Financial support to study and work in early childhood

Financial support in the form of scholarships and employment incentives is available for people looking for a rewarding career in the early childhood sector.

There is a range of generous scholarships available, whether you are starting your study, upskilling as an educator, or already studying an early childhood teaching qualification.

Financial incentives of between $9,000 and $50,000 are available for early childhood teachers to take up positions in services delivering the nation-leading Three-Year-Old Kindergarten reform.

Register your interest to learn more about the incentives available for the state-wide roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in 2022.

Three-Year-Old Kindergarten will create more than 6,000 new early childhood education jobs across Victoria, including over 4,000 teachers and 2,000 educators.

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Scholarships and financial incentives available

Accelerated early childhood education program

Educators looking to take the next step in their career can apply for the accelerated Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Deakin University.

This innovative degree program means Victorian educators can upskill to become an early childhood teacher in 18 months, instead of three years, through Deakin’s trimester model of delivery.

The program is open to anyone with a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, or an equivalent qualification, and who is currently employed by a service that delivers (or intends to deliver) a funded kindergarten program.

Eligible participants also receive extra support within early childhood services, including mentorship and time release for study.

Visit the Deakin University website to find out more.

Early childhood scholarships and incentives program

This scholarship is for eligible individuals wanting to study a bachelor degree or postgraduate qualification to become an early childhood teacher.

Who can apply

Applications are open to:

How to apply

Apply for this scholarship on the early childhood scholarships and incentives application portal

Early childhood Aboriginal pathway scholarships

This scholarship is for eligible Aboriginal people wanting to become an early childhood educator or early childhood teacher, including those looking to upskill.

Those completing vocational training must enrol in one of the following eligible courses:

  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)
  • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113).

The study component of scholarships will not be available for the Certificate III in and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care being studied in a TAFE setting once these courses become funded courses through the free TAFE initiative in 2020. For further information, see: Free TAFE

Aboriginal people studying a free TAFE course can however apply for a scholarship to receive employment milestone payments at the completion of their course.

Scholarships for the Certificate III and Diploma qualifications will continue to be available for Aboriginal people studying at non-TAFE registered training organisations.

How to apply

Apply for this scholarship on the early childhood scholarships and incentives application portal

Victorian early childhood teacher incentives

Financial incentives valued from $9,000 to $50,000 are available to attract qualified early childhood to work in services delivering Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.

There are two types of incentives available:

  • Individual incentives of $9,000 are available for eligible qualified early childhood teachers working outside the Victorian early childhood sector to take up a position at any service delivering Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
  • Location incentives of between $9,000 to $50,000 are available for qualified early childhood teachers who secure new roles at selected services.

A relocation supplement of between $2,000 and $6,000 will be available to any eligible incentive recipient who relocates more than 200km from their current place of residence.

The locations where incentives are available include the following local government areas:

  • Alpine Shire
  • ​Ararat Rural City
  • ​Bass Coast Shire
  • ​Baw Baw Shire
  • ​Benalla Rural City
  • ​Buloke Shire
  • ​Campaspe Shire
  • ​Central Goldfields Shire
  • ​Colac-Otway Shire
  • ​Corangamite Shire
  • ​East Gippsland Shire
  • ​Gannawarra Shire
  • ​Glenelg Shire
  • ​Greater Shepparton City
  • ​Hindmarsh Shire
  • ​Horsham Rural City
  • ​Indigo Shire
  • ​Latrobe City
  • ​Loddon Shire
  • ​Mansfield Shire
  • ​Mildura Rural City
  • ​Moira Shire
  • ​Moorabool Shire
  • ​Mount Alexander Shire
  • ​Moyne Shire
  • ​Murrindindi Shire
  • ​Northern Grampians Shire
  • ​Pyrenees Shire
  • ​South Gippsland Shire
  • ​Southern Grampians Shire
  • ​Strathbogie Shire
  • ​Swan Hill Rural City
  • ​Towong Shire
  • ​Wangaratta Rural City
  • ​Warrnambool City
  • ​Wellington Shire
  • ​West Wimmera Shire
  • ​Yarriambiack Shire

Eligibility and how to apply

To be eligible to be considered for an incentive all applicants must:

  • apply for an incentive via the early childhood scholarships and incentives application portal within 30 days of accepting a position
  • be registered or provide evidence of eligibility to register as an early childhood teacher with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)
  • provide confirmation from their employer that they are filling a vacancy at a service that is delivering or planning to deliver a funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program
  • not have previously received an Early Childhood Teacher Incentive (ECTI) or Teacher Financial Incentive (TFI)
  • be contracted for a minimum of 12 months in an early childhood teaching role at the service
  • be eligible to work in Australia for the full duration of their employment contract
  • meet the eligibility requirements of the ‘individual’ or ‘location’ incentive as per the guidelines

Teachers do not need to have received a scholarship to be eligible for an incentive payment. Additionally, eligible teachers may receive both a scholarship and an incentive payment.

Program guidelines

Choosing a career in early childhood

Hear from students and teachers talking about becoming an early childhood teacher in the videos below.

More information

Scholarships and incentives are delivered by BUSY At Work on behalf of the Department of Education and Training.

For more information, contact 1300 161 396 or email: EC.Financial.Support@education.vic.gov.au