If you’re in Victoria and you’ve been researching your government-funded course options, or looking into what government funding is available to you for your early childhood education and care course, you have probably come across Skills First funding. The jargon can be confusing, so let’s do away with get clear on answers to questions like ‘What is Skills First funding?’, and ‘How can I access Skills First funding?’.
What is Skills First funding?
The Skills First Program gives eligible Victorian students access to government funding to undertake child care courses at TAFEs and reputable private training providers such as Practical Outcomes.
Skills First Funding is state-level funding, meaning that if you are eligible, the Victorian Government will pay for some or all of the course fees for your chosen course. Other states have their own funding programs, so if you’re studying in a different state Skills First funding will not be available to you.
How do I access Skills First funding?
If you want to access Skills First funding, your chosen course and training provider need to be included in the Skills First funding program. This Government-subsidised training is only available through training providers who have a Skills First contract with the Victorian Government.
As a student in Victoria, you could be eligible to access Skills First funding. Contact us here and we will be able to give you an indication of whether you are eligible. Or you can use the Victorian Skills Gateway’s funding eligibility checklist. Generally, to be eligible for a government funded training place, you need to meet these criteria:
- Have physical presence in Victoria while undertaking the Qualification
- Be Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen
- Commence a maximum of 2 government subsidised courses in a year
- Undertake a maximum of 2 government subsidised courses at any one time
- Commence a maximum of 2 government subsidised courses at the same level within the AQF in their lifetime
- All candidates under 20 years of age
- Candidates 20 years and older and ‘upskilling’ by seeking to enrol in a course at a higher level than their existing qualification
What courses are available under Skills First Funding?
The government chooses to fund courses which they see as high priority or growth sectors. Because of this, early childhood education and care courses are often funded by the Australian Government.
So, if you meet the above criteria, there’s a good chance your child care course could be funded by Skills First!
What if I’m not eligible?
Not everybody meets the eligibility requirements for Skills First Funding. But that doesn’t mean your quest for a fulfilling career should end there. Many training providers offer other payment options such as interest-free student loans to help fund your course.
Find out what other payment options the provider you are considering has if you are not eligible for Skills First Funding.
Don’t be overwhelmed — get in touch!
Stop Googling funding and give us a call — we can talk you through it and help you assess your eligibility. As an approved Skills First training provider and highly regarded training organisation across the early childhood education industry, Practical Outcomes is the perfect place to begin or advance your career.