Industry partnership to grow early childhood education and care workforce

The McGowan Government is partnering with Western Australia’s early childhood education and care sector to pilot a Job Ready pre-employment program leading the way to attract and upskill more early childhood educators for the local workforce.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready Program is the latest in a suite of new skill sets developed in collaboration with WA industries to deliver short, sharp training for job seekers and young people, enabling them to upskill or reskill in industries with a need for skilled workers. It combines a short course with a work placement to introduce participants to an early childhood educator’s working environment.

The entry level program also includes wrap around support to reduce barriers for participants and guide them to completion of their training. The first three cohorts of students are starting the program this month through North Metropolitan TAFE in Leederville, registered training organisation Meerilinga Training College in West Leederville, and North Regional TAFE (NR TAFE) in the Kimberley.

Childcare centre playground

The program is being offered either full time or part time to cater to the needs of identified job seeker cohorts. For example, Year 12 school leavers in the metropolitan area are undertaking the program full time for five weeks, while mothers returning to work in the Kimberley region are participating on a part time basis for 10 weeks. Graduates of the program gain credits towards a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and are supported to transition into a traineeship with an employer or undertake further training to become fully qualified early childhood educators.

The program complements a suite of training and workforce initiatives the McGowan Government has introduced to support the sector, which include:

  • $1 million in local government grants to assist with attracting and retaining childcare workers;
  • significantly reduced course fees for the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and a range of other care qualifications through the Lower fees, local skills initiative; and
  • low-fee existing worker traineeships for childcare workers.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready Program is a unique collaboration between the State Government, NR TAFE, Community Skills WA, Broome Local Jobs, and local industry. It is being delivered as an outreach program at Broome CIRCLE to provide local mothers returning to work with access to crèche facilities while they complete the training. Participants will also be supported by Nyamba Baru Yawuru through their Warrmijala Murrgurlayi (Rise up to Work), Sustainable Employment Program.

Job Ready programs are part of the State Government’s $5.5 billion investment in WA Recovery Plan initiatives to upskill the WA workforce and enhance employment and training opportunities following the COVID-19 outbreak. The training is free for job seekers of all ages, young people and eligible school students.

Employers of students who transition into traineeships will be able to access State and Australian Government incentives or wage subsidies. You can register your interest in the program on the Jobs and Skills WA website or call 08 6551 5049 or email

“The Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready program offers practical support to encourage Western Australians to start or restart their careers as early childhood educators." says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “There has never been a better time to join WA’s early childhood education and care sector, which is in need of more workers, provides an essential service for Western Australians and their families, and supports our economy. Like many of the McGowan Government’s new training initiatives, this program has been designed to address barriers to participation in training and the workforce. “It will also link participants to employers and job and further training opportunities, helping to set them up for their new career.”

Read the full media statement here