Another $250,000 in grant funding is being made available to assist local governments to attract and retain early childhood educators in regional Western Australia.
Following a successful take-up of the Attraction and Retention Packages for Regional Child Care Workers Program in 2021-22, the State Government is running the program again in 2022-23.
Under the program, funding of up to $25,000 is available for individual local government authorities to deliver a range of initiatives to attract and retain childcare workers, including subsidised accommodation, relocation costs, and professional development for existing staff.
Local government authorities are encouraged to work in partnership with local early childhood education and care services to develop projects and apply for funding. Applications must be lodged by the local government authority.
Fourteen initiatives were funded in 2021-22, including:
- subsidised local accommodation in the Shire of Mingenew;
- financial support for formal training and professional development in the Shire of Dardanup; and
- a recruitment drive targeting school leavers and qualified educators in the Shire of Wongan-Ballidu.
Applications for the Attraction and Retention Packages for Regional Child Care Workers Program open on Monday, 28 November 2022 and close on Wednesday, 1 February 2023.
More information about the program can be found on the Department of Communities website.
To support local governments that are considering applying, the Department of Communities has collaborated with WALGA to develop a grant writing webinar. The webinar will be held on Monday, 5 December 2022 and registrations are being taken via the WALGA website.
As stated by Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
“Regional WA has many small, volunteer managed early childhood education and care services that face unique challenges in attracting and retaining suitably qualified staff.
“Last year these grants funded recruitment drives, subsidised accommodation, and financial support for training – all great incentives to bring early childhood educators to the regions.
“Retaining and attracting quality early childhood educators has a huge benefit for regional towns – it allows parents to return to work and is so important for children’s socialisation. I would encourage regional local governments trying to attract staff to apply.”