Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Free TAFE Pathways Program
Course Code CHC30121
Locations Warrnambool, Portland, Hamilton

Would you prefer another study location? Click here

Study Mode Full-time, On Campus
Length 12 months
Commencement July 2024
Timetable Two days a week on campus with additional virtual classes as required, plus one day a week on placement (minimum 160 hours).
Course Overview

Want a rewarding career working with children?

This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to gain entry-level employment in the early childhood education and care sector.

You will gain the skills and knowledge to support the development and care of children from birth to pre-school.  You will learn how to implement an approved learning framework within the requirements of the Education and Care Services National Regulations and the National Quality Standards.

Through on-campus study and work placement, you will gain hands-on and practical skills in areas including: caring for babies and children up to 12 years old, responding to children and people at risk, effective interaction with children, providing nutritional food, childhood development, sustainable practices, first aid and work health and safety procedures.

This course also provides a pathway and meets the entry requirements to complete the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

What will I Learn?

Through a combination of on-campus study and work placement, you will gain practical on-the-job knowledge and skills you need to support the implementation of a learning framework, and support children’s wellbeing, learning and development.

You will develop practical skills and knowledge in:

  • caring for babies and children up to 12 years old
  • developing positive and respectful relationships with children
  • providing experiences to supports children's play and learning
  • responding to children and young people at risk
  • effective interaction with children
  • childhood development
  • sustainable practices
  • effective interaction with children
  • first aid
  • work health and safety procedures

Mode of delivery

Two days a week on campus with additional virtual classes* as required, plus one day a week on placement
(minimum 160 hours).

*Virtual classroom - a live online teaching and learning environment where teachers and students can present course materials, engage, interact, and work in groups together.

Course Outcomes and Career Opportunities

This course equips you to work across a range of age groups by providing care for babies, toddlers and children. Job roles include:

  • Childhood Educator Assistant
  • Outside School Hours Aide
  • Preschool Assistant
  • Nanny


Following the completion of this course, you may choose to continue study in the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Completion of the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care meets the entry requirements and provides credits for the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care at South West TAFE. 


You will be required to complete a minimum of 160 hours of practical placement in a regulated early childhood service during this course. Placement is usually 1 day per week.

We will arrange this placement for you.

Information Session

Why don’t you come along to our next course info session to find out everything you need to start your learning journey? You can chat with our teachers, tour our facilities, learn more about the course, find out about the application process and get your questions answered by our course experts. 

Find the next info session near you

Course in Transition

Industry is constantly having input into training packages to ensure course content is relevant and industry specific.  Where this occurs, the course code, title, units and content may change in the future and you may be enrolled into the new qualification.  If relevant, further information will be provided on our website, upon enrolment and/or during the course of your training.

Course Requirements
Entrance requirements & pre-requisites

Entry Requirements for this course include:

  • Successful application for a current Working with Children Check
  • You must be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Demonstrated desire and suitability to work in the early childhood field


Course requirements

To be eligible for this qualification you must successfully complete 17 units; 15 core and 2 elective.

Units offered

Core Units

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Unit Code Unit Name Unit Hours Unit Consumables
CHCPRT001 Identify and Respond to Children and Young People at Risk 40 $0.00
HLTWHS001 Participate in Workplace Health and Safety 20 $0.00
CHCECE030 Support inclusion and diversity 63 $0.00
CHCECE031 Support childrens health, safety and wellbeing 160 $0.00
CHCECE032 Nurture babies and toddlers 108 $0.00
CHCECE033 Develop positive and respectful relationships with children 100 $0.00
CHCECE034 Use an approved learning framework to guide practice 80 $0.00
CHCECE035 Support the holistic learning and development of children 100 $0.00
CHCECE036 Provide experiences to support childrens play and learning 75 $0.00
CHCECE037 Support children to connect with the natural environment 50 $0.00
CHCECE038 Observe children to inform practice 40 $0.00
CHCECE054 Encourage understanding of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples cultures 55 $0.00
CHCECE055 Meet legal and ethical obligations in childrens education and care 60 $0.00
CHCECE056 Work effectively in childrens education and care 65 $0.00
HLTAID012 Provide First Aid in an education and care setting 22 $52.50

Elective Units

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Unit Code Unit Name Unit Hours Unit Consumables
CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people 40 $0.00
CHCECE039 Comply with family day care administration requirements 30 $0.00

This course involves accredited units.  You will be required to complete assessment tasks to demonstrate your underpinning knowledge, skills and attributes to meet the course outcomes.  A combination of written, oral and practical assessment strategies will be used in either a classroom, online or workplace environment. 

Where units require demonstration of skills in a workplace environment, you will have the opportunity to do this either in your own workplace (where appropriate), through a practical placement, or by using one of the Institute's simulated workshops/classrooms.  Detailed information about the types, conduct and dates of assessments will be provided in advance.  You will also be provided with information about the opportunity for reassessment and appeal.

After applying

Once you have applied for your chosen course, you will receive a thank you email from South West TAFE with a few steps to help process your enrolment.

Complete a Pre-Training Review
You will receive an email to complete a Pre-Training Review online evaluation. This evaluation helps us tailor your training to suit your needs.

