Over 400 NSW aspiring early childhood teachers will be incentivised to finish their studies with a cash injection from the government.
Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Friday that 439 early childhood educators are set to receive scholarships totalling almost $11 million, in order to stay in the stretched sector.
“Early learning professionals are invaluable and we need more of them, which is why we are making a record investment in the early childhood education workforce,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This investment of almost $11 million in delivering 439 scholarships will support our commitment to address workforce supply issues and build a sustainable pipeline of early childhood teachers for tomorrow”.
This means that each teacher will receive up to a $25,000 scholarship that also has an Aboriginal Early Childhood Education component.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said one third of the recipients live and work in regional and remote areas across the state.
More than 18,000 prospective early childhood teachers and carers are expected to remain or enter the sector or boost their skills with a $282 million workforce package in this year’s government budget.
Teacher shortage has become a sticking point between the NSW Teachers Federation saying educators’ workloads are unsustainable and pay is not commensurate with rising inflation.
The commitment to education comes after the government announced it will spend $1.4 billion to subsidise preschool from next year, as well as $5 billion over a decade to deliver more childcare places.
The state opposition has initiated an upper house inquiry into the teacher shortage, noting there are nearly 2400 vacancies in NSW.