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Roles and qualifications

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Qualifications give you the formal knowledge and skills to become a quality teacher, leader, or educator in early childhood education and care. 

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) oversees the implementation and administration of the National Quality Framework (NQF). Most services are approved and regulated under the NQF.

The NQF sets out the minimum qualification requirements for staff working in children's education and care services.

Learn about the qualifications for each of the following career paths:

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Find out about the range of leadership and management roles in early childhood education that exist outside a service.
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Study a Bachelor of Education Early Childhood and have a nationally-recognised qualification that lets you work in a range of early childhood services.
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Find out about a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. Then, from there, you can move to a diploma and continue growing your career.
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Important information about transitional provisions ending 31 Dec 2021

From 1 January 2022, educators will need to have completed their qualification to be considered an early childhood teacher (ECT). To help services and educators understand and prepare for the change, visit the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority website.

Registered teachers will need to complete their approved early childhood diploma before the end of 2021 to continue to be recognised as an ECT from 2022.

Educators who hold the following combination of qualifications will be recognised as ECTs by ACECQA for two more years:

  • a primary teaching qualification that includes at least a focus on children aged 5 to 8 (e.g. a qualification with a focus on children aged 3 to 8 or 5 to 12)
  • teacher registration in Australia (known as ‘accreditation’ in New South Wales)
  • an ACECQA-approved diploma-level (or higher) education and care qualification.

For services in remote and very remote areas:

  • educators who have been continuously employed by the same centre-based service for at least 15 years prior to the NQF will continue to be included in the educator-to-child ratios
  • centre-based services will still be able to access an ECT via information communication technology (ICT).

More information

Transferring qualifications – Learn about how your qualification can be recognised in Queensland.

Qualification checker – Check your existing qualifications on the ACECQA website.

Qualifications list – Learn about approved (and formerly approved) qualifications.

Where you can work – Learn about the types of services where you can use your qualifications.

Course requirements – Learn about course requirements to become an early childhood teacher.

Help and support

Financial assistance – Get financial help for education study.

Free TAFE courses – Free priority TAFE courses for Year 12 graduates.

Professional development – Find out about services and resources to upgrade your qualifications. 

Employment conditions – Learn about rights and entitlements and blue card requirements.

Contact us – Early Childhood information service.

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Last updated 19 July 2019