Springboard is a specific initiative that strategically targets funding of free part-time higher education courses to enable unemployed people who have lost jobs in sectors where employment levels will not return, to upskill or reskill in areas where there are identified labour market skills shortages or employment opportunities. Unfortunately due to the limited resources available under the Springboard fund it is not possible to cover other expenses, including child care expenses, incurred by students while participating on a course.
Child care support was introduced in the late 1990s as a way of providing assistance to people participating on specific Further Education programmes who faced barriers returning to education. In 2010, this programme was restructured into the Childcare Education and Training Scheme (CETS) administered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It is not intended to extend the scheme further at this point.