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Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care


Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care CHC30121

Course Overview

With an increasing demand for Early Childhood Educators across Victoria, the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care is a stepping stone into the industry. No previous experience is required for this course, meaning it is ideal for individuals who are passionate about child development, and with a desire to make a difference in a child's life.

This course teaches key skills for working with young children, including how to:

  • Support children's play, learning, behaviour, and development
  • Provide for young children's wellbeing
  • Work effectively, legally, and ethically

Prospective students must pride themselves on being empathetic, patient and accountable, with the ability to problem-solve and engage with adults.

This course consists of compulsory face-to-face classes, live webinars, and placement. More information on placement can be found below under 'Attendance and Commitment'.

The Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care is delivered in the following ways: on campus, as a school-based apprenticeship, as a traineeship, or as part of the VETDSS (VET Delivered to Secondary Schools) program.

Students interested in undertaking this course through VETDSS need to enrol through their school. When VETDSS students successfully complete this partial completion (Program 3) students will be eligible for recognition of up to six (6) VCE units of credit: two (2) units at Units 1 and 2 and up to two (2) Unit 3 and 4 sequences.

This course is available as part of the Free TAFE scheme as well as the JobTrainer initiative, for eligible students.

Please note: the information on this page is relevant for 2022 enrolments.

Studying during COVID-19 Restrictions

During COVID‐19 lockdown periods, this course will have the majority of the training delivered using online methods of teaching and communication while students engage from home with their trainers. Any required practical components of the course will be moved to a more appropriate time later in the year.

Career Pathways

This course prepares you to work in the early childhood education industry. Roles you may be eligible for include:

  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Family Daycare worker
  • Nanny/Aupair
  • Playgroup Supervisor
  • Out of School Hours Care Assistant
  • Kindergarten Assistant

Early Childhood Educators at this level:

  • are solely responsible for a maximum 4 children between the ages of 0 - 2 or a maximum of 11 children between the ages of 3 - 5 years, so it is important applicants understand this.
  • support Children's wellbeing, and development in the context of an approved learning framework
  • required to work during the hours of 6am-6.30pm
  • are required to participate in physically, mentally and intellectually demanding tasks, this may include; lifting children, moving furniture, participating in physical activities. There is continuous bending and squatting to engage with children at their level

Further Study

After successful completion of this course, students may wish to pursue further training and complete the CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (or its successor) and then progress onto further tertiary studies with a Bachelor of Education.

Course Dates & Times

Online Campus

Traineeship - Open from 18th Aug - Online & Workplace / 2022

Shepparton - Fryers Street

Blend - FT- Start on 18th Aug - Tue Virtual, Thu-Fri OnCamp - 9.30am-4pm / 2022

1. Subsidised Standard
2. Subsidised Standard (Concession)
3. Full Fee
Course Materials
Student Services Fees (per year)

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding to eligible individuals.

Please note that the fees on this webpage, for this particular course:

  • are correct at the time of publishing for those enrolling in 2022 and may change without notice.
  • will be discussed with applications as part of the application process to ensure it is understood what is being paid for and which fee rates they may be eligible for.

Course Fees consist of 3 different components:

  1. Student Tuition Fee - cover the costs of training and assessment. These fees vary across courses and are calculated based on a rate per nominal hour enrolled in. The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Circumstances may include:
    1. an individual’s eligibility for Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    2. an individual’s eligibility for concession rates on Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    3. ineligible individuals who are required to pay the full fees for tuition and other costs.
  2. Material Fee - where applicable, cover the costs of classroom consumables, handouts and booklets, e-Learning resources and associated license access fees and excursions.
  3. Student Services Fee (SSF) - contributes to the provision of student engagement, learning and support services. SSF is a non-refundable annual fee that does not apply to short course participants.

Additionally, some courses require students to purchase or supply textbooks, kits, tools, uniforms and personal protection equipment. Some specific materials may be purchased through the GOTAFE Bookshop. A full list with associated costs will be provided to you at your course information session or during the pre-training review Interview.

GOTAFE offers a range of payment options to help you pay your fees.
Learn more about fees, charges, refunds and payment options

Training package entry requirements

There are no training package entry requirements for this qualification.

