Early Childhood Education & Care

This qualification is recognised entry-level qualifications for employment in the Community Services industry. The course would suit students who are interested in either a career in Education, the Child-care Industry or part-time work while undertaking further study. Students may also wish to complete this course for general interest.

This qualification reflects the role of workers 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. Depending on the setting, educators may work under direct supervision or autonomously.

This industry requires students to have:

  • Current immunisation records
  • Police check
  • Working with children check

CHC30121 – Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

  • Students undertaking a 240 or 360 hour course will be eligible to achieve a Statement of Attainment towards Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
Course Duration/Hours

The following patterns of study are possible (availability will be confirmed by the school):

  • 240 hour course that runs over 2 years
  • 360 hour course that runs over 2 years
  • To complete the full qualification, students must undertake the 360hr course PLUS the Early Childhood Education and Care course available during Term 4 of Year 12, post HSC exams as part of the Post-School VET courses offered by SCS.


  1. There is no 120 hour course available towards the Early Childhood Education and Care qualification
HSC Information

This is a Board Endorsed Course and therefore no HSC examination. It cannot be counted towards an ATAR.

Work Placement

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) requires students to complete a minimum of 35 hours of work placement for the 240 hour course as units delivered in the 240 hour course require assessment in a regulated children’s education and care service in Australia where interactions with children must be supervised by an approved early childhood educator and with some direct observation by the assessor.

Work placement is a mandatory component of the course and must be completed prior to the student’s last HSC exam.

160* hours of work placement (4 x 40hr weeks) are required for the 360 hour course. This is because in addition to the requirements outlined above for units in the 240hr course, there are four units in the 360hr course which stipulate that performance criteria need to be demonstrated during a period of at least 160hrs of work in a regulated children’s education and care service in Australia.

Students are strongly encouraged to undertake an SBAT in this qualification as days worked as part of a School Based Traineeship satisfy both NESA and the assessment requirements.

  • * 160hrs work placement is an increase on the previous 120hr requirement.
  • COVID-19 Vaccination is required to work in the Early Childhood Education & Care Industry. Students need to meet NSW Health Orders vaccination requirements to undertake work placement or an SBAT.
  • Assessment

    This course is competency based and the student’s performance is recognised against a prescribed industry standard. Assessment strategies may include:

    • Observation
    • Student demonstration
    • Questioning
    • Written tasks
    • Tests

    Students are given a number of opportunities to demonstrate competence across the range of competency standards covered by this course.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

    You may be entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning. If you have completed any training, either through your part-time work, TAFE or other school VET courses you have completed recently, or through experience gained in other ways you can apply for RPL. You should talk to your School VET Coordinator, Careers Adviser or course teacher for further information.


    A course fee is generally charged by schools to cover consumable materials. Your school will provide further advice.

    Units of Competency

    To be eligible for CUA30121 you must successfully complete: 17 units, 15 core, 2 electives:

    240hr Preliminary

    • HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety (Core)
    • CHCECE056 Work effectively in children’s education and care (Core)
    • CHCECE034 Use an approved learning framework to guide practice (Core)
    • CHCECE037 Support children to connect with the natural environment (Core)
    • CHCECE038 Observe children to inform practice (Core)
    • CHCECE030 Support inclusion and diversity (Core) – included in extension course not 360hr
    • CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people (Elective) – included in extension course not 360hr

    360hr course (additional Preliminary units) * 160hr work in a regulated children’s education and care service required for these units.

    • CHCECE035 Support the holistic learning and development of children* (Core)
    • CHCECE036 Provide experiences to support children’s play and learning* (Core)
    • CHCECE031 Support children’s health, safety and wellbeing* (Core)

    240hr HSC course

    • HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting (Core)
    • CHCECE055 Meet legal and ethical obligations in children’s education and care (Core) – extension not 360hr
    • CHCPRT001 Identify and respond to children and young people at risk (Core)
    • HLTFSE001 Follow basic food safety practices (Elective)

    360hr HSC course

    • CHCECE032 Nurture babies and toddlers* (Core)
    • CHCECE007 Develop positive and respectful relationships with children* (Core)
    • CHCPRT001 Identify and respond to children and young people at risk (Core)
    • HLTFSE001 Follow basic food safety practices (Elective)
    • * 160hr work in a regulated children’s education and care service required for these units.

    Extension Course (available to 360hr students only)

    • CHCECE030 Support inclusion and diversity (Core)
    • CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
    • CHCECE054 Encourage understanding of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures (Core)
    • CHCECE055 Meet legal and ethical obligations in children’s education and care
    Further Study
    • Diploma in Early Childhood
    • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary)
    Career Information

    Job Roles

    Following a successful outcome, relevant job roles may include a career as a: childcare assistant, family day carer, nanny or kindergarten assistant.

    Duties and Tasks

    Early childhood teachers may perform the following tasks:

    • Plan activities using a variety of materials and equipment to develop good coordination, social skills, creativity, self-expression and an interest in learning
    • Promote language development and self-confidence through storytelling, drama, music and discussions
    • Help to organise and participate in excursions to enhance learning experiences
    • Encourage children to question and explore the world in which they live
    • Observe children to evaluate and record their progress and to detect signs of developmental disorders, ill health or emotional disturbance
    • Work with guidance officers, speech pathologists and psychologists to assist children with special needs
    • Help integrate children with special needs into mainstream classes
    • Promote health and safety concepts and social interaction with other children
    • Promote awareness and appreciation of diversity in multicultural societies
    • Attend to sick children and those in need of first aid
    • Comfort children who are hurt or distressed
    • Assist children with their toileting and t with parents and other educators
    • Discuss the aims of the education programme with parents
    • Participate in community activities and parent/staff committees
    • Supervise and work with student teachers and trainee childcare workers.

    Personal Attributes

    • Able to relate to children and their families
    • A keen desire to teach children
    • Willing to learn
    • Good problem-solving skills
    • Sound literacy and numeracy skills
    • High-level planning and organisational skills
    • Enthusiastic, tactful, patient and a sense of humour
    • Prepared to work outside of school hours.

    For further information: http://www.myskills.gov.au/
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