Early childhood teacher qualifications


Kindergarten learning programs funded under the Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QKFS) must be delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher (ECT) at all times the program is offered. This may be different to the general ECT requirements under the Education and Care Services National Law (National Law) (e.g. those that relate to the service size or ECT waivers).

In Queensland, ECT qualifications align with the National Law. The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the national authority responsible for determining and publishing lists of approved qualifications, in accordance with regulation 137 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations (National Regulations).

To determine if an ECT's qualification is approved, check the list of approved ECT qualifications on the ACECQA website. Please ensure the full and exact name of both the qualification and awarding institution aligns with the list.

If the qualification is not on the approved list, an application can be made to ACECQA to have the qualification assessed for equivalency. The ACECQA website includes the current application form, guidelines and full details of the criteria used to assess a qualification.

Am I considered qualified?

You are considered to be a qualified ECT (until the end of 2021) if you meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • You hold an approved ECT qualification as determined by ACECQA, which means it has a foundation in early childhood education.
  • You hold a QKFS Teacher Recognition letter previously supplied by the Department of Education.
  • You meet one of the transitional provisions under Regulation 241 of the National Regulations.
  • Your qualifications are considered to be equivalent to an approved ECT qualification (until the end of 2021) for the purposes of the National Law. This means you:
    • hold teacher registration with the Queensland College of Teachers
    • hold a primary teaching qualification
    • hold  or are actively working towards, an approved education and care diploma or higher qualification published on ACECQA's qualification list.
  • You meet one of the studying towards provisions under section 242 of the National Regulations.
  • You hold an international qualification and it is on an ACECQA's list, or you have undertaken an equivalency process through ACECQA. 

What if I am studying towards?

Under the National Law, in some circumstances, a person who is studying towards an early childhood teaching qualification may meet qualification requirements when:

  • they are enrolled in, and actively working towards, an approved ECT level qualification and have successfully completed 50 per cent of the course
  • they are enrolled in, and actively working towards, an approved ECT level qualification and hold an approved diploma-level qualification. 

Regulation 10 of the National Regulations states that an educator is actively working towards a qualification if the educator:

  • is enrolled in the course for the qualification
  • provides the approved provider with documentary evidence from the provider of the course that:
    • the educator has commenced the course
    • is making satisfactory progress towards completion of the course
    • is meeting the requirements for maintaining the enrolment.

The studying towards provision has been extended to 1 January 2022.

Instances where the educator will not be considered as 'studying towards' are if the individual:

  • has not enrolled in any subjects for a semester or more
  • has deferred or withdrawn from all subjects in a semester or more
  • has consistently not successfully completed all subjects across 2 or 3 semesters.

A service is not eligible to claim QKFS funding (and must submit a zero claim for the relevant weeks) if the service:

  • does not have an ECT engaged at the service delivering the kindergarten learning program
  • is operating with a staffing waiver approved under the National Law for an ECT.

How can I demonstrate compliance with the ECT qualification requirements?

It is the responsibility of the approved KPP to maintain all records relevant to the eligibility of the ECT. Approved KPPs must ensure all information and records are retained and are accessible at the service to confirm the ECT meets the National Law and subsequently the QKFS funding requirements.

For qualified ECTs, these records include (but are not limited to):

  • qualifications including awards and relevant academic transcripts evidencing an Early Childhood major as listed on the ACECQA website
  • ACECQA letter confirming equivalency as an ECT. 

For ECTs studying towards, these records include (but are not limited to):

  • acceptance notification from the university
  • records of subjects enrolled in for each semester of study
  • records of subjects completed at the end of each semester of study.

More information

For more information please refer to the QKFS funding requirements (PDF, 3.7MB)

Kindergarten services funded under the Central Governing Body (CGB) model may also contact their CGB for further information or call the QKFS funding team on (07) 3035 2244.

Last updated 11 September 2020