Early Childhood Free TAFE Courses Get Underway In Colac

More learners across Colac are set to gain a rewarding career in early childhood education, ensuring our youngest Victorians get the best start in life.

Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney today visited South West TAFE’s Colac campus to officially launch the start of the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care courses.

These two courses have been added to the Free TAFE course list this year and are now tuition-fee free for eligible students, thanks to a $28.5 million funding from the Andrews Labor Government.

The Labor Government’s landmark Free TAFE initiative reduces the financial barrier for students wanting to train in courses that lead to jobs in demand from Victorian employers.

Free TAFE has so far been an incredible success, with almost 40,000 students enrolling in Free TAFE courses by the end of 2019.

The increased demand for qualified early childhood educators is due to the roll-out of the Government’s biggest reform in early childhood education in Victoria’s history, providing all three-year-old children access to a funded kindergarten program.

The reform is expected to create more than 6,000 new early childhood teaching jobs, including 2,000 VET-qualified educators and 4,000 degree-qualified teachers by 2029.

Local government areas such as Colac-Otway Shire are among those to benefit from Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in 2021, as part of a progressive roll-out of the program across the state.

Since 2015, the Victorian Government has invested more than $1.3 billion to rebuild the state’s TAFE system and ensure students can get the skills they need for the jobs they want.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney

“Having these courses added to the Free TAFE list is going to give more locals the opportunity to take on a rewarding career educating and caring for our youngest Victorians, including right here in Colac.”

“We’re undergoing the biggest reform to early childhood education in Victoria’s history, giving our three-year-olds an extra year of learning, playing and making friends.”

Quote attributable to South West TAFE CEO Mark Fidge

“Early Childhood education is an incredibly important and rewarding role, and South West TAFE are pleased to be able to offer this training to the Colac and surrounding communities under the Government’s Free TAFE initiative.”