Guidance for pre-service teacher placement

Student placements can continue during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Pre-service teachers are equivalent to staff who are delivering or supporting essential services and operations.

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are encouraged to implement mechanisms to make sure students adhere to placement protocols, their mentor teachers' directions, and the health and safety advice for early childhood services.

This detailed advice has been developed with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) guidance.

Taking student placements

Student placements in early childhood services can continue where this is safe and possible. Disruption to placements has an impact on individual students and the supply of new graduates into the early childhood education sector to work in services in the future.

It's understandable that some service providers may not be able to support student placements at this time.

In line with placement protocols, mentor teachers' directions, and the health and safety advice we have developed with DHHS, placements should resume where possible.

Why placements are important

Victoria's future early childhood teaching workforce is dependent on current ITE students maintaining access to a range of opportunities to build capabilities essential to teaching in early childhood. Students' timely graduation and registration is critical to their immediate opportunities for employment, but also to services' future workforce sustainability.

ITE student placements are an integral part of early childhood education and we are grateful that many early childhood services enable these students to gain vital experience on the job while working towards becoming early childhood teachers.

Ensuring safety of students, children and staff

To support the safety and wellbeing of educators, teachers, children and families, pre-service teachers should:

Completing student placement

Completing an accredited program of study requires completion of all approved activities (including professional placement).

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority's (ACECQA) agreed modification to supervised professional experience requirements for final year Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) students in 2020 are that:

  • Undergraduate ECT programs must include at least 30 days of supervised professional experience in early childhood settings, including a minimum of 10 days with children aged birth to under three-years (0-35 months).
  • Postgraduate ECT programs must include at least 20 days of supervised professional experience in early childhood settings, including a minimum of 10 days with children aged birth to under three-years (0-35 months).

These regulatory measures are temporary and have been applied as a result of matters arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ITE providers are able to implement the regulatory measures according to their context and to the needs of their pre-service teachers on a case-by-case basis.

For combined early childhood and primary ITE programs, this must include at least 45 days in a school setting (primary context, visit Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)) and must meet ACECQA's minimum requirements of supervised professional experience in early childhood settings.

Further advice

Call the dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) advice line during business hours on 1800 338 663 if you have questions about the safety, wellbeing and guidance of pre-service teachers on placements.

If you have further questions or need help preparing PSTs for placements and procedures, you can contact the relevant ITE provider's placement experience officers.

​You can download this advice: Guidance for ITE placements factsheet (docx - 107.83kb)