Start your early childhood career


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It's a great time to join the early childhood profession. The sector is expanding and people willing to get the right qualification are in demand.​​

Nationally recognised qualifications

The National Quality Framework (NQF) sets out the qualification requirements to work in children's education and care services across Australia. This means with an approved early childhood qualification, it may be possible for you to work anywhere in the country.

You can also work at an early childhood service while you study. There are many flexible pathways to enter the sector. Jobs are plentiful and support is available to apply what you learn, as you earn.

Tahleah and Lara are balancing work and study, putting what they learn straight into practice.

Tahleah and Lara reading books outside to children 

‘I started my certificate III at school and now I am doing my diploma through an Apprenticeship while working.’ – Tahleah
‘I have work life balance. I can work here, which I love, I can study my degree (early childhood teaching) to move forward and I can have my weekends at the surf club.’ – Lara

​Learn more about qualifications to get you there and qualities of great early childhood educators.

Variety and possibilities

Early childhood is diverse and full of possibilities. More than 38,500 people are employed in over 3,100 approved early childhood services throughout Queensland.

You can work for different early childhood service providers and in different settings, including:

  • privately owned small and large businesses/organisations
  • community-based or not-for-profit services
  • privately owned services located on school sites
  • kindergarten programs within state schools in rural and remote locations.

You can also provide family da​y care from your own home or support others working in services.​


Vivian has worked in various settings and found her niche in her own family day care business.

Vivian having a tea party outside with children

​‘I have worked for almost 20 years … started as a primary school teacher and then into an early childhood service. Now I am a family day care educator … with my own home-based business.’ – Vivian


Todd started his career in the toddler room and is now the director in the same community-based long day care service.

Todd helping child play with blocks​​​
‘I’ve never had a bad day because of kids. They don’t judge, they don’t hold on to things. They are so good like that … there’s never a dull moment.’ – Todd​


Michelle is an early childhood teacher delivering the State Delivered Kindergarten program on Thursday Island.

Michelle smiling with children in background
‘I just absolutely love what I do – I don’t think it’s a job, I think it’s just a great honour, a great privilege to get to work with amazing children.’ – Michelle​

Trish and Kaela​

Trish sitting outside listening to children
Progress your career like Trish, who started in a playgroup​, became an educator and then upskilled to an early childhood teacher. She has also been the educational leader and director, all in the same service.

Kaela laughing with children outside
​​Be a leader in outside school hours care like Kaela, who is a coordinator and educational leader in her service. Kaela now mentors and supports educators, and shares her experience with 5,000 others through her outside school hours care Facebook page.

Learn more about which work environment would suits​​​ you and possible career pathways.

Last updated 28 August 2023