Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care Scholarships

ECEC Vocational Education and Training Scholarships Program

The NSW Department of Education is committed to developing and fostering a highly qualified and sustainable Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) workforce. In line with the department’s investment in the ECEC workforce under the Early Years Commitment, the ECEC Vocational Education and Training (VET) Scholarships Program provides financial support to complete a Certificate III (Qualification Pathway – CHC30121) in ECEC.

ECEC professionals are invaluable to maintaining and providing quality education and care to children across NSW.

The ECEC VET Scholarships Program aims to increase the number of ECEC professionals working in NSW by attracting people interested in obtaining, and retaining people currently studying, a Certificate III (Qualification Pathway - CHC30121) in ECEC.

The ECEC VET Scholarships Program provides financial support to complete a Certificate III (Qualification Pathway - CHC30121) in ECEC.

Successful ECEC VET scholarship applicants will be eligible to receive up to $3,000 to offset costs associated with studying a Certificate III (Qualification Pathway - CHC30121) in ECEC.

To be eligible to apply for a ECEC VET Scholarships, applicants must:

  • be enrolled either part time or full time in a Certificate III (Qualification Pathway - CHC30121) in ECEC offered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) recognised under Smart and Skilled
  • provide evidence of current enrolment in course units, associated with a Certificate III (Qualification Pathway – CHC30121) in ECEC
  • expect to complete the Certificate III (Qualification Pathway - CHC30121) in ECEC between 16 January 2023 and 31 December 2026
  • be motivated to work in one of the following NSW ECEC service types: centre-based preschool, mobile preschool, long day care or family day care
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident residing in NSW.

Those that are currently enrolled in the Certificate III (Traineeship Pathway – CHC30121) or receiving payments under the Apprentice Training Support Payment program will not be eligible for this scholarship. Further information about the program can be found on the Australian Apprenticeship's Financial Support for Australian Apprentices webpage.

Applications must include:

  • confirmation of enrolment, i.e., your letter of offer, into a Certificate III (Qualification Pathway - CHC30121) in ECEC in a Smart and Skilled recognised Registered Training Organisation
  • confirmation of current enrolment in course units
  • a certified identity document, e.g., a current and valid passport, birth certificate, NSW driver licence or medicare card.
  • a Statement of Motivation for working in the NSW ECEC sector in one of the following NSW ECEC service types: centre-based preschool, mobile preschool, long day care or family day care.

Documents are considered certified when a Justice of the Peace (JP) has indicated that a copy of a document is an accurate reflection of the original.

The name on confirmation of enrolment documents must match the name on your identification documents unless evidence of a name change is provided.

To be eligible for a ECEC VET scholarship, your RTO must be recognised under Smart and Skilled.

Smart and Skilled is a NSW Government program that provides government-subsidised training to help you get skills to find a job and advance your career.

To check your RTO is recognised under Smart and Skilled:

1. Go to Skills NSW's Early Childhood webpage.

2. Click the Certificate III (Qualification Pathway – CHC30121) in ECEC.

3. Check that your RTO is included in the list of recognised RTOs under ‘Provider’.

JPs can be found in several places including, police stations, libraries, some pharmacies and government offices. We recommend you start looking now and book a time as soon as possible. Applications close on Sunday, 15 January 2023 so aim to have your documents certified by Friday, 13 January 2023.

Justice of the Peace website will assist you in locating someone who offers the service in your area.

Spend some time working on your Statement of Motivation. It will be important to express why you want to work in the NSW ECEC sector and why becoming an ECEC educator in a centre-based preschool, mobile preschool, long day care or family day care is important to you. Think about:

  • your hopes and dreams regarding a career in early childhood
  • the kind of settings and type of service you would like to work in
  • where you would like to work in NSW, e.g., which city, regional or rural community
  • what type of educator you would like to become
  • how the community will benefit from you becoming an educator for our littlest learners.

As a guide, your statement should be at least 200 words and a maximum of 300 words.

Applications will be assessed on individual merit rather than in comparison to other applications, i.e., this is not a competitive scholarships program.

Applications will be assessed against the application requirements outlined in these guidelines.

Successful ECEC VET scholarship applicants completing a Certificate III (Qualification Pathway - CHC30121) in ECEC are eligible to receive up to a total of $3,000.

Payments will be made in two instalments:

  • The first instalment will be paid once an applicant is notified that they have been awarded a scholarship; and the department has received and accepted all scholarship set up documentation, which includes a scholarship contract (deed of agreement) and bank account details.
  • The second instalment will be paid once the department has assessed and accepted evidence of qualification completion. Evidence of completion must be provided by 31 December 2026. Eligible scholars that do not complete the Certificate III will not be eligible for Instalment 2.
Qualification Instalment 1 Payment Trigger: Instalment 1 Instalment 2 Payment Trigger: Instalment 2 Total Value
Certificate III
(Qualification - CHC30121)
$1,000 Scholarship awarded and completion/ acceptance of set up documentation $2,000 Department’s acceptance of completion evidence $3,000

Funds from the ECEC VET scholarships can be used to offset prospective and retrospective cost associated with studying, including, but is not limited to, purchasing technology, stationery, internet access, accommodation, and transportation.

