Education
Education
Early childhood education and care

Early childhood education and care

If you have the passion and drive to care for children and support their development and wellbeing, a career in this sector could be for you.

Get fee-free training in this rewarding and growing industry

Early childhood education and care remains a growth sector. This means excellent job prospects for qualified individuals who are dedicated to caring for children and supporting their development and wellbeing.

To work in this sector you need to complete (or be currently enrolled in) either a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Careor a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care

Fee-free training in early childhood education and care is available to any eligible NSW resident, regardless of age, employment status or prior qualifications.

If  you have the passion, drive, and a willingness to succeed in the early childhood education and care sector, now is the perfect time to enrol.

Training is fully funded by the NSW and Commonwealth governments.

Key information and dates
  • Many courses and locations are available across NSW, including online.
  • New employees can start working in the sector and gain experience and skills whilst they study fee-free.
  • Existing employees in the early childhood education and care sector can upgrade their qualifications fee-free.
Benefits for new and existing childcare staff

For new staff:

  • Access to government-subsidised full and part qualification courses
  • See children become confident, independent learners. Working in the sector could be the realisation of a long-awaited dream!
  • Early childhood education and care staff often must perform a variety of tasks, including planning activities, supervising play and facilitating learning tasks. No two days will ever be the same!
  • Flexible working hours with opportunities for split shifts and early/later starts
  • Incredibly diverse sector, allowing qualified staff to work in a wide variety of roles and find work well-suited to them
  • Watching children reach their developmental milestones can bring joy beyond words. Yes, the work is tough, but the pay offs are huge.

For existing staff:

  • Access to government-subsidised full and part qualification courses
  • Improved job prospects, better pay and conditions
  • Up-to-date knowledge and skills meaning better quality of care for children
  • Increased confidence and capability in the workplace
  • Improved career progression into leadership positions, e.g., early childhood educator to centre manager.
  • Improve the skills base of early childhood education and care, which ultimately means better pay and working conditions for everyone.
Possible career pathways to explore

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

  • Early childhood educator
  • Kindergarten assistant
  • Family day care educator
  • Out of school care educator or assistant
  • Nanny/in-home carer


Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

  • Early childhood educator
  • Kindergarten assistant
  • Family day care educator
  • Room leader/lead educator
  • Nanny/in-home carer
  • Childcare centre manager
  • Assistant director
  • Centre director
You may be able to study a fee-free course in early childhood education and care if you are:
  • 15 years old or over
  • no longer at school
  • living or working in NSW
  • an Australian citizen, permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen.

You do not have to be working in the early childhood education and care sector or have previous industry experience to access fee-free full qualifications in early childhood education and care.

In addition, your eligibility is not affected if you have completed a vocational education and training (VET) course, including a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, as part of your high school education.

No matter who you are, Skills NSW makes it easier to access the training you need to enter this rewarding sector. 

You may qualify for a range of discounts including fully-subsidised courses

Answer a few questions so we can calculate your course fees

Do you know where you'd prefer to study?

You may qualify for a range of discounts including fully-subsidised courses

Answer a few questions so we can calculate your course fees

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
Standard course fee:
$9,600.00
Estimated fee: $0.00 to $1,000.00
Delivery Mode
Program Type
Full qualification
Estimated Duration i Indicative duration range based on actual student completion. For apprenticeships and traineeships, the duration includes study and employment under a training contract. A dash indicates insufficient data is available.

Learn More

7 months (full-time)
Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
Standard course fee:
$9,600.00
Estimated fee: $0.00 to $1,000.00
Delivery Mode
Program Type
Traineeship
Estimated Duration i Indicative duration range based on actual student completion. For apprenticeships and traineeships, the duration includes study and employment under a training contract. A dash indicates insufficient data is available.

Learn More

11 - 15 months (full-time)
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Standard course fee:
$11,470.00
Estimated fee: $0.00 to $1,000.00
Delivery Mode
Program Type
Full qualification
Estimated Duration i Indicative duration range based on actual student completion. For apprenticeships and traineeships, the duration includes study and employment under a training contract. A dash indicates insufficient data is available.

