ELACCA welcomes skills and training boost for early learning workforce

Media Release

3 May 2023

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement today, providing $72.4 million over five years to support the skills and training of workers in the early childhood education and care sector.

The funding, to be provided in the 2023-24 Federal Budget, enables much-needed support for early childhood educators to progress their careers, and continues to build a sustainable and quality early learning and care workforce across Australia. 

“Workforce shortages are placing increasing pressure on all parts of the early learning and 
care sector,” ELACCA CEO Elizabeth Death said.

“Thousands of qualified early learning educators and teachers are needed to meet existing vacancies across the country. Unless we address these staffing shortfalls, more children will continue to be unable to access early learning at their most critical period of development.

“This of course, directly impacts the workforce participation of many parents and carers, particularly women.” 

The funding provides support to attract and retain early childhood educators to our workforce and uplift capacity and qualifications, including:
– backfill support for up to 75,000 early childhood staff (educators, teachers and centre directors)
while they upskill, and undertake important professional development opportunities.
– support for 6000 existing early childhood educators to complete teaching placements required by degree teacher education courses.
– 2,000 early childhood educators capacity to undertake a practicum exchange at a different service, with a living allowance for students undertaking a practicum in a rural or remote location.

“ELACCA is very supportive of this suite of initiatives for our early learning and care workforce. The package responds directly to our evidence about the key challenges that prevent early childhood educators from undertaking further professional development and will uplift and build capacity in the sector, at a time when it is most needed.” 

“Quality early education and care can only be provided by a quality, qualified and valued workforce. This announcement will continue to support professional recognition and uplift of our sector,” Ms Death said.

“While we applaud this initiative, we must not lose sight of the most urgent element of workforce attraction and retention, and that is the partnership and investment between government and the sector to support a much-needed uplift of wages for the early learning and care workforce.”

Additional $18m in grants funding through the Community Child Care Fund for providers to establish a service in an area of limited supply is also a welcome investment.

ELACCA looks forward to working with the Australian Government as these important initiatives are implemented.


For more information please contact:
Sally Maddison
Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA)
PO Box 348
Annandale NSW 2038
Mob: 0498 228 762
E: [email protected]

About us:
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) was established to promote the 
value of quality early learning and care as an integral part of Australia’s education system. 
Our 19 CEO members include some of the largest early learning providers in the country, 
representing both not-for-profit and for-profit services. ELACCA members operate 1,997 long 
day care services, 321 preschool/kindergarten services and 69 OSHC services, covering 
every state and territory. They offer one-quarter of all the early learning places in Australia. 
Together, our members serve 336,000 children and their families, and employ more than 
53,000 staff.

As well as promoting the value of quality early learning and the need for greater public 
investment, ELACCA advocates for the right of all children to access quality early learning 
and care, particularly children facing disadvantage. We do this by drawing on the knowledge 
and practical experience of our members and representing their views to decision makers in 
government, the media and the public.