The Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney announced today that local Warrnambool Kindergarten teacher Ms Kara Thompson has received a $12,000 incentive from the Brumby Government for Early Childhood Teachers in Rural Sessional Kindergartens 2008/09.
Ms Tierney congratulated Ms Thompson from the Lions Hopkins Kindergarten on the award and said she was proud to have such a well-qualified and committed teacher working in the local community.
“There is overwhelming evidence that good quality child care and kindergarten have a profound impact on our children’s futures, helping them to develop their talents, skills and abilities to reach their full potential,” She said.
“Local families can be assured that Brumby Government is taking action to provide the best kindergarten and childcare services by supporting early childhood teachers and childcare workers to complete and extend their studies.”
Children and Early Childhood Development Minister Maxine Morand said the scholarships and incentives are part of a $10 million investment in the early years’ workforce.
“These scholarships and incentives will help boost the number of qualified early childhood teachers in long day care and rural kindergartens, as well as increasing the qualifications of child care workers.”
Seventy-nine scholarships for early childhood teacher graduates and childcare workers have been awarded so far in 2009, including:
• 29 incentives of $12,000 each to early childhood teachers to work in a kindergarten program in a long day care centre for two years
• 25 incentives of $6000 to early childhood teachers to work in a rural sessional kindergarten for two years; and
• 25 scholarships worth $6000 to childcare workers already employed in a long day care centre to upgrade their qualifications from a diploma to an early childhood teaching degree.
The Rudd Government is also matching the incentives to early childhood teachers commencing work in disadvantaged areas and committing to stay for at least three years.
Applications are still open for 2009. Information is available at www.education.vic.gov.au\careers\earlychildhood