North Coast

Chris Gulaptis recently caught up with scholarship winner, Ebony Herden at the Jacaranda Preschool to congratulate her on her success and wish her well in her future studies. Image: contributed.

Clarence and Richmond Valley women secure early learning scholarships from NSW Government

Two young early education professionals from Grafton and Casino have won prestigious NSW Government 2020-21 Early Childhood Education Scholarships worth up to $20,000, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

“Ebony Herden, a former student at McAuley Catholic College, works at the Jacaranda Preschool Kindergarten in Grafton and is about to embark on a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education online through UNE Armidale to improve her skills in developing our youngest local minds,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“Caitlin Pyke-Nott has already begun her studies and is working with children at the Rainbow Station Early Education Centre, a family-owned long day care centre in Casino,” Mr Gulaptis said.
Mr Gulaptis said both women were to be congratulated not just for winning the scholarships but for their dedication to local children.

“Early learning is critical for kids to develop into successful, happy adults and that doesn’t happen by accident; you need the commitment of young professionals like Caitlin and Ebony,” Mr Gulaptis said.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the scholarship program is part of the NSW Government’s support for the early childhood sector, ensuring a sustainable highly qualified early childhood workforce into the future.

“More highly trained educators will support more of our children, so they can achieve their best in both the crucial early years and later in life,” Ms Mitchell said.

For more information on the scholarships and how to apply, visit the Department of Education website at