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The Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch, which represents teachers in preschools and long day care centres in NSW and the ACT, congratulates the Federal Government for responding to its requests for greater investment in early education and care (ECEC).

Federal Early Education Minister Dr Anne Aly recently announced $72 million will be invested in professional development opportunities for the ECEC workforce. Subsidies will allow teachers to upskill, undertake a practicum exchange and receive a grant for their practicum if they are from a rural, regional or First Nations service.

“This is exciting news. It’s great to know we have a Minister who’s listening,” Mark Northam, Secretary of the Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch, said.

“We are delighted to see these practical and much needed measures being adopted by the Federal Government,” Northam said.

“Following discussions with Dr Aly at the IEU’S Reality Roundtable last November, we compiled a list of actions for the Government to create a more sustainable ECEC workforce,” Northam said. 

“The Government’s investment program responds to our requests,” Mark Northam, Secretary of the Independent Education Union NSW/ACT Branch, said.

“It is heartening to see these initiatives are being backed by government funding. In some cases, this will be make the difference for a teacher finalising their degree,” Northam said. “In the past, teachers have dropped out because they couldn’t afford the time off work to complete their practicum placement.”

The IEU also attended the Federal Government’s Early Years Learning Summits in Canberra and on the Central Coast this year.

“We hope the Government continues to take on board our representations about ECEC and put in place measures to tackle the low pay, workloads issues and teacher shortages which are causing a workforce crisis in this profession,” Northam said.