Plan Your Future Workforce Grant 2021


​The Department of Education is offering a Plan Your Future Workforce Grant funding round in 2021.

The purpose of the Plan Your Future Workforce Grant is to provide eligible approved ECEC services with funding to support them to implement an effective workforce plan that will assist the service to prepare to attract and retain a qualified and skilled workforce.

The grant will enable services to implement strategies to support the service to:

  • meet the early childhood teacher qualification requirements as specified in the Education and Care Services National Regulations 130 to 134 (Requirement for an early childhood teacher in centre-based services)
  • meet the general educator qualification as specified in the Education and Care Services National Regulations 126 (Centre-based services—general educator qualifications)
  • foster career progression
  • support qualification pathways
  • build staff capability to promote retention.

Eligible services may apply for a non-recurrent grant of up to $30,000 (GST exclusive) per service. This funding will assist services to implement their workforce plan until 30 June 2022.

The grant funding round will open on 12 February 2021 and close on 12 March 2021.

Applicants must attend 1 of 3 information sessions (via teleconference) to apply for the grant. Sessions will be held at the following times:

  • Friday 19 February 2021 at 2pm
  • Monday 22 February 2021 at 11am
  • Friday 26 February 2021 at 10am

An additional and final information session has been scheduled for:

  • Friday 5 March 2021 at 12pm

Please register for these sessions.

Applicants must complete the associated web-survey and lodge applications via the department’s online grants management system, QGrants, before 5pm, 12 March 2021.

To apply:

An optional workforce plan template and associated guide is available for use.


 Frequently asked questions

Who should I put as the contact person on the web survey?

The contact person on the web survey must be the same person who registered in the Eventbrite information session. The name of the contact person and the name of the information session attendee will be cross-referenced to ensure the requirement to attend an information session to apply for the grant has been met.

When submitting the second phase of the application process in QGrants, the organisation’s authorised representative must submit this application. The organisation’s authorised representative for QGrants may be different to the contact person for the web survey.

Do I need to have a workforce plan?

Yes. Every application must include a completed workforce plan. The department will ensure each of the six elements mentioned in the optional workforce guide have been addressed.

How do I know if there is a service within 30km of my service?

You can start by checking the Starting Blocks website. If you need further assistance please call 3328 6687.

How do I find my SEIFA IRSD national decile?

On the ABS website open the data cube for Statistical Area Level 2, Indexes, SEIFA 2016. Table 2 will provide you with your areas national IRSD decile.

What Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) do I fall into?

The map on this website provides SA2 data. Please ensure your select 2016 Statistical Area Level 2 as the boundary type prior to searching.

Can this funding be used to pay for relief staff while the educator is studying or on practicum?

The funding can be used to pay for the educator's wages while they are on study leave. Therefore, an approved provider may wish to use the savings that the service accrues as a result of utilising funding for educator's study leave wages, to fund relief staff wages.

Will there be any support or advice available to assist us to complete the application?

Yes, you can email the department on using the contact details available in the Funding Information Paper. Please note that departmental staff will not assist in writing the application.

Can this funding be used to pay for a tutor for the educator?

Yes if this has been identified in the service's workforce plan as a strategy to support an educator to complete a legislatively required qualification.

When will the funding be paid?

Funding will be paid in a single instalment within one month of the scheduled start date of the service agreement.

What is the service agreement term?

The department will negotiate a service agreement with successful applicants to implement the activities and expenditure up until 31 December 2022. Organisations will be legally responsible for complying with the requirements and conditions of their service agreement.

Will there be reporting requirements associated with the funding?

Successful applicants will be expected to meet performance and financial reporting requirements that will be specified in the service agreement. Information about performance measures is provided in the Funding Information Paper.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications will be assessed against the selection criteria outlined in the Funding Information Paper based on the identified priorities.

Where can I get help with QGrants?

Organisations need to be correctly registered in QGrants before they can submit an application. There are QGrants guides available on the department's website. Contact information is also included on the website. Please note that QGrants assistance can only be provided during business hours (i.e. 8.30am to 5.00pm) so organisations are strongly encouraged to submit their applications during this time and not leave it until the last minute.

When will I know if my application has been successful?

The department anticipates being able to advise both successful and unsuccessful organisations in writing in April, once assessment and approval processes have been completed.

Who can I speak with to obtain feedback about my unsuccessful application?

Feedback to unsuccessful organisations can be provided by the Director, Strategy, Innovation and Programs in the Early Childhood Education and Improvement Division of the Department of Education.

If my application is successful and staff that were being supported by the funding leave the service, what should I do?

This grant should support the service not an individual person. The service’s workforce plan should outline the possible mitigation strategies if the staff leave the service.

What happens if educators who are studying leave during the term of the agreement and are replaced with other staff ?

Any funds over $300 that are not expended will be recouped by the department. However, the objective of the Plan Your Future Workforce grant is to increase skills and number of qualified staff in your service and across the sector. The funds can be used to support any educators who are studying an approved qualification or to increase skills in leadership development, build staff capability in inclusive practice, including embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives across the service.

Can this grant be used to support English as Second Language support and/or tutoring?

This funding can be used for tutoring expenses for staff who are required to complete approved early childhood teacher qualification pre-requisite entry requirements or LANTITE testing; or those who may require study support to complete the approved qualification. The workforce plan should identify the support strategies that are needed to enable educators to gain approved qualifications, which may include numeracy and literacy support.

How detailed should the staff register be? Is it recommended to include information about all staff/educators across the service or only the staff with the relevant / working towards qualifications?

This is at the discretion of the service. However, a full staff register or staff schedule that the service is required to be maintained to be compliant with Regulations 145, 146 and 147 will satisfy the requirements.

Last updated 02 March 2021