Local governments across Western Australia have received funding through a $1 million state government grant scheme to attract and retain childcare workers in the region WA.
The scheme, implemented with support from the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), was established in 2021 to help address issues faced by early childhood education and care services in the WA region for find and retain staff.
After the initial funding round of $250,000 generated considerable interest, additional funds were made available.
Funds can be used by regional early childhood education and care services for incentives such as staff training, moving costs and subsidized housing.
Early Childhood Education and Care services can also use the funding to set up work placements, partnerships with local TAFEs and campaigns to attract more people into early childhood education careers. .
Funding can also be used to provide incentives for Aboriginal people to enter the early childhood education and care workforce and to support staff to undertake professional development.
The grant program is part of the state government’s $5.1 million commitment to improve access to early childhood education and care in the WA region.
The McGowan government has also reduced tuition fees for Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care in a bid to increase the supply of early childhood educators across Western Australia.
As Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said:
“Early childhood education and care services are important not only for the socialization and upbringing of children, but also to help parents – especially women – get back to work.
“We know that regional towns can face greater challenges finding workers and that the choice of early childhood education and care services on offer can be limited, and I’m glad to see so many local governments apply for and receive grants that will help bring workers to regional towns.
“Whether it’s funding relocation costs, subsidizing accommodation, and paying for education and training, these initiatives will attract child care workers and ultimately help further parents to return to work in their local communities.
“These grants are part of a $5.1 million commitment by the state government to improve access and affordability of childcare services in the WA region. It’s great for kids and families, and it keeps local communities together.