Supporting Thriving Futures to address regional childcare shortages

BHP is proud to continue its partnership with Child Australia on the Thriving Futures project, focused on addressing childcare shortages in the communities where we operate.

The extension of the project will ensure continued support for the recruitment, training, development, and retention of a sustainable childcare workforce in Port Hedland and Newman.

BHP Head of Corporate Affairs WA Meath Hammond said the investment would help shape future generations through the development of a sustainable childcare workforce in the Pilbara.

“The extension of our partnership with Child Australia will allow children and their families a level of consistency in childcare, allowing them to be engaged learners from a young age, developing their prospects to be fulfilled, contributing members of society – which is vital to the growth and sustainability of the Pilbara for years to come.” 

Childcare workforce development is a critical issue across the country, particularly in the regions; it is predicted that by 2023, Australia will require an additional 39,000 Educators. This represents a 20 per cent increase for the workforce over five years.

With ongoing childcare shortages in regional WA, the Thriving Futures project has been reversing national trends with a targeted holistic place-based approach.

Child Australia’s CEO Tina Holtom said “the disequilibrium of childcare provision particularly in the regions is a complex issue, largely underpinned by workforce. Quite simply, the focus needs to be on developing a highly qualified, capable, supported educator workforce to ensure a long-term sustainable approach to childcare provision in the region”.

The ongoing funding will include recruitment attraction and retention campaigns, supported career development pathways including scholarships, mentoring, and professional development opportunities.

Thriving Futures remains committed to raising the profile of early childhood education and care as a highly desirable career pathway and working together with communities to recognise the importance of a child’s early years learning and the professionals delivering this to drive a sustainable Education and Care sector into the future.