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Qualifications and training

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This page provides information for services captured under the National Quality Framework (NQF) and the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (ECS Act).

Qualifications and training – NQF services

The NQF sets out the minimum qualification requirements for early childhood education and care services. This includes qualifications for centre-based services with children preschool age or under, family day care services, and qualifications for working with school age children. The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the National Authority ov​erseeing the requirements, including qualification requirements, set out in the NQF. An approved qualification list is available from the ACECQA website. Individuals actively working towards an approved qualification may be counted towards qualification requirements.

OSHC requirements for school-age children:

  • There must be a minimum educator-to-child ratio of 1:15.
  • At least one educator must hold (or be working towards) an approved 2 year Diploma level qualification or higher in a relevant area of study (PDF, 222KB). They must be at the service: 
    • at least 7 hours and 15 minutes of the time education and care is being provided, or
    • if provided for more than 7 hours and 15 minutes on that day, at all times that education and care is being provided.
  • If the service has 30 children or more, the requirements above must be met and have at least 1 educator for 30 children who holds, or is working towards, an approved Certificate III or 1 year qualification or higher (PDF, 223KB) in a relevant area of study.
  • Any other educators required to meet ratio requirements do not need to hold a qualification if they are 18 years of age or older.

Grace period: 

  • Educators 18 years of age or older have 3 months after being employed by a service to start working towards an approved Certificate III or 1 year qualification or higher, and 6 months to start 2 year Diploma level study.

Learn more about:

Overseas qualifications

If your overseas education and care qualification is not listed on the approved qualifications list you can apply to have it assessed for equivalence.

Learn more about: qualifi​​cations assessment.

First aid qualifications and training

The National Regulations outline the mandatory requirements for services in relation to first aid​​​​ qualifications, anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma management training.

Stay up to date

Services regulated under the NQF can subscribe to the National Qu​​ality Framework e-bulletin – keep updated on the latest changes and updates to the NQF.

Qualifications and training – ECS Act services

Approved providers under the ECS Act are required to ensure staff at each approved service meet qua​​lification requirements​. The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) determines approved qualifications and assesses equivalent qualifications for all educators employed after 1 January 2014. Qualifications held by staff before 1 January 2014 are recognised under the ECS Act.​

If your qualification does not appear on the list of appr​​ov​​ed qualifications you may apply to ACECQA to have it assessed. Before applying, check if you can be taken to hold an approved qualification by meeting the criteria for approved qualifications below.

Approved qualifications for services other than school age

Diploma (2-year qualification)

At least 50% of educators required to meet educator-to-child ratios must hold or be actively working towards an approved
Diplo​ma
 level qualification or higher.

You meet the Diploma level requirements if you meet any of the criteria listed below:

Certificate III (1-year qualification)

All other educators required to meet educator-to-child ratios must hold or be actively working towards an approved Certificate III level qualification or higher.

You meet the Certificate III level requirements if you meet any of the criteria listed below:

  • you hold or are actively working towards an approved Certificate III qualification
  • you held a qualification on the former approved Certificate III qualifications list before 1 January 2012 (including Queensland-specific qualifications)
  • you were recognised as a Certificate III level educator under a former education and care services law of any state or territory before 1 January 2012 (for example you hold a letter from the department stating your qualification is equivalent to an approved 1-year course (DOC, 351KB) as an assistant under the repealed Child Care Regulation 2003 (Qld)).

Approved qualifications for school age services

Services must have:

  • at least 1 educator who holds or is actively working towards an ap​proved Di​​ploma level qualification or higher, in a relevant area of study, that is present at all times education and care is being provided and
  • at least 1 educator for every 30 children must hold or be actively working towards an appr​​oved Certificate III level qualification or approved diploma level qualification.

Actively working towards a qualification

Certificate III qualification

You are considered to be actively working towards your approved Certificate III level qualification if you are enrolled in and studying towards an approved Certificate​ III 3 months of commencing employment with the service. You will need to prove that your training is successfully progressing at a pace that will enable you to complete the qualification within a timeframe deemed reasonable by the training provider.

Diploma qualification

You are considered to be actively working towards your Diploma level qualification if you are enrolled in and studying towards an approved Diplom​​a level qualification or higher and you either:

First aid, asthma and anaphylaxis management training

At least one staff member or one nominated supervisor qualified in first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis management must be in attendance and immediately available at all times that education and care is being provided. The same individual may hold all 3 current AC​​ECQA-approved qualifications or each staff member or nominated supervisor may hold one or more qualifications each.

Related information

Roles and q​​ualifications
Learn about the qualifications required for each type of role in an early childhood education and care service.

ECS Act resou​rces
Access resources, forms and fact sheets related to operating a service under the ECS Act.

Stay up to date

Services regulated under the ECS Act can subscribe to the Education and Care S​ervices e-bulletin​ – keep updated on the latest changes and updates for services and providers operating under the ECS Act.

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Last updated 08 March 2019