Learn More

18 - 19 months (full-time)
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Standard course fee:
$11,470.00
Estimated fee: $0.00 to $1,000.00
Delivery Mode
Program Type
Traineeship
Estimated Duration i Indicative duration range based on actual student completion. For apprenticeships and traineeships, the duration includes study and employment under a training contract. A dash indicates insufficient data is available.

Learn More

15 - 24 months (full-time)
Diploma of School Age Education and Care
Standard course fee:
$13,070.00
Estimated fee: $0.00 to $1,000.00
Delivery Mode
Program Type
Full qualification
Estimated Duration i Indicative duration range based on actual student completion. For apprenticeships and traineeships, the duration includes study and employment under a training contract. A dash indicates insufficient data is available.

Learn More

17 months (full-time)
Diploma of School Age Education and Care
Standard course fee:
$13,070.00
Estimated fee: $0.00 to $1,000.00
Delivery Mode
Program Type
Traineeship
Estimated Duration i Indicative duration range based on actual student completion. For apprenticeships and traineeships, the duration includes study and employment under a training contract. A dash indicates insufficient data is available.

Learn More

17 - 35 months (full-time)

Educators voice the benefits of early childhood education

What happens in the early years of a child’s life has been shown to have an impact throughout their entire life, across all phases of life and between generations. Early childhood educators are highly skilled professionals who play a vital role in the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of children.

There has never been a better time to start your career in early childhood education and care. The sector is growing, with many opportunities to develop a professionally rewarding career.

© Early Childhood Education Directorate, NSW Department of Education used with permission

A career in early childhood education and care
Transcript of video

- I like painting and doing all of the creating stuff.

- I like stories because they have different pictures in them.

- I like playing with the pillow.

- Going to the sand pit.

- Playing with lego.

- We have an opportunity at this age to be able to ignite their passion for learning so that when they go to school, the foundation is laid and they already want to know things, they already want to be engaged in education.

- Look how big this is Hiro.

- Yeah.

- My favourite friends are Isaac and Imogen.

- Rosalyn and Ayushi.

- I play with Niro and Remy.

- I would definitely say the educators are a bit like extended family. I feel like we have really open dialogue with them. We have really nice conversations.

- I would tell them you should go to preschool instead of staying home. 'Cause you're gonna make new friends!

disability

Interested in short courses?

You can start with a short course (or part qualification) offering new skill sets and a license to fast track your career. Short courses are on nationally accredited subjects and are offered at TAFE NSW, community and private colleges. They can be used as a starting point to complete a full qualification at a later stage.

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We're here to help

For lifelong careers information and to access free professional career guidance visit Careers NSW.

Not sure what courses are available or how to enrol? Contact your nearest Training Services NSW office on 13 28 11 to help you make connections with the right organisations and people in your region.

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Contact us

For more support contact your nearest Training Services NSW centre on 13 28 11 or reach out.

Training Services NSW

Not sure what courses are available or how to enrol? Contact your nearest office for help making connections in your region.

Careers NSW

For other career related information and support.

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Send an enquiry

Send an enquiry using the form on the left. Alternatively, here is how to contact your nearest Training Services NSW office.

Ring 13 28 11 to be directed to your nearest office or navigate to the Contact Us page to view our locations.

How long will it take to complete this qualification?

Short Course

All short courses are currently shown as under 4 months duration, based on the Department of Education's internal data analysis. Ask your provider for more information.

Qualification

Duration information is based on 20 hours of class time per week and uses aggregated data reported to the Department by Smart and Skilled providers.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

The duration indicates contract term which includes both formal training and full-time employment under a training contract. This is based on aggregated data reported to the Department by Smart and Skilled providers. Click here for more information about doing an apprenticeship or traineeship and ask your provider for guidance on your individual circumstances.