From July 2023, early childhood education and care (ECEC) services can get a subsidy to support early childhood teachers (ECT) to complete the practicum components of their degree.
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The paid practicum subsidy helps:
- services support educators to become qualified ECTs
- student educators to complete a practicum while receiving paid leave.
Under Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) guidelines, an ECT student cannot complete all their practicum at their ECEC workplace. This can be challenging for some, particularly students in rural and remote areas with few or no other services nearby.
Initially, the subsidy prioritises particular groups, including:
- services and staff in regional, remote and very remote locations
- First Nations services and educators.
How it works
The subsidy can be used to:
- give educators paid leave while undertaking their practicum
Staff cannot apply for the subsidy directly. The application must come from their service.
The subsidy amount is:
- based on the number of days they forecast for their staff to undertake paid practicums
- available for up to 20 days per student per semester.
Practicums must start between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024 to qualify. These practicums may continue beyond 30 June 2024.
Services will be reimbursed quarterly. Payments start from September 2023.
In 2023–24 the subsidy will be delivered through the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) system. Payments in later years will be made through the Community Grants Hub.
In the 2023–24 financial year, priority will be given to particular groups, including services in inner regional, outer regional, remote or very remote areas.
First Nations ECEC services are also eligible for the subsidy. Any service with First Nations staff is also eligible to apply for the subsidy to support First Nations staff to complete their training.
Services must run a CCS-approved service.
Staff are eligible if they:
- work for an eligible service
- are full-time, part-time or casual
- worked more than 40 hours in the preceding 3 months with that service.
To be eligible, staff must be undertaking an ECT degree-level qualification as recognised by ACECQA at the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Level 7. For example:
- Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (Birth to 5)
- Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (Birth to 8)
- Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (Birth to 12)
- equivalent ECEC degree-level qualification.
Staff undertaking postgraduate ECT qualifications as recognised by ACECQA at the AQF Level 8 and 9 are also eligible. This includes:
- graduate certificates, such as a Graduate Certificate in Education (Early Childhood)
- graduate diploma, such as a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching
- master’s degree, such as a Master of Early Childhood Education.
Find information about AQF qualifications on ACECQA’s website.
How to apply
In July 2023, eligible services will receive invitations for the paid practicum subsidy.
If you think you might be eligible, you should read the subsidy guidelines before invitations go out.
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