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Early Childhood Education and Care > Workforce > Qualification requirements > Centre-based services - under school age >

Ways to meet centre-based qualification requirements

The qualification requirements for centre-based services with children under school age (primarily long day care and kindergarten) changed on 1 January 2014.

To meet the qualification requirements, educators (that are required to meet ratio requirements in your service) must either:

Find out if you can be considered as 'taken to hold' or 'actively working towards' the Certificate III, Diploma and Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) requirements:

Certificate III qualifications

Taken to hold an approved Certificate III qualification

You are taken to hold an approved Certificate III level qualification if, before 1 January 2012, you either:

Countdown to changes from 1 January 2016

Alternatively, if you were continuously employed as an educator in a centre-based education and care service for at least 15 years up to 31 December 2011, and you are still employed by the same provider, you will be taken to hold a Certificate III. This provision only applies until 31 December 2015. From 1 January 2016 you will be required to hold or be activelyworking towards an approved Certificate III qualification External Link or higher. If your service is in a remote or very remote location Adobe PDF document External Link this provision applies until 1 January 2018.

Working towards your ECT qualification? You can be counted as an approved Certificate III level External Link educator (for ratio purposes) as soon as you enrol and start studying towards an approved ECT qualification External Link, even if you don't already hold a qualification.

Working without a qualification? A 3-month probationary period applies to new educators working without an approved qualification. You can be counted as an approved Certificate III level External Link educator (for ratio purposes) for up to 3 months following your start date at a service before you need to start working towards your qualification. The probationary period is linked to the approved provider which means the probationary period is not extended if you move to another service operated by the same approved provider. However if you are employed by a different approved provider, you are eligible for another 3 month probationary period.

Actively working towards a Certificate III qualification

You are considered to be working towards your Certificate III level qualification if you are enrolled in and studying towards an approved Certificate III External Link level qualification or higher. You will need to prove that your training is successfully progressing at a pace that will enable you to complete the qualification within a timeframe deemed reasonable by the training provider.

To find out if you meet the qualification requirements, see our Certificate III and Diploma qualifications flow charts Adobe PDF document288K.

Diploma qualifications

Taken to hold an approved Diploma qualification

You are taken to hold an approved Diploma level qualification if, before 1 January 2012, you either:

Actively working towards a Diploma qualification

You are considered to be working towards your Diploma level qualification if you are enrolled in and studying towards an approved Diploma level External Link qualification or higher and you either:

You will need to prove that your training is successfully progressing at a pace that will enable you to complete the qualification within a timeframe deemed reasonable by the training provider.

To find out if you meet the qualification requirements, see our Certificate III and Diploma qualifications flow charts Adobe PDF document.

Early childhood teacher

Taken to be an early childhood teacher

You can check whether you are already considered to be an early childhood teacher under the National Law.

Until 1 January 2018, you are taken to be an early childhood teacher if you are enrolled and studying towards an approved early childhood teaching qualification External Link, AND you either:

If you are a registered primary teacher enrolled and studying towards an approved Diploma External Link level qualification or higher, you are taken to be an early childhood teacher External Link as soon as you are enrolled and studying towards your Diploma.

After 1 January 2018, you will need to have completed an approved early childhood teaching qualification to be considered a qualified early childhood teacher.

Actively working towards an ECT qualification

You can be counted as an approved Certificate III level External Link educator (for ratio purposes) as soon as you enrol and start studying towards an approved ECT qualification External Link, even if you don't already hold a qualification.

You can also be counted as a Diploma holder (for ratio purposes) once you have completed 30% of the units External Link in an approved ECT qualification.

More information

For further information on the qualification requirements under the National Law, contact the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA):

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This page was last reviewed on 31 Aug 2015


Translation is provided by Google for your convenience. The department is not responsible for the accuracy of the translation. Readers should always refer to the English original as the source of information.

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