GOTAFE preferred entry requirements

Before being accepted into the course you must:

  • Undertake a Pre-training Review by interview to ensure the course suits their needs and aspirations, and that they are likely to complete the course successfully.
  • Complete a Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) online test to ensure the required literacy & numeracy levels for the course are met.
  • Students are advised at the application stage of any course or industry requirements and could include but are not limited to:
    • Police Check with no disclosable outcomes
    • Working with Children Check (WWCC)
    • 80% on-campus attendance
  • School-based apprentices/trainees: Please apply through an Apprenticeship Network Provider with your employer to organise your apprenticeship/traineeship contract prior to applying for this course.
  • VETDSS: Please ask your School's VET coordinator or Careers advisor to apply for this course.

Technology requirements:

Throughout the course, students will need to do such things as download and upload files, convert documents from Word to PDF, scanning, format tables, create powerpoints, saving to specific naming criteria, utilising mobile devices for emails and sharing documents between devices.

Core Units
Support inclusion and diversity
Support children's health, safety and wellbeing
Nurture babies and toddlers
Develop positive and respectful relationships with children
Use an approved learning framework to guide practice
Support the holistic learning and development of children
Provide experiences to support children's play and learning
Support children to connect with the natural environment
Observe children to inform practice
Encourage understanding of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples' cultures
Meet legal and ethical obligations in children's education and care
Work effectively in children's education and care
Identify and respond to children and young people at risk
Provide First Aid in an education and care setting
Participate in workplace health and safety
Elective Units
Lead personal development
Work with diverse people

Assessment methods may include:

  • Presentations
  • Question and answer tasks
  • Case studies and scenarios
  • Simulations
  • Projects
  • Demonstrations
  • Workplace observations
  • Self-reflective tasks

Fiona Corish

It is important that students commit to all course requirements, including study and assessments that may need to be completed outside normal training sessions.

Students are encouraged to attend all face-to-face sessions and participate in any workshops and/or webinars. We are not permitted to have students bringing children into the classroom.

Classes consist of structured learning days both in person and online, active participation in small and large group activities, class presentations involving songs, reading and shared group information research, as well as the creation of learning experiences, simulations and roleplays.

Due to its demanding nature, this course requires a high level of commitment. If you are considering undertaking the course you should be able to commit to at least six hours of self-directed learning per week to:

  • Review content
  • Undertake readings and research in preparation for underrating assessments.
  • This is in addition to the time required for undertaking assessment requirements and preparing for practical placement.

Textbooks students will need to purchase:

  • Programming with the Early Years Learning Framework, Curriculum kids Pty Ltd, 2014
  • Inspiring ideas to support children’s interests, Rosback, Coulson and Cowen, 2014
  • Birth & Beyond: Meaningful practice for babies and toddlers, Halton, Treveton, 2017

Study modes:


  • Duration of study - 1 year, full-time
  • Classes are 3 days per week - 2 days on campus and 1 day in a virtual class via zoom or Microsoft teams
  • Students will complete skills assessments during scheduled class hours and complete their knowledge assessments outside of their scheduled classes.
  • Placement - organised by GOTAFE of 160 hours mandated placement as per the training package PLUS 56 hours is arranged for the student as a strategy to help consolidate their knowledge and skills alongside classroom learning.

School-based apprentices:

  • Duration of study - 2 years, part-time
  • are employed in the Early Childhood Education and Care industry, one day per week, to work directly with children in a registered education and care setting.
  • As students are employed 7 hrs per week for the course duration, they meet requirements for 160 mandated work placement hours.
  • attend 10 three-hour webinar classes that will be scheduled per year.
  • need to allow time in the week for online study through goLearn
  • will be guided in their learning by workplace supervisors (3hrs per day, 40 days per year over 2 years), with regular site visits from GOTAFE Trainers & Assessors for workplace training and assessment.
  • are visited by GOTAFE trainers in the workplace for their induction and then at least 4 times per year over the duration of their course.
  • Trainers conduct additional site visits to ensure that all practical assessments are completed. (on average 8 per year)
  • have an option to attend GOTAFE where it fits into their schedule, and further support is provided with the option to meet with the trainer to discuss areas of study that they can complete on campus with access to Trainer and Assessor.


