Improve Professional Practice

​Tools and courses for improving your professional practice.

Mentor training for experienced early childhood teachers

The Effective Mentoring Program equips experienced teachers with mentoring skills.

Teachers who do the training learn how to support provisionally registered teachers at the beginning of their careers and guide them through the Victorian Institute of Teaching's process to become fully registered. 

The training is delivered over two days face to face and includes an online learning component. The training is provided at no cost to participants.


Experienced early childhood teachers employed by an early childhood service who have an enthusiasm for mentoring.

School teachers interested in the program, see: Mentor training for experienced school teachers

Application process

Information on how to register will be available in February 2018.

Teachers who register for the training must be able to attend day one and day two of the training, and complete the online modules.

Before registering, you may be interested to read:

More information

Training locations

Training in 2018 will be offered to early childhood teachers at 11 locations across the state with day one conducted between March and May and day two conducted between June and August. Training locations are:

  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo
  • Box Hill
  • Carrum Downs
  • Melbourne
  • Mildura
  • Point Cook
  • Shepparton
  • Traralgon
  • Warrnambool
  • Wodonga

Training delivered at locations outside of metropolitan Melbourne will be a combined delivery were participants will be both early childhood and school teachers.

Travel and accommodation support

Early childhood teachers who travel a distance greater than 100kms from their early childhood service to the training venue can apply for a contribution amount of up to $200 for both days of training.

Early childhood teachers who travel a distance greater than 200kms from their early childhood service to the training venue can also apply for an accommodation contribution of up to $300 for both days of training.

You can apply for a travel and accommodation expense contribution by completing: 

Please note that funding is limited and subject to approval by the Department.

About the program

Undertaking the Effective Mentoring Program will give you the opportunity to develop a culture of mentoring in your early childhood service and is an important step to becoming a great mentor to beginning teachers.

This is a free professional development opportunity where you will be able to attribute your participation in the Effective Mentoring Program to the Victorian Institute of Teaching's requirement to engage in professional development activities as part of your annual registration process.

Connecting mentors and mentees

There are many different ways mentors and mentees can find each other. Some of these options may depend on your early childhood setting type.

Your manager or service director may be a good starting point to support you in finding a mentor or a mentee at a nearly early childhood service. Mentees may find a mentor using the interactive mentor map. For other suggestions to locate a mentor or a mentee, see:

Mentor map

This map helps mentees find you via your service and get in touch about establishing a mentor-mentee relationship. Sharing the details of your kindergarten or long day care service with the Department will enable that information to be added to this interactive map.

Visit our effective mentoring program map

If you have any questions, or to add your service details to the interactive mentor map, contact the early childhood mentoring team at

Practice principles: teaching birth to eight years

The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) practice principles for teaching birth to eight years provide a foundation for you to improve your teaching practice.

Nanjing No.1 Kindergarten Knowledge Exchange Program

Applications are now closed.

The Nanjing No.1 Kindergarten Knowledge Exchange Program gives three eligible Victorian early childhood teachers the opportunity to:

  • spend two weeks in China, from 11-25 May 2018, visiting Nanjing No.1 Kindergarten (NNK) in Jiangsu Province
  • complete an action research project
  • share their findings upon their return to Victoria at an early childhood forum.

The program includes flights, hotel accommodation and daily allowances. Pro-rata Relief teaching backfill for time spent out in-country and attending program commitments will be provided to approved applicants.


Applicants must be Australian citizens/permanent residents who are:

  • early childhood teachers, fully registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching, with a minimum of four years’ teaching experience in the early childhood sector
  • currently delivering a state-funded kindergarten program at a Victorian early childhood education and care service
  • delivering this kindergarten program at an early childhood education and care service with a service quality rating of Exceeding the National Quality Standard in Quality Area 1 (Educational Program and Practice), or has previously worked at a service at the time it was rated Exceeding in Quality Area 1.
Apply for the program

Applications are now closed.

Participants will be selected through a competitive application process. This includes a written application and interview that will be assessed by a selection panel.

An ability to speak Mandarin or experience with Chinese culture or language is not required.

We strongly encourage all eligible early childhood teachers to apply for this exciting opportunity.

To submit an application, see: Program application form

For guidelines, see:  Nanjing No.1 Kindergarten Knowledge Exchange Program guidelines (docx - 381.35kb)

Program objectives

Nanjing No.1 Kindergarten is the oldest and largest kindergarten in Jiangsu Province and is widely respected for its innovative approaches to early childhood education and care.

During the exchange, participants will be able to:

  • build new professional partnerships
  • share their knowledge of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF)
  • optimise leadership skills through leading reflective discussion
  • explore new teaching practices and apply them within the Victorian context to improve outcomes for children.
About Nanjing No.1 Kindergarten

The knowledge exchange program is a partnership between the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education in China and the Department.

As the first certified Chinese/English bilingual early childhood service in Jiangsu Province, NNK places great value on knowledge sharing with international education organisations and has previously hosted ECTs from the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

The Nanjing Early Childhood Development Research and International Exchange Centre is co-located on campus and aims to create an international hub for early childhood excellence. As well as providing an innovative learning environment for the children, the Centre conducts collaborative research programs.

A recent project has seen NNK build its own ‘Children’s Museum’ for children to explore, discover and initiate their own learning.

Reflective practice guidance

An education resource to help improve your professional practice and working relationships to achieve better outcomes for you and your clients. For more information, see: Reflective practice

Early childhood forum

You are invited to join us at an all-day early childhood forum on 8 June, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Register your interest to attend

To express your interest to attend this free event, see: 2018 Early Childhood: realising the potential registration

What you will learn

This  free forum explores the importance of the early childhood years and their impact on health, education and social and economic wellbeing. Leading international and Australian experts will give their innovative perspectives on early childhood services and systems.

It will include sessions on parenting, kindergarten quality, access and inclusion, language development and much more.

This forum provides an opportunity for you to join your early childhood peers and be energised by a wide range of new and emerging ideas that will support the lifelong learning of all Victorian children.

Who the forum is for

The forum is for all professionals working with young children, including: 

  • Maternal Child Health nurses
  • playgroup facilitators
  • educators
  • teachers
  • intervention professionals
  • managers
  • policy makers
  • leaders in primary school.

Maternal and Child Health Conferences

The Maternal and Child Health Conferences provide an opportunity for the workforce to come together twice a year and learn about a range of subjects and areas that impact on their work. For more information, see: MCH conferences