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Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care


Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care CHC50113

Course Overview

The Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care is the recognised pathway to become a fully qualified Early Childhood Educator. Following the the introduction of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, Early Childhood Educators are in demand more than ever across Victoria, with an estimated 6000 educators needed by 2029.

Students undertaking this course will gain skills in:

  • Best practice and quality assurance
  • Planning for children with additional needs
  • Networking
  • Effective communication
  • Family partnerships
  • Childhood development (aesthetic, creative, and physical)
  • Music program
  • Health and safety

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 and live webinars, and includes 296 hours of placement (for which travel in Victoria will be required). More information on placement can be found below under 'Attendance and Commitment'.

Blended Delivery is available for students who currently work in an early childhood setting and would like to upgrade their qualification from a Certificate III to a Diploma.

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

We've had to make adjustments to how our courses are delivered due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. This means that we're currently offering a combination of delivery modes including online and flexible learning and, where we can, on-campus classes with strict social distancing in place.

Career Pathways

This course prepares you to work in the early childhood education sector in a senior role. Roles you may be eligible for include:

  • Nominated Supervisor/Director of Service
  • Educational Leader
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Playgroup Leader
  • Family Day Care Provider or Coordinator
  • Nanny/Au Pair

Early Childhood Educators at this level:

  • Lead and mentor staff in the curriculum and daily practices that meet the requirements of an approved learning framework
  • Engage with families on a daily basis
  • Monitor child development and identify the needs of the individual child, recording and reporting as required
  • May be responsible for the supervision of volunteers, students and educators
  • Use their specialised knowledge and analyse and apply theoretical concepts to diverse work situations
  • Are solely responsible for a maximum of four children between the ages of 0-2 or a maximum of 11 children between the ages of 3-5 years.

Further Study

After graduating, you might like to undertake further study at a university level in Early Childhood/Early Learning or Primary Teaching.

Course Dates & Times

Seymour - Wallis Street

Blended - Starts on 22nd Feb - 3 days Mon,Tues & Wed - 9am to 4pm / 2022

Shepparton - Fryers Street

Traineeship - Open from 10th January / 2022

Blended - Starts on 22nd Feb - 3 days Mon,Tues & Wed - 9am to 4pm / 2022

Wallan - High Street

Blended - Starts on 22nd Feb - 3 days Mon,Tues & Wed - 9am to 4pm / 2022

Wangaratta - Docker Street

Blended - Starts on 22nd Feb - 3 days Mon,Tues & Wed - 9am to 4pm / 2022

1. Subsidised Standard
2. Subsidised Trainee
3. Subsidised Trainee (Concession)
4. 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 you as part of your application process to ensure you understand what you are paying for and which fee rates you 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 you enrol. 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 text books, 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 applicants must:

  • Undertake a pre-training review by interview to ensure the course suits your needs and aspirations, and that you 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.
  • Have completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113 or CHC30121).
  • Hold/obtain a current and successful Police Check and Working with Children Check (neither being older than six months) before enrolment. Please note, the WWCC will be required to have GOTAFE as the nominated organisation.
  • Trainees: Please apply through an Apprenticeship Network Provider with your employer to organise your traineeship contract prior to applying for this course.
  • Applicants must have be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend Early Childhood settings for placement.
  • Applicants must also demonstrate suitability to the profession.

Technology requirements:

  • Students will need to bring a laptop or tablet and general stationery items to class.
  • Throughout the course, students will need to be able to download and upload files, convert documents from Word to PDF, scan, format tables, create powerpoints, save their work to specific naming criteria, utilise mobile devices for emails and share documents between devices.
Core Units
Establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for children
Foster the holistic development and wellbeing of the child in early childhood
Nurture creativity in children
Facilitate compliance in an education and care service
Establish and implement plans for developing cooperative behaviour
Implement strategies for the inclusion of all children
Promote children's agency
Analyse information to inform learning
Design and implement the curriculum to foster children's learning and development
Embed sustainable practices in service operations
Work in partnership with families to provide appropriate education and care for children
Maintain work health and safety
Elective Units
Reflect on and improve own professional practice

To demonstrate your competency in this qualification, you will be required to undertake assessment activities including:

  • Written assessments
  • Practical placement
  • Demonstrations
  • Projects
  • Written observation
  • Reflective tasks

This qualification enables a person to be in some situations where the ability to identify and understand social cues and nonverbal communication is required, for instance from babies.

Fiona Corish

It is important that students commit to all course requirements, including class attendance, off-campus study and assessments.

Due to its demanding nature, the course requires a high level of commitment. If you are considering undertaking the program, you should make sure that you are free of other commitments during the time of study. Students will be expected to commit additional time on top of classroom hours to complete self-directed learning, reading, research and assessment requirements including preparation for practical placement.

Students undertake a practical component that requires them to complete 296 hours of mandated practical placement as well as additional placement hours in an Early Childhood setting.

Attendance Information:

On-campus: This course is delivered full-time. Students attend campus one day per week, and a virtual classroom two days per week.

Trainees/Flexible Delivery: This course is delivered part-time. Students receive on-the-job training and complete online learning.

Blended Delivery:

  • This course is delivered part-time. Students receive on-the-job training and complete online learning.
  • Students will be required to attend sessions with their trainer once a week using online video conferences such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, and commit to self-paced study to complete units.
  • Students are required to access GOLEARN for learner content and assessments, and a GOTAFE Assessor & Trainer visits students in the workplace to assess required skills demonstration.
  • Study hours will need to be dedicated outside of their normal work hours and should be between 18-25 hours a week.


  • Placement will be offered to students once all required written tasks are satisfactorily completed and active demonstration of knowledge through class participation is seen.
  • 296 hours mandatory component, built of 38-hour weeks, made up of 1 x 9 day block and 2 x 15 day blocks.
  • Students are required to travel throughout Vicotria (up to approximately 50km away) at their own cost.
  • Placements are organised by GOTAFE and students are unable to choose where they want to go.
  • Applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend Early Childhood settings for placement.
  • Students are required to be available for placement on site between 6AM -6.30PM Monday to Friday.
  • Students are expected to complete assessment tasks and demonstrate skills and knowledge as part of placement. A placement folder will be provided which will include assessment requirements.
  • GOTAFE uniform is required to be purchased on orientation day.
  • 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.
  • It isn't a requirement that students be aged 18 or above to study this course, however, it is a requirement to work without supervision in the Early Childhood Profession.
  • Once a placement has been organised for a student they are expected to go to the service and introduce themselves, discuss hours and meet relevant educators who they will be working with.
  • Whilst they are on placement they will be visited by their trainer.
  • All students will be guided through the placement prior to commencing, on a placement orientation day in class.

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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