By CELA on 26 Jun, 2023

The Australian Government announced the Professional Development and Paid Practicum Subsidies (program) as part of the 2023-24 Budget. The program is one of a number of urgent actions to help support the skills and training of early childhood education and care (ECEC) educators by expanding access to quality professional development. 

Applications opened 3 July. 

There are two program streams:  

  • Professional Development Subsidy Stream (for which CELA can provide eligible training) 
  • Paid Practicum Subsidy Stream 

“We’ve been advocating for professional development support for the sector for years, so we’re pleased to see that the government has set aside significant funding to help in areas where it’s most needed,” said CELA CEO Michele Carnegie, in response to the announcement.  

CELA is an eligible provider for this program and can make it easy for you to select PD that meets the critera and best suppoorts the needs of your team (RTO ID: 90842). 



To be eligible for this program, a service must be receiving CCS (as eligibility will be determined through CCS records). This includes long day care, family day-care, in-home care, centre-based day care and outside school hours care services. Preschool and kindergarten services are not eligible to receive this Subsidy.  

(Source: Professional Development and Paid Practicum Subsidy Program Guidelines)

The subsidy is targeted to services that undertake service delivery in one of the following remoteness categories:  

  • Inner regional Australia  
  • Outer regional Australia  
  • Remote Australia  
  • Very remote Australia 
  • First Nations status  

First Nations-owned and controlled services are eligible regardless of location, as defined in Priority Reform Two of the National Agreement Closing the Gap. Further information is available at Closing the Gap 2020: Priority Reform 2 - Building the Community-Controlled Sector. Services in receipt of Community Child Care Fund (Restricted) funding are also eligible. 

Requirements of ECEC staff 

To be eligible, staff must be full-time, part-time or casual staff who have worked more than 40 hours in the preceding three months with that service. Contact staff are defined as those who are part of the adult to child ratio or those who provide direct early childhood education and care, or supervision for children in other care types such as in-home care.  

Any ECEC worker who is the intended beneficiary of the Subsidy must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or hold a valid work visa.  

Staff may commence employment with a service following this subsidy which opened on 3 July 2023 and will still be eligible provided they meet all other criteria. The final date to return an application for consideration under 23-24 guidelines is 10/5/24. 

What the grant covers – Professional Development Subsidy stream 

The grant can be used to cover back-fill of wages (to relieve staff to attend training) OR to provide staff with a supplement to attend paid training outside of normal work hours. 

The grant covers up to 2 days per staff member.

Note: The guidelines state that “funding is not designed to cover the exact cost of a staff member’s wages. The Subsidy will be calculated based on a flat daily rate." Refer to the guidelines for figures.

The objective of the program is to: 

Support up to 22,000 early childhood educators, early childhood teachers and directors (centre managers) to undertake professional development for up to two days.  

The intended outcomes are to: 

  • Improve the skills and training of ECEC staff. This includes by supporting ECEC services to support educators to undertake professional development because those positions must be backfilled to meet legislation and ratio requirements under the National Quality Framework (NQF); and  
  • Upskill the ECEC workforce by building its supply and capacity through professional development training opportunities.  

(Source: Professional Development and Paid Practicum Subsidy Program Guidelines)

Eligible grant activities – Professional Development Subsidy Stream 

Providing staff with a supplement to attend paid training outside of normal work hours.  

Subsidy activity must contribute to a service meeting its obligations under Education and Care Services Regulations or Education and Care Services Law or be focussed on mentoring or leadership. 

This includes: 

  • Training for new starters, including the approved learning frameworks and National Quality Framework induction; 
  • Training for all early childhood educators and early childhood teachers to support mandatory regulation requirements, including first aid, emergency asthma management and anaphylaxis management training, food handling courses, child protection and mandatory reporting requirements; and 
  • Support to participate in a mentoring or leadership program that is delivered through a Registered Training Organisation or Higher Education Provider. 

To find out more about the grant and apply, download to the government's guidelines:  


To explore the eligible PD opportunities provided by CELA, head to our dedicated web page


About CELA

Community Early Learning Australia is a not for profit organisation with a focus on amplifying the value of early learning for every child across Australia - representing our members and uniting our sector as a force for quality education and care.

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