Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Applications are currently closed and will reopen in September 2018 for 2019 intake.

Course Code:



February each year.


18 months equivalent to full time.

Study mode:

Combination of face-to-face classes with practical placements and online assessments.


This course provides the skills and knowledge for early childhood educators who are responsible for the design and implementation of early childhood education and care programs. The course comprises 16 units from the CHC30113 Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care, plus 12 additional units.

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  • range of interesting topics including:
    • child development and learning
    • planning educational programs to suit individual needs
    • leading a team in an early childhood environment.
  • supportive and well qualified teachers with extensive experience in the early childhood field
  • practical placement in an early childhood centre providing hands-on experience working with children
  • use of modern equipment and resources at ACU
  • access to student activities in a university environment
  • access to academic skills support and career advice.
  • those who are passionate about working with children and are looking for career advancement in early childhood
  • those who are looking for a pathway to the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at ACU.

Year 12 or equivalent.

You also need to have the Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skills at the appropriate level for this course. You will be required to complete an LLN assessment prior to enrolment to ascertain the level of support required to complete the course.

Students will be required to complete at least 440 hours of placements in a recognised early childhood education and care setting. This real workplace experience provides the practical skills and the opportunity to apply knowledge acquired in theory classes. ACU will assist students to find suitable placements. Current Police Check and Working with Children Check are also required.

Possible career paths include:

  • crèche childhood worker
  • early childhood educator
  • early childhood education team leader
  • family day care worker
  • early childhood education and care coordinator.
  • supervisor of an occasional care facility
  • out of school hours care coordinator and educator
  • director of early childhood centre

We recognise your past studies and experiences. If you want to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT), please refer to the student handbook and RPL/CT policy on our website for further information.

To apply for RPL or Credit Transfer, please contact your course coordinator and fill in the RPL/Credit Transfer Form (PDF File, 209.2 KB).

Policies and procedures

CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
CHCECE001 Develop cultural competence
CHCECE002