Scholarship recipients may be contacted by the department regarding their scholarship experience, during and/or after the completion of the scholarship program.

Records of purchases must be kept for audit purposes.

Activity Date/s
Round 1 ECEC VET Scholarship Program Applications Open 15 November 2022 to 15 January 2023
Scholarship Applicants Notified of Outcome From April 2023
Eligible Scholars Receive Instalment 1 30 business days from acceptance of scholarship set up documentation
Submission of Qualification Completion Evidence By 31 December 2026
Eligible Scholars Receive Instalment 2 30 business days from acceptance of completion evidence

This timeline only applies to eligible scholars that have accurately provided all scholarship set up documentation by the due date determined by the department.

Any scholarship application documentation and set up documentation that is submitted incorrectly or after the due date identified by the department may result in a delayed notification or payment.

In the event of significant changes to this timeline, applicants will be notified by the department.

Applicants must provide certified copies of identification documentation as part of their application. JPs can be found in several places including, police stations, libraries, some pharmacies and government offices.

We recommend you start looking now and book a time as soon as possible. Applications close on Sunday, 15 January 2023 so aim to have your documents certified by Friday, 13 January 2023.

Justice of the Peace website will assist you in locating someone who offers the service in your area.

Applications for the 2022-23 Early Childhood Education & Care VET Scholarship Program – Certificate III closes on 15 January 2023.

Following the closing date, applications will be checked for eligibility and completeness. The Department may contact applicants during this phase to confirm information.

The Department anticipates that applicants will be notified of the application outcome from April 2023. Please ensure all application documentation is complete and correct before submitting to ensure there are no delays to this timeline.

Under this scholarship round, you must be enrolled either part time or full time in a Certificate III (CHC30121) in ECEC through the Qualification Pathway delivered by a Registered Training Organisation recognised under Smart and Skilled.

Those that are currently enrolled in the Certificate III (CHC30121) in ECEC through the Traineeship Pathway are not eligible for the current round of this scholarship.

The extension of this scholarship to people studying a Certificate III (CHC30121) in ECEC through the traineeship pathway will be considered as part of any future scholarship rounds.

We encourage you to keep an eye out on the Early childhood careers page for any future rounds of the scholarships program.

The NSW Department of Education is committed to developing and fostering a highly qualified and sustainable Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) workforce.

Under the Early Childhood National Law and Regulations, these service types require employees to hold or be working towards a Certificate III or Diploma qualification in ECEC.

An expansion of this criteria may be considered for any future scholarship rounds that aim to uplift the quality of education and care across NSW.

We encourage you to keep an eye out on the Early childhood careers page for any future rounds of the scholarships program.

No, you must be motived to work in a centre-based preschool, mobile preschool, long day care or family day care upon completion of your qualification.

An expansion of this criteria may be considered for any future scholarship rounds that aim to uplift the quality of education and care across NSW.

No, but you must be motivated to work in one of these service types listed above upon completion of your qualification.

There are currently no regulatory minimum qualifications requirements for educators in NSW OSHC services. However, there are a wide variety of professional development opportunities and qualifications that can support your work in the OSHC sector. For more information on professional learning, sector research, key contacts and support resources for OSHC educators, please visit our Outside School Hours Care Educators webpage.

Please note: One of the eligibility criteria for this scholarship program requires an intention to work in one of the following NSW ECEC service types: centre-based preschool, mobile preschool, long day care or family day care. These services require employees to hold or be working towards a Certificate III or Diploma in ECEC. Applicants who intend to work in Outside Hours School Care services are not eligible for this scholarship.

Support for the OSHC sector will continue to be considered as part of the Department’s suite of initiatives designed to enhance the Early Childhood Education and Care workforce.

We encourage you to keep an eye out on the Early childhood careers page for any future rounds of the scholarships program.

How to apply

Applications for the Certificate III (Qualification Pathway – CHC30121) in ECEC under the ECEC VET Scholarships Program should be submitted through the SmartyGrants online application system.

Applications for the first round of this program should be submitted between 15 November 2022 and 15 January 2023.

More information

Additional rounds of the ECEC VET Scholarships program may be opened based on funding availability. Please check the Early Childhood Careers webpages for updates on future rounds.

For more information about the ECEC VET Scholarships Program – Certificate III (Qualification – CHC30121) in ECEC, please contact the department by phone on 1800 619 113 or by email at ecec.scholarships@det.nsw.edu.au.

Return to top of page Back to top