Incentive Scholarships

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To assist educators currently enrolled in early childhood teaching degrees

The department's 2018 Incentive Scholarships program is designed to support educators who are working in rural and remote NSW to complete their early childhood education degree.

There are 30 scholarships available, at up to $9,000 each.

Applications are open from 18 September to 13 October 2017.  

About the scholarships

The scholarships form part of the department's Rural and Remote Education: A blueprint for action. The action plan is designed to support educators working in rural and remote communities, and areas with an identified shortage of early childhood teachers.

The scholarships will support the delivery of quality preschool programs, by increasing the number of qualified early childhood teachers, working in rural and remote preschools and long day care services.

Eligibility criteria

To apply for an Incentive Scholarship, applicants must:

  • Currently work in a long day care service, or centre-based or mobile preschool in a rural or remote area of NSW
  • Hold an approved diploma qualification in early childhood education, recognised by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
  • Be currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree leading to a four-year university early childhood teaching qualification recognised by ACECQA 
  • Not be receiving any other scholarship funding related to the course
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident

What is a rural or remote service?

Generally, services outside of Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong are classified as rural or remote.

Services with an ARIA + classification of Inner Regional, Outer Regional, Remote or Very Remote are considered to be rural or remote services for this scholarship application. To check whether your service is located in a rural or remote area of NSW, use the Department of Health's remoteness search tool.

A remoteness description is also provided on the NQA ITS database.

The department will assess applicant locations and will make the final decision about whether an applicant is eligible.

If you are unsure about whether your service is located in a rural or remote area, please email

 Scholarship guidelines

  • Successful applicants will be offered a scholarship of up to $9,000 to complete a four-year early childhood teaching degree qualification, such as a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching)
  • The degree must be recognised on ACECQA's Qualifications List of approved early childhood teaching degrees
  • Successful applicants are required to sign a Deed of Agreement setting out the terms and conditions of the scholarship
  • Payments will be made via EFT in instalments over the course of the degree
  • After successful applicants provide official proof of enrolment, the signed Deed of Agreement, and other required documentation, scholarship funds will be paid in instalments upon successful completion of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the whole course
  • Scholarship recipients can decide how best to use the funds to support their studies. This may include, but is not limited to, purchase or hire of textbooks and resources, costs associated with attending study sessions, technology to support study, or course fees
  • Scholarship recipients may defer their study for a maximum of 12 months, with the department's prior approval.
  • To retain the scholarship, recipients must maintain employment in a rural and remote early childhood education service in NSW.

How to apply for a scholarship

Download the application form here (PDF 242KB)

As part of your application, you will be asked to supply:

  • Proof of your diploma in early childhood education
  • A supporting statement
  • A supporting statement from your employer
  • Details of the degree in which you are enrolled
  • Confirmation of enrolment and transcript of credits already completed
  • Certified proof of your Australian citizenship or permanent residency.

Eligible early childhood teaching degrees

Details of available courses in NSW and ACT are listed on the Universities Admissions Centre's (UAC) website and on the relevant higher education providers' websites.

The course must be recognised on ACECQA's Qualifications List of approved early childhood teaching degrees.

Scholarship recipients may be enrolled in a course offered by any registered Australian higher education provider located in another state/territory. To retain the scholarship, recipients must be employed in and maintain employment in a rural and remote early childhood education service in NSW.


If you have questions about the 2018 Incentive Scholarships program, email the Early Childhood Directorate on

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in December 2017.


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