Education and Care Careers

Educators and teachers work in a range of early childhood settings including long day care, family day care, occasional care, kindergarten and outside school hours care.​​​​

Teacher with childrenResearch increasingly shows that the early years are the most important for children's growth and development. Make a difference in a child's early years and you make a difference for life.

Early childhood teacher

Early childhood teachers support the learning, development, health and wellbeing of young children, including babies and toddlers.

To qualify to become an early childhood teacher you generally need to complete at least four years of tertiary study, including at least one year of teacher education study.

The most common qualifications are:

  • a four-year undergraduate childhood qualification (e.g. Bachelor of Early Childhood Education)
  • a ‘pathways’ course allowing those with an approved diploma in children’s services to complete a degree in early childhood education

For more information on the qualifications and training available for early childhood teachers, see: Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority

For further information about being an early childhood teacher, see:

Early Childhood Teacher Registration

All Victorian early childhood teachers are required to be registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching. Teachers who do not register will need to have a valid legal exemption.

For further information including a list of frequently asked questions, see: Early Childhood Teacher Registration

For further information regarding the registration process, see: Victorian Institute of Teaching

Early childhood educator

Early childhood educators were previously known as kindergarten assistants, child care workers or child care assistants. The new title reflects the importance of play-based learning in fostering children’s growth and development in their early years.

There are a range of qualifications and training opportunities that will open the door to a career as anMale early childhood educator early childhood educator. These include a VET qualification in education and care such as:

  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (6 months)
  • Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care (one year)
  • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (18 months – 2 years)
  • Diploma of School Age Education and Care (one year)
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Other pathways include pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, traineeships or School Based Apprenticeships in Children’s Services.

For more information on the training and qualifications available for early childhood educators, see: Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority

For more information on the training and qualifications of staff in Victorian Children’s Services, see: Training and Qualifications - Victorian Children's Services

For further information about being an early childhood educator, see:

Educational leader

An early childhood educational leader is responsible for working with educators and children to develop a program of activities and experiences that support learning. The leader must have knowledge and experience about the way children learn and about quality educator practice as their role is also about promoting positive educational philosophies.

Qualifications will vary according to the exact role, but could include:

  • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (18 months – 2 years)
  • Diploma of School Age Education and Care (one year)
  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (four years)• Bachelor of Education (four years)
  • Bachelor Degree plus Graduate Diploma of Education
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

For further information about being an educational leader, see: