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.

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12 months 

Full Time or Part Time equivalent

Child Care Educator

Locations & Applications

Campus / Location
Study Mode
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements

  • No 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.

Please Read Before Applying

Entry Recommendations
If you have experience in early childhood education and care, we recommend you discuss Recognition of Prior Learning after enrolment.

Attendance Requirements (subject to change)
Part time (2 years of study) requires attendance of 2 days per week which is comprised of one day on-campus and one day vocational placement a week. Full time (1 year of study)requires attendance of 2 x 2 hour online classes per week, one day on campus for practical workshops, 1 day of vocational placement a week and 1 assessment support/tutorial per week.

Industry Conditions and Skills
You will need a reasonable level of fitness to physically care for infants and children, and undertake manual handling tasks and provide first aid when appropriate. You will be committed to working with children, be able to communicate with children and families, collaborate within a team and have the ability to multitask, access information and use technology. You will have the ability to use knowledge of children to plan for their learning and development.

Additional Uniforms, Equipment and Costs
If you do not hold the following, a current Working with Children Check and Child Safe Environments certificate, you will be required to complete these and will be advised of the associated costs prior to registration.

Vocational Placements
You will need to complete a vocational placement in a regulated early education and care service throughout the duration of the qualification. If you are not working in a regulated early education and care service, you will be placed by TAFE SA's Placement team. To make sure that you are able to be placed, you will need to provide the required clearances, documentation and certificates by the date advised.

Mandatory Requirements
You will require a current Working with Children check and a Safe Environments for Children and Young People certificate. If you do not have these checks and certificates you will not be able to commence your vocational placement. Individual Early Education and Care services may have their own policies on vaccination requirements. You may need to show evidence of vaccination.

Average cost per semester
Total Fees for the 12 month course
You may be eligible for government subsidised training.
Subsidised training may require applicants to complete a Core Skills Profile Assessment (CSPA).

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 may include participation in a Language, Literacy and Numeracy pre-assessment. The number of Fee Free TAFE places that are funded is limited by the terms of the skills agreement signed by the Australian and South Australian Governments. Should all available Fee Free TAFE places be taken, subsequent applicants will be offered a subsidised place.

Fee Free Training Eligibility
Full Fee

This course also has an additional cost of $141.00 for .

  • Upfront Payment

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

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    Payment Plan

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

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  • 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.

    * 2023 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 report 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
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