What Qualifications do Educators need to Work in the Early Education and Care Sector?

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  Published on Tuesday, 08 May 2018

What Qualifications do Educators need to Work in the Early Education and Care Sector?

Library Home  >  Government Policy & Quality Standards
  Published on Tuesday, 08 May 2018
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Early childhood educators play an important role in society. They lay the foundations for life-long learning among children and keep our little people safe, happy and entertained. So it's important that every educator possess the skills and training required to nurture and develop young children to their full potential. 

Here we look at the different qualifications educators need and what parents can do if they suspect there's something amiss with an educator's credentials. 

What types of early childhood education and care qualifications are there?

The National Quality Framework (NQF) sets out the minimum qualifications that various educators must possess to work in the early childhood sector. And depending on the service and children's age, there are three types of early childhood qualifications: 

  1. Teacher level – a bachelor's degree or above
  2. Diploma level
  3. Certificate level

What qualifications are needed to work in a centre-based service with kids preschool age and under?

At preschools, long day care and kindergartens, 50 per cent of the educators must hold (or be actively working towards) at least a diploma level education and care qualification. 

All other educators must have (or be in the process of getting) an approved Certificate III level of education and care. 

And early childhood teachers need an approved early childhood teaching qualification. This can include a qualification commenced before 1 January 2012 or one listed as an 'equivalent early childhood teacher qualification' by ACECQA

Early childhood teachers may also need to be registered or accredited, depending on which state and territory they work in. 

What qualifications are required to work in a family day care service?

In South Australia, family day care educators must hold at least an approved Certificate III level of education and care. However, in the rest of Australia, it's sufficient for an educator to be enrolled in the course and be making good progress towards completing it. 

Family day care coordinators, on the other hand, must meet a higher standard and hold an approved diploma level education and care qualification. 

What first aid qualifications must educators hold?

Part of an educator's job is keeping children healthy and safe, so the Education and Care Services National  Regulations outline what qualifications educators need to deal with medical emergencies. 

At all times, a centre-based service must have at least one staff member (or supervisor) on duty with these current and approved qualifications: 

  • First aid qualifications
  • Anaphylaxis management training
  • Emergency asthma management training

One person may hold all three qualifications, or the expertise may be split between staff members. 

Meanwhile in family day care services, each educator and educator assistant must hold all three qualifications. 

In terms of currency, first aid qualifications need to be renewed every three years and refresher training in CPR is required annually. 

What sort of concerns might parents have about an educator’s qualifications?

Most educators are professional, knowledgeable and fully trained to look after your child's care and learning. However, if something seems amiss, it's definitely worth investigating. 

For instance, you may suspect that an educator’s qualifications are: 

  1. Fraudulent, i.e. a fake document
  2. Improperly awarded, i.e. the educator doesn’t have the skills and knowledge required
  3. Cancelled

How can you check an educator’s qualifications?

If your educator's skills and training are raising alarm bells, then it's a good idea to outline your concerns with the centre director or family day care coordinator. 

In the case of possibly fraudulent qualifications, you can also contact the educational institution that supposedly issued the qualification. They will be able to tell if the document lacks legitimacy. 

When it comes to improperly awarded or cancelled qualifications, there is the option of making a complaint to the Australian Skills Quality Authority. And, depending on where you're based, you can also get in touch with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority or the Training Accreditation Council Western Australia to report a suspicious qualification. 

Saying that, the majority of educators do a fantastic job with our babies, toddlers and preschoolers, bringing hands-on experience and the required tertiary qualifications to play rooms. 

For more information visit ACECQA.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Monday, 30 December 2019

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