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$200m boost to teaching quality at day care centres

A $200 MILLION professional development fund for approved long day care providers will help improve the quality of teaching in long day care centres.

Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley said the funds would be allocated towards helping services with the cost of upskilling and training educators to meet the requirements for the National Quality Framework.

The program, Long Day Care Professional Development, was well received by children's peak bodies, including Early Childhood Australia.

ECA chief executive Samantha Page said any investment to assist services with the cost of adequate training will have a positive effect on the quality of early childhood services.

"It can be difficult for services with tight budgets to provide their employees with the opportunity to access training and development. Enabling educators to attend mid-week sessions can be difficult for providers who need to backfill staff to meet the required staff to child ratios.

"The increased funding for services in rural and remote areas is particularly welcome, recognising the additional challenges these services face in accessing appropriate professional development," she said.

Funding for the program was taken from the former government's planned Early Years Quality Fund, designed to boost wages of early childhood educators.

"Wages are a significant issue within the early childhood education and care sector.

"Despite the relatively high daily fees charged to families, award rates are well below comparable professions, which make it hard to attract and retain staff."

All approved long daycare services would be eligible for funding and they would also receive greater flexibility in how the funds were used to help meet their individual needs.

The funding agreements will be for a total of three years.

Applications open on Monday.

Topics:  day care, early childhood, education




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