Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

CRICOS Code: 111781J
National Code: CHC30121


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. • The Fee Free TAFE allocation for this course has been exhausted for Semester 1 2024. Additional Fee Free TAFE places may be available in future semesters, subject to changes in TAFE SA’s Fee Free TAFE course list and changes to the Fee Free TAFE policy.

Duration (incl. holidays)
Teaching Duration
Example Career Profile
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52 weeks
40 weeks
Child Care Educator
Campus / Location
Study Mode
Contact Hours
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements
(for International Applications)

Work Placement Duration:   168 hours

The Vocational Placement hours will be across all semesters of this course, and, depending on the location, likely be for up to 7 hours per day. Some students may be required to do more than the required hours if they cannot achieve competency (a pass grade) in the 168 hours. The Vocational Placement will be within an early childhood regulated education service which will be organised by TAFE SA staff. Prior to work placement, international students will be required to apply for and successfully receive the South Australian Department of Human Services Screenings: Working with Children Check. International students will be expected to pay for their own screenings and checks. Students will also be required to purchase a name badge for $10.

Course Notes

  • Students seeking a package from Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care to the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care and the Bachelor of
    Early Childhood Education (Honours) are required to meet the English Language (IELTS) requirements of the Bachelor program before commending the TAFE SA Certificate III.


These course fees are for international students only.

Tuition Fees
Incidental Fees*
Semester 1
AUD $6825
Semester 2
AUD $6825
Fee Totals
AUD $13650
Total Course Cost
AUD $13650

* International students will be expected to pay for their own screenings and checks. Students will also be required to purchase a name badge for $10.

Note: TAFE SA course and other fees/costs are subject to regular increases and are reviewed annually. TAFE SA accepts applications for courses commencing beyond the year advertised and tuition and other fees/costs for these years will be higher. TAFE SA and their agents reserve the right to make any changes necessary.

Overseas Students Health Cover

All overseas students are required to have Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) insurance for the entire duration of the course. The health cover rate will vary depending on the personal circumstances and duration of stay in Australia. Read more about Overseas Students Health Cover.

  • 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:

    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.

    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

    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

  • The city created for students

    You will never find another city like Adelaide. With welcoming locals, it is the perfect place for you to study, live and enjoy.

    Affordable living
    A student city

    A student city

    Adelaide is home to over 30,000 international students and has a strong and growing reputation as an education city. In addition to TAFE SA, Adelaide is home to six world-leading universities: The University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University, Torrens University Australia and CQ University Australia.


    Adelaide’s crime rates are the lowest in the country and for that reason, Adelaide has previously been named the safest city in Australia.

    Beach Culture

    Beach Culture

    Adelaide’s pristine sandy beaches are just a 20 minute tram ride from the city centre. On hot summer days, you can study in the day and take the tram to have dinner at the beach and watch the sunset with friends.

    Live centrally

    Accommodation is more affordable in Adelaide than in other cities in Australia making it often possible for students to live in the heart of the city or just outside. This means more time is spent studying and less time travelling.

    Live centrally


    Adelaide is known for its cafe culture, with more cafes and restaurants by population than any other city in Australia. In recent years, Adelaide has also developed a vibrant and varied bar scene. The city is big enough that you will struggle to visit all of the places you would like to drink and eat in during in your first year of study. Our mix of cultures means there’s likely to be a supermarket that sells food from your home country too.

    Easy to get around

    Adelaide is a flat city so it is ideal for walking or cycling. Its grid layout makes it almost impossible to get lost! There are free trams and buses around the city centre. International students can show their ID to get cheaper tickets.

    Easy to get around


    Adelaide is known for its festivals, which are famous around the world. WOMADelaide, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Fringe Festival and Cabaret Festival are just some of the international arts and music festivals that keep the city buzzing

    Everyone agrees – Adelaide is a great place to live and study

    Adelaide is recognised as one of the world’s most liveable cities. In 2014, Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel book ranked Adelaide in the global top ten. For the last four years Adelaide has been ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

    Everyone agrees – Adelaide is a great place to live and study
    Beautiful weather

    Beautiful weather

    Adelaide has four distinct seasons, with moderate winters and warm to hot summers. In winter you will need woolly jumpers and jackets and in summer, shorts and t-shirts. The heat in South Australia is dry, rather than humid.

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