  • Duration of study - 2 years, part-time contract
  • work full time in an early childhood setting, under the supervision of a qualified teacher, and will complete approximately 1800 hours of paid work over two years, whilst completing their work-based training.
  • have access to online learning resources, forums, and the same resources that students are provided with for face-to-face delivery.
  • need to allow time in the week for online study through goLearn
  • have 10 scheduled 3hr webinars per year.
  • GOTAFE trainers visit students in the workplace 4 times per year over the duration of their course to undertake workplace training and assessment.

VETDSS students:

  • Duration of study - 2 years, part-time
  • will complete this program within a weekly school timetable
  • attend training at a GOTAFE campus 1 day per week.
  • will complete mandatory placement:
    • GOTAFE have incorporated 200 hours of practical placement - 120 hours mandated by the training package and 80 hours provided for students.
    • completed through 80 hours attributed to work placement hours that are included as part of the face-to-face hours ( 1 day per week x 5.5 hours)
    • remaining placement hours to be completed over the 2 year period during school holidays or a time suitable to the student, school and host organisation.
    • is organised by the student, and they complete placement hours guided by allocated school supervisors.
  • undertake partial course completion, with 7 units delivered in Year 1 and 6 units delivered in Year 2. Students who partially complete the course as a secondary student will have the option to complete the remaining 4 units if they wish, following the completion of school.
  • have access to goLEARN for online learning resources, forums, and the same resources that students are provided with for face to face delivery.
  • are required to spend time researching and undertaking assessment tasks in their own time. As part of online learning and interaction with activities, students will be required to undertake research to broaden their knowledge.

Additional notes on placement, students:

  • are required to travel (up to approximately 50km away) throughout Victoria at their own cost.
  • are unable to choose where they want to go.
  • are required to be available for placement on site between 6AM -6.30PM Monday to Friday.
  • are expected to complete assessment tasks and demonstrate skills and knowledge as part of placement.
  • are required to purchase GOTAFE uniform, available on orientation day and must be worn on placement.
  • Please note: Students are required to participate in physically, mentally and intellectually demanding tasks, this may include; lifting children, moving furniture, participating in physical activities. There is continuous bending and squatting to engage with children at their level.

As an enrolled student at GOTAFE you may access a wide range of academic support services to assist you to meet the academic challenges of your course from our Learning Support Unit.

Learning support

A free and confidential service to help you build the foundation skills you need to be successful at TAFE. Improve your english language, maths and/or writing skills; enhance your computer, exam and study skills.

Learn more about our learning support services


Our library team are passionate about supporting students to achieve their study goals. They have subject guides, referencing help, and online resources to assist you with you assessments.

Find how to reach out to our library in Shepparton

Jobs and study options

Our Skills and Jobs Centres can assist and talk through options for courses, careers, assistance with job applications and more.

Reach out to our Skills and Jobs Centres

Whether you need support with time management, your mental health, grief and loss, a diagnosed disability, financial hardship, or any other challenge life through your way, we are here to help.

Support for personal issues

We have a dedicated team to ensure students have the help they need with personal issues impacting studies such as homelessness, family problems & setting up payment plans.

Find out how the Student Experience Team can help you

Disability support

Get access to the supports and adjustments you need for your disability or medical condition to be successful in your studies.

Seek support from our Equitable Learning Advisors

Counselling services

We offer free counselling services to help you work through life's challenges including grief and loss, mental health or relationships.

Learn about our Student Wellbeing Advisors

Refer to the Student Handbook for information regarding Learner’s Rights Student Handbook.

Further information is provided at course induction.

Please note: Eligible individuals who wish to access a government subsidised place, must participate in a Pre-training Review. This will consider your:

  • Aspirations/career goals
  • Educational attainment and capability
  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Suitability for Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer

Enrolment in general public entry courses will require a selection interview. Please call 1300 468 233 to enquire further.

Skills Recognition is an assessment only process that may result in credits towards a part or full qualification. There is no formal training involved, although you may choose to complete further training as a result of the assessment process.

You can apply for Skills Recognition before you enrol in the qualification you are seeking. You can apply for Skills Recognition through one or both of the following processes:

  • Credit Transfer for formal training that might be equivalent to a new qualification or partial qualification.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for people who have relevant and current skills and knowledge that they have gained through non-formal or informal learning i.e. work or life experience.

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