I’m a current early childhood educator

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Brian works in an Early Childhood Education and Care Service as a Certificate III qualified educator. He enjoys the flexibility of the role, and his service operates at multiple locations, which means he can vary the site that he works at. Brian loves his work and wants more responsibility and to broaden his horizons within the sector. He enrols in a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, which is being offered through a local Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that is registered under the Smart and Skilled program. Due to the support of the NSW government, Brian does not have to pay fees for his course.

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18 months later . . .

Brian’s employer is supportive of Brian’s desire to upskill and, as he completes his qualification, Brian is offered a full-time contract. This arrangement allows him the security of permanent hours whilst maintaining the flexibility to work at multiple locations.

Brian’s enthusiasm and engagement in his role is an inspiration for his partner, Mike, who decides to undertake studies in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care. In the future they intend to open their own Service. With an understanding of sector needs, but also because they are looking for a work/life balance, they are looking to relocate to the NSW south coast, where there is a keen need for educators. Future initiatives, rolled out by the Department of Education, will be beneficial to Brian and Mike achieving this goal.


Abby has recently migrated to Australia and is looking to enter the workforce full-time. She completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in New Zealand and is looking to upskill now that she is living in Australia. As a New Zealand citizen, Abby accesses free training through the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled Program. Living in a rural community, Abby is concerned that access to her course might be limited, however, she finds that TAFE are running a blended delivery option that will enable her to complete her studies without always having to travel to campus.

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Three years from now . . .

Abby needed to take a break in her studies while she was on maternity leave, but TAFE supported her by pausing her enrolment. She takes a semester off and returns to studies part-time while she spends time at home with her family. Upon completion of her award, Abby finds a flexible role in an ECEC Service around the corner from her home. Although she is starting with only a few shifts per week, she and her manager are working on a long-term plan to assist with a transition into the full-time workforce. Knowing that she can eventually work in her chosen service and have her son enrolled there is peace of mind.

James grows up in northern New South Wales. After completing his HSC, he is unsure of his career path and spends a few years working in retail and hospitality roles. While both environments are challenging and dynamic, his work in these sectors does not leave him fulfilled or with the sense that he is making a positive difference in his local community.

In 2018 James enrols into the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and completes his studies at his local TAFE in Ballina. Upon completion of his Cert III program, James travels overseas but has to return home at the onset of the pandemic. After working in the sector for three years and responding to the needs and challenges of lockdowns, James knows that this is the field he is meant to work in. The value that he gets from being a consistent and inspirational influence on young children is very meaningful and gives him a sense of pride. Wanting to upskill to become more qualified and be able to take on additional responsibilities, James enrols into the Diploma of ECEC, though this time he will be studying with a different RTO.

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18 months from now . . .

In 2023 the Department of Education launch a new range of scholarships and completion incentive programs to assist students in finishing their studies. James lodges an online application and is successful in receiving funding.

James is awarded $2,000 at the commencement of his scholarship. He uses the money to supplement his income while he is at TAFE and unable to work. Upon completion of the qualification, James is awarded another payment of $3,000, which he used to upgrade his technology. At the end of his studies, James is offered full-time work with his employer.

As the above case studies show, no matter where you are in your career, there are opportunities available for you to upskill. You could build on your qualification as an educator with a Diploma in ECEC or complete an early childhood teaching degree. Your career is in your hands!

Below are some options to take the next step in your professional career in early childhood education.

Financial support to complete a Certificate III or Diploma in ECEC

You may be eligible to receive funding if you are currently enrolled to complete your Certificate III or Diploma in ECEC through a recognised Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The 2022-23 Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Vocational Education and Training (VET) Scholarships Program is now open until 15 January 2023.

ECEC VET Scholarships - Certificate III in ECEC

ECEC VET Scholarships - Diploma in ECEC

Fee-Free Qualifications and Training

Fee-free pathways are for you if you would like to complete a fully subsidised Certificate III in ECEC or Diploma in ECEC.

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