Welcome to 2024

Building and supporting the early childhood workforce is a big priority again this year.

Dear early childhood education and care services

Welcome to 2024!

I hope you all had a safe and happy time over the holidays and feel refreshed and ready for the year ahead.

As we begin the new year, I’d also like to acknowledge that for many Victorians, the holidays were spent dealing with the recent storms and floods in parts of our state, and reiterate the department’s support as affected services take on the task of recovery.

For any early childhood education and care services wanting to know more about preparing for and managing emergencies, please refer to the emergency management in early childhood services webpage.

Last year was a busy time for early childhood education, and 2024 promises to be just as energised.

Since Term 1 commenced, we’ve welcomed more than 130,000 children to Three- and Four-Year-Old Kindergarten for 2024. Victorian Government funding has supported more than 30 kindergartens to be built or expanded by sector partners. A further 30 new kindergarten infrastructure projects delivered by the Victorian Government are opening across the state.

For our Best Start, Best Life reforms, we’ll be responding to last year’s consultation report findings and continuing to attract the more than 11,000 teachers and educators we need over the decade.

To do this, we are expanding pathways to early childhood education careers, supporting upskilling, encouraging more people from all backgrounds to choose a career in early childhood education, and enhancing the transition from study to practice.

You can learn more about how we’re growing our workforce in this month’s article on our early childhood partnerships.

For current leaders, I am looking forward to the inaugural Best Start, Best Life Evening Leadership Series. The series will share the department’s vision for the next stage of the reforms and feature the insights of our guest speakers, which include leaders in early childhood education and care, researchers and leadership experts.

The kick-off event is on Wednesday 6 March 2024 at the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership in North Melbourne, and we’re excited to welcome as many service leaders as are able to join us either in-person or online.

In this edition and the ones to follow, Early Childhood Update will continue to share opportunities available to people already in the sector, as well as those looking to join.

For a summary of the supports available, check out Supporting our workforce through Best Start, Best Life reforms.

As you know, we are also working closely with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to revise the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF). Thank you for your support in attending our focus groups on this revision.

The VCAA has also launched a survey for early childhood professionals, and I invite you to share this article with your colleagues and professional partners, to ensure we reach as many people as possible.

Your expertise makes a significant difference to the lives of children and families in the communities we serve, and I’m looking forward to working with you to continue to lift these outcomes in 2024.

Bronwen FitzGerald
A/Deputy Secretary
Early Childhood Education