19 May 2014
LONG day care services in the New England Electorate can apply to share in the largest-ever investment in the professional development of their educators.
Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said applications for the Abbott Government’s $200 million Long Day Care Professional Development Programme (LDCPDP) were now open.
Mr Joyce said all long day care services were eligible to apply, with additional support for early childhood teachers, as well as services located in regional, rural and remote communities, to help tackle skills shortages in both areas.
“The Abbott Government is committed to delivering high-quality child care for our children. This program will help services with the cost of up-skilling and training educators to meet the requirements of the National Quality Framework,” Mr Joyce said.
“This will also help address the growing number of staff waivers being applied for as a result of Labor forcing too much change, too soon onto services.
“This a much fairer and more equitable option than the dodgy Labor union slush fund it replaced as it will benefit all long day care workers, not just a select few.
“The Abbott Government recognises how difficult it is to hire and retain child care educators in regional, rural and remote communities, let alone meeting continually increasing qualification requirements introduced by Labor. That’s why we’re helping these services with additional support to help them tackle their skills shortages.”
Mr Joyce said services would be able to claim up to $10,450 per full-time equivalent educator, with a base of $3750 per FTE and additional loadings for early childhood teachers ($2300), and regional ($4100) and very remote educators ($4400).
The LDCPDP will use remaining funds from Labor’s controversial Early Years Quality Fund (EYQF), which was shut down after being found to be a vehicle for union recruitment. The EYQF is currently under examination by the Auditor General.
Mr Joyce said the Government had made the application process as simple as possible so it did not add to red tape, whilst also still ensuring accountability, including:
Providers are able to apply online at the Mychild website.
Providers will lodge applications on behalf of all their educators.
Providers with multiple services (10 or more) will only have to apply once.
It will not be a competitive ‘first-in, first-served’ like Labor’s EYQF.
Providers experiencing difficulties can contact Department of Education on 1800 020 212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications close 5pm (AEST) Friday 13 June 2014.