services or Apprenticeship Network providers in your area who can pre-screen their caseloads for suitable job seekers
  • provide information and connections to government programs such as those that offer wage subsidies, free work experience insurance and funding for essential training, and
  • develop workforce solutions such as through the Launch into Work pre-employment program.

To get in touch, email workforce@dese.gov.au.

Support for educators and early childhood teachers

Financial help for very remote teachers

Early childhood teachers at very remote Centre Based Day Care services with Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debts may be eligible for financial assistance.

The Australian Government provides two types of assistance. We can:

  • waive indexation on accumulated HELP debt
  • reduce accumulated HELP debt.

Learn more about financial assistance for very remote teachers.

Relocation assistance

The Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program assists eligible participants to relocate to take up an offer of employment. Relocation assistance helps participants accept work outside of their area by removing the financial barriers that can prevent people relocating.

Learn more about the Relocation Assistance to Take up a Job program.

Free or low-fee training courses

The JobTrainer Fund is providing free or low fee additional training places for job seekers and young people to upskill or reskill in areas of skills need. As part of the 2021–22 Federal Budget, the Government committed an additional $500 million to extend the Fund, with matched contributions from states and territories. Subject to state and territory agreement to the extension, training places will be available for anyone enrolling in a childcare qualification, regardless of their age or employment status.

Available courses in early childhood education and care include:

  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)
  • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113)

Learn more about JobTrainer.