Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Free TAFE Pathways Program
Course Code CHC50121
Locations Warrnambool, Portland, Hamilton

Would you prefer another study location? Click here

Study Mode Full-time, On Campus, Workplace, Online, Workshops
Length 15 months
Commencement February, April, July, October
Timetable Two evenings a week via virtual classroom, one full-day workshop every second month on campus, work placement two days a week plus a two-week leadership placement towards the end of the course (minimum 280 hours).
Course Overview

This qualification reflects the role of early childhood educators who are responsible for designing, implementing and monitoring curriculum in early childhood education and care services, with an emphasis on play-based learning.

You will become qualified to supervise staff and volunteers. You will develop the necessary knowledge and skills to plan, implement and manage programs in accordance with relevant legislation, standards and duty of care requirements.

You will learn to be a lead educator, who implements an approved learning framework within the requirements of the Education and Care Services National Regulations and the National Quality Standards.

What will I Learn?

During this course, you will learn about the intellectual, social, emotional, physical needs and educational development of children. You will gain the skills and knowledge to support their rights, safety and wellbeing.

In particular, you will gain hands-on skills and experience in:

Mode of delivery

Two evening classes a week via Smart Classroom*, one full-day workshop every second month on campus, plus work placement two days a week and a three-week leadership placement towards the end of the course.

*Smart Classroom means the teacher will not always be physically present and may teach via video conferencing. This will alternate between campuses. You will still be required to attend the campus.

Course Outcomes and Career Opportunities


Following the completion of this course, you may choose to continue study in the education industry at Bachelor level in Early Years or Primary Education. You may be able to apply for credit for prior learning with your chosen university or TAFE.

Want to continue your study locally?
Upon completion, you can apply for a course with Deakin University to complete a:

You can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning and receive credits toward your degree.


You are required to complete a minimum of 280 hours of placement in a regulated early learning centre as part of your course including a 2 week leadership placement towards the end of the course. This can be in your place of employment or as a volunteer.

If required outside of your place of work, SWTAFE will arrange these placements 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 Requirements
Entrance requirements & pre-requisites

Entry requirements for this course include:

  • Minimum age specification of 18
  • Must be employed a minimum of 1 day a week as an early years educator within a long day care center, family day care, pre-school, or kindergarten and provide a letter or email of support from employer
  • Must provide A verified Statement of Attainment proving completion of CHC30121 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care or CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
  • Must be fully vaccinated and able to show currency upon course commencement in accordance with State Health Policies.<br />
    https://www.health.vic.gov.au/immunisation/vaccination-for-people-working-with-children<br />
  • Evidence of successful application for a Working with Children Check card
  • Police Check (disclosures will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to the centre requirements)

Course requirements

You will complete 2 units in this qualification and then transition to the new qualification

You will need to complete 280 hours of practical placement in a regulated early childhood centre.

Units offered

Core Units

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Unit Code Unit Name Unit Hours Unit Consumables
CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice 120 $0.00
BSBTWK502 Manage team effectiveness 60 $0.00
CHCECE041 Maintain a safe and healthy environment for children 55 $0.00
CHCECE042 Foster holistic early childhood learning, development and wellbeing 200 $0.00
CHCECE043 Nurture creativity in children 80 $0.00
CHCECE044 Facilitate compliance in a children's education and care service 110 $0.00
CHCECE045 Foster positive and respectful interactions and behaviour in children 60 $0.00
CHCECE046 Implement strategies for the inclusion of all children 65 $0.00
CHCECE047 Analyse information to inform children's learning 75 $0.00
CHCECE048 Plan and implement children's education and care curriculum 180 $0.00
CHCECE049 Embed environmental responsibility in service operations 73 $0.00
CHCECE050 Work in partnership with children's families 70 $0.00

Elective Units

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Unit Code Unit Name Unit Hours Unit Consumables
CHCINM002 Meet community information needs 70 $0.00
BSBPEF502 Develop and use emotional intelligence 60 $0.00
BSBHRM413 Support the learning and development of teams and individuals 40 $0.00
CHCECE053 Respond to grievances and complaints about the service 40 $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) $4,125.00
Full fee rate (if not eligible for govt subsidy) $8,810.00
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.

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Additional course fees Indicative Course Fee
Course consumable/materials (approximate) $70.00

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.