Create or provide a Unique Student Identifier (USI)
A USI is a nationally recognised reference number that provides an online record of your training qualifications gained in Australia.
Create your USI
Already have a USI but can’t remember it? Find your USI

Skills recognition
If you have experience or prior qualifications, you may be eligible to apply for recognition of prior learning and gain credits. You will be asked to provide any relevant Statement of Attainment to support identified credits.

Course Fees

Here's an outline of fees and costs associated with your course.

Your fees each year can be made up of 3 different elements.  Everyone has different circumstances that can affect what you pay and how much you pay. :

  1. Tuition fees - charged as an hourly rate that varies from course to course. A large portion of the tuition is subsidised by the Victorian Government for eligible students.
  2. Resource and/or materials costs - covers the cost of materials and other incidentals. This fee will vary according to the course being undertaken.
  3. Booklist items - such as textbooks, equipment and stationery recommended for your course

Tuition fees

There are 4 different rates of tuition fees. Only one will apply to you (depending on your eligibility and circumstances). 

  1. Government Subsidised Fee - you could be eligible for a government-subsidised rate under the Skills First funding depending on your age, educational history, and citizenship or residency status. If you are eligible, the government will contribute to the cost of your training.
    Find out more about subsidised training

  2. Government Subsidised Concession Fee - If you are eligible for a Skills First government-subsidised place and hold a current healthcare or pension card, that you can provide at enrolment, you may be eligible for the concession rate. Note, the concession rate is not applicable to Diploma level courses.
    Find out more about concession rates

  3. If the course is a Free TAFE course or part of the Free TAFE Pathways Program - Eligible students will not pay course tuition fees for the duration of their enrolment in this course, however, there may be some consumable/material fees for the course (find out more below). Any resource or material costs, or booklist items for this course are listed in the table below.
    Find out more about Free TAFE
    Find out more about Free TAFE Pathways Programs

  4. Full fee - If you are not eligible for a Skills First government-subsidised place, exemption, concession or are enrolling in a course that isn't government-subsidised, you may be required to pay the full fee rate.


The fees listed below are indicative only. The course fees published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Course fee funding is made available to eligible individuals by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments. If funding is utilised, this may affect opportunities to access additional funding in the future. An accurate quote for this course will be provided during the enrolment process.

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Course fees by student type Indicative Course Fee
Government subsidised rate (if eligible) $4,080.00
Concession rate $820.00
Full fee rate (if not eligible for govt subsidy) $13,685.00
This is a Free TAFE course

Students who are eligible for Free TAFE place will not pay course tuition fees for the duration of their enrolment in this course, however, there may be some consumable/material fees for the course (find out more below). The consumable fees for this course are listed in the above table.

Find out more about Free TAFE courses and eligibility or contact our Customer Service team.

This course is part of the Free TAFE Pathways Program

A Free TAFE Pathways Program is a group of courses that complement each other to help you continue to train for the career and industry you may wish to work in. For eligible students, these courses are tuition fee free. Depending on the course, you may still be required to pay material fees. The consumable fees for this course are listed in the above table.

Find out more about the Free TAFE Pathways Program and eligibility or contact us.

Resource and/or materials costs

Some courses require specific resources or materials necessary for your study eg: tools of the trade, excursions, etc. Final costs will be determined upon enrolment.

Swipe for full table
Additional course fees Indicative Course Fee
Course consumable/materials (approximate) $122.50

Your course may require you to purchase additional materials or books (eg uniform, stationery, textbooks). Some of these items are optional and some are mandatory. You can purchase these items from Campion Education, second-hand or via another supplier. Click here to find out more. 

You can download the booklist for this course here: HERE

How do I pay my fees?

Once we have processed your enrolment form, you will receive an email with your invoice.

You have three options when organising your payment:

  1. Upfront payment - can be made over the phone with EFTPOS
  1. Payment plan - can be directly debited from your bank account, debited from your Centrelink payments or via a VET Student Loan (for diploma or advanced diploma courses only)
  1. Paid by employer, school or job network agency - if your fees are being paid by your employer, school or job network agency, you will need to complete an Authority to Invoice form.

Payments will need to be arranged within five(5) business days of receiving the email containing your invoice.

We also offer a range of scholarships each year which you may be eligible to apply for to assist with course fees.

Next Steps
How to apply

There are five simple steps to apply for a course with us.

  1. Apply - complete a short online application form. Once this form is submitted we'll send you a thank-you email.
  2. Literacy and Numeracy Assessment - we will assess whether you need to undertake a Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) assessment and email it to you if required.
    If you are not required to undertake this assessment, you will skip to step 3.
  3. Chat to our team - your teacher or course specialist will contact you to discuss the course in more detail and ensure the right units of study are selected for you.
  4. Enrol – you will be sent an email to accept your offer for the course. By accepting, you will be directed to verify your details and submit your enrolment for processing.
  5. Pay - once we’ve completed your enrolment, we will send you an invoice to arrange payment of your course fees.

If you need any assistance with applying, contact our team on 1300 648 911 or visit your nearest campus.

Careers and Course Advice

Not sure which course is right for you? South West TAFE will help you find your way.

Our Careers Coaches at the Skills and Jobs Centre is here to support you. Whether you’re exploring career options, transitioning from school to the workforce or looking to study after school we’re here to help you.

Student Support

As a SWTAFE student, you can access a variety of support services that will enhance your study experience and help you complete your studies successfully. For more information about any of these services, visit our student page.