Victoria opens fast-tracked university course for early childhood educators

Victoria opens fast-tracked university course for early childhood educators

The government of Victoria has opened a fast-tracked university course to Diploma-qualified early childhood educators.

Victoria’s Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt announced that applications are now open for the second cohort of the Innovative Initial Teacher Education university program at Deakin University.

In a statement, the state government said that the program is part of a $6.9 million initiative with the university to “give educators the opportunity to boost their skills and help to fill the high-priority positions.”

The program enables qualified early childhood educators to compress the three-year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education down to just 18 months through Deakin University’s intensive trimester model of study.

“Aspiring early childhood teachers will be able to complete the course through an employment-based model – combining paid on-the-job employment at an early childhood service while studying,” the state government said in a statement. “Financial support packages of $30,000 are also available for participating early childhood educators to help cover course fees and materials, as well as help with living expenses while they study.”

According to Stitt, the initiative will “gives educators the opportunity to upskill and become teachers ─ progressing their career paths and ensuring there are more teachers ready to deliver three-year-old kindergarten.”

“This investment will remove financial barriers and support educators ready to take the next step in their career ─ boosting their skill set despite the challenges of the pandemic,” Stitt said.