Region set to benefit from record investment in scholarships for early learning educators

A working mother-of-two is among the local recipients of an Early Childhood Education Scholarship from the NSW Government.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said more than 400 early childhood teachers across NSW are set to receive up to $25,000 to further their studies and careers, including four from Dubbo and one from Mudgee.

“These scholarships will support recipients to deepen their understanding of early childhood environments, and gain additional skills and capabilities which will be passed on to the children they teach,” Mr Saunders said.

“Crucially, one-third of recipients are already living and working in regional and remote communities, meaning we’re really investing in local people, the future of our local workforce – and our kids!”

Mayookhi Wickramasingha had 10 years of teaching experience in Sri Lanka before migrating to Australia in 2015, and she and her family have made Dubbo their home.

Ms Wickramasingha has been working at Peppercorn Child Care Centre for the past 6 years and is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (Birth to 5 years) through Charles Sturt University, after centre director Nick Sykes encouraged her to apply for the scholarship.

“I really wanted to go back to teaching, but there’s the financial barrier because I have two kids of my own. If I hadn’t gotten the scholarship, I might not have gone for it,” Ms Wickramasingha said.

“But I got it! I’m so happy to be part of the team and to be in Dubbo. I didn’t know anyone before I came to Dubbo, so I have a big family now because of all the parents and staff, they’re really nice to me.

“Thank you to my Peppercorn family because they’re the ones who gave me the job and helped me over all the hurdles.”

The local recipients are Cindi Thompson, Jasmine Caton, Leontien Valk-Abel, Georgina Hardy and Mayookhi Wickramasingha

More information can be found on the Department’s website:

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