Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

National Code: CHC30121
TAFE SA Code: TP01330


Like inspiring young minds?

Develop the skills and knowledge you need to inspire and support children as an early childhood educator.

You could work in a childcare, preschool, classroom, out-of-school-hours care or even a community education setting.

The certificate III is the minimum requirement for employment in the early childhood industry.

Example Career Profile
Print Course Page
12 months 

Full Time or Part Time equivalent

Child Care Educator

Locations & Applications

Campus / Location
Study Mode
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements

If there are more applications for this course than places available, applicants will be ranked by date of application to this course

Average cost per semester
Total Fees for the 12 month course
Fee Free

This course is part of the Fee Free TAFE initiative. Fee Free TAFE and vocational education is a joint initiative of the Australian and South Australian Governments providing tuition-free training places to students wanting to train, retrain or upskill. The eligibility check below is an indication only and does not confirm your eligibility status. Eligibility verification will take place before the enrolment process and will include participation in a Language, Literacy and Numeracy pre-assessment.

Fee Free Training Eligibility
Full Fee

This course also has an additional cost of $66.00 for Department of Human Services Working With Children Check..

    • This course has a blended learning approach, incorporating online learning, weekly contact sessions (on campus/Skype) and some on campus workshops. Attendance at all of these components is essential to enable successful completion of the qualification. This course mode requires you to have access to a computer connected to the internet.
    • Prior to commencing your vocational placement you are required to have a Child-related Employment Screening clearance letter from the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion; a Child Safe Environment certificate for Children's Services; Responding to Abuse and Neglect-Education and Care (RAN-EC) certificate for Department for Education school or service or a private school or service in South Australia.
    • PLEASE NOTE: This course is intended for people who are not attending high school / secondary school. If you are currently still enrolled in high school or a Flexible Learning Option (FLO) student, please contact your VET Coordinator at your school regarding the VET for Schools programs.
    • Students do not have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to study at TAFESA or attend vocational placement in an education and care or education support program, however, individual services may have their own policies on the requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and other diseases such as whooping cough. Students will need to address the requirements of the service.
  • Upfront Payment

    Each semester, fees can be paid online with VISA or Mastercard or at an Australia Post outlet.

    Read More

    Payment Plan

    If you have difficulty paying your fees upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

    Read More

  • Total hours required: 160

    To achieve this qualification you must have completed a total of least 160 hours of work in a regulated children’s education and care service in Australia.

  • Employment Outcomes

    The Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care is the minimum requirement for employment in the early childhood industry.

    Under the Education and Care Services National Law (2011) the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has set minimum training standards for all educators who are directly working with children in Birth to Preschool age Long Day Care centres. Educators must hold or be working towards an approved Certificate III level education and care qualification (or higher). The list of approved early childhood education and care qualifications and information regarding regulatory requirements can be found here: www.acecqa.gov.au

    Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

    Qualifications & Skills Covered

    Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30121)
    This course provides the skills needed by educators in a range of early childhood education settings who work within the requirements of the Education and Care Services National Regulations and the National Quality Standard. They support the implementation of an approved learning framework, and support children’s wellbeing, learning and development. To complete the qualification you are required to complete all 15 core units and 2 elective units.

    Note: Students who successfully complete only one or more units of competency but not the full qualification are eligible to receive a Statement of Attainment.

    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.
    of TAFE SA graduates would recommend their training.

    * 2021 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Below is a list of all units that TAFE SA can offer in this qualification. The selection of elective units you will be enrolled into depends on the campus you attend, and the qualification packaging rules described on www.training.gov.au.

    Not all elective units listed below must necessarily be completed to achieve your qualification.


    Name Nominal Hours
    Develop positive and respectful relationships with children 100
    Encourage understanding of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures 55
    Identify and respond to children and young people at risk 40
    Meet legal and ethical obligations in children’s education and care 60
    Nurture babies and toddlers 108
    Observe children to inform practice 40
    Participate in workplace health and safety 20
    Provide experiences to support children’s play and learning 75
    Provide First Aid in an education and care setting 22
    Support children to connect with the natural environment 50
    Support children’s health, safety and wellbeing 160
    Support inclusion and diversity 63
    Support the holistic learning and development of children 100
    Use an approved learning framework to guide practice 80
    Work effectively in children’s education and care 65


    Name Nominal Hours
    Follow basic food safety practices 30
    Organise personal work priorities 30
Back to Top