2021 early childhood teacher career supports

Support for early childhood teachers

The Department is providing a range of supports for early childhood teachers in 2021, designed to help you develop your practice and build your professional identity. We encourage you to visit this page regularly to discover and sign up to new programs as they are released.

Innovation grants to support early career teacher retention (innovation grants)

Innovation Grants from $5,000 up to $30,000 are available for initiatives and/or projects designed to improve the retention of early childhood teachers (ECTs) in the first five years of their careers.

About the innovation grants

The Innovation Grants will provide funding from $5,000 up to $30,000 to approved early childhood education and care services operating in Victoria that deliver a Victorian funded kindergarten program.

Grants will be considered to initiatives that:

  • improve ECT retention in the workforce (in the first five years of their careers)
  • increase the capacity of the early childhood sector to respond to workforce retention issues
  • increase sector engagement and partnerships in the development of workforce solutions


Organisations are eligible to apply for innovation grants if they:

  • provide an approved early childhood education and care service operating in Victoria
  • deliver a Victorian-funded kindergarten program
  • have at least one ECT in the first five years of their career employed in a teaching role at the service (not including casual relief teachers)
  • do not owe any money to the Department as a result of previous funding or grants
  • have the appropriate type and level of insurance for the activities that are the subject of this grant
  • are not receiving funding by other means (including Victorian State Government funding) for the proposed initiative or project.

Consortiums can apply. Consortium applications will be considered, including partnerships with non-early childhood organisations, provided an approved Victorian early childhood service that meets all the eligibility criteria is nominated as the lead organisation. This will allow applicants to combine their capacity, specialist capability and expertise to deliver the Innovation Grant’s desired outcomes.

Out of scope

The following organisations are considered outside of the scope of the Innovation Grants and are not eligible to apply:

  • family day care providers
  • outside school hours care services
  • early childhood education and care services not receiving Victorian kindergarten funding.

Notification of grant outcome

Applications closed Friday 2 July 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.

Applicants will be informed in writing of the outcome of their grant application following the completion of the assessment process in mid to late August 2021.

Any queries about Innovation Grants or the application process can be directed to early.years.workforce.grants@education.vic.gov.au

Program guidelines

Innovation grants to support early career teacher retention guidelines (pdf - 332.81kb)

Innovation grants to support early career teacher retention guidelines (docx - 226.04kb)

Career supports for ECTs in their first five years of teaching

We are funding a new initiative aimed at ECTs in the first five years of their teaching career.

Free supports available include:

  1. For first-year teachers - access to a minimum seven hours of individual coaching
  2. For second and third year teachers - Communities of Practice (CoP)
  3. Alumni Network to help participating teachers stay connected and share their professional growth and expertise after participating in the coaching or CoPs programs.

Register your interest to participate in these free supports.

Webinars for first-year early childhood teachers

We funded a series of free interactive to meet the needs of ECTs in their first months of teaching. These events provided first-year teachers with practical information and tips to help get the most out of this exciting stage of their careers.  These events have now finished. Webinar recordings and Think Sheets will be made available soon.

Term One

Webinar one

Who am I in the world of children? – Cultivating our professional identity with Kirsty Liljegren
[webinar completed - webinar recording and Think Sheet to be available soon]

Webinar two

Relationships with children: being known, being heard with David Gilkes
[webinar completed - webinar recording and Think Sheet to be available soon]

Webinar three

Relationships with peers and colleagues: the key to success with Dr Anne Kennedy
[webinar completed - webinar recording and Think Sheet to be available soon]

Term two

Webinar four

Preparing for your own wellbeing – self-care strategies for the exciting early days of teaching with Lisa Baker [webinar completed - webinar recording and Think Sheet to be available soon]

Webinar five

Managing different approaches to pedagogy with colleagues [webinar completed - webinar recording and Think Sheet to be available soon]

Beginning teacher conferences

Beginning Teacher Conferences will be returning this year for provisionally registered teachers. Participation is free and is only available to provisionally registered teachers.

Due to the COVID-19 circumstances, the conferences are delivered online. We recommend you register for the conference in your region as the same program is delivered at each conference, so you do not need to register for multiple conferences.

The program this year will include presentations on managing differences to pedagogy with colleagues, assessment for learning, and integrating Aboriginal perspectives into your education program. 

The conferences will be held online between 9:30am-3pm on the following dates:

  • 9 August – North-West Victoria
  • 11 August – North-East Victoria
  • 16 August – South-East Victoria
  • 18 August – South-West Victoria

If you are a provisionally registered teacher and would like to attend, visit the beginning teacher conference 2021.

Mentoring for ECTs

Help is available for provisionally registered teachers to be guided through the process to move to full teacher registration with the assistance of a mentor. Visit mentoring for early childhood teachers for more information.

Funding to support provisionally registered ECTs

Funding is available for early childhood services to support provisionally registered ECTs to move to full registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching. Visit funding to support provisionally registered early childhood teachers for more information.

Links to other supports

Financial support to study and work in early childhood - incentives of between $9,000 and $50,000 are available for ECTs to take up positions in regional areas rolling out the nation-leading Three-Year-Old Kindergarten reform in 2021.

School Readiness Funding - a permanent and ongoing part of the Victorian kindergarten funding model. It funds programs and supports that builds the capacity of kindergarten services, educators and families to support children's learning and development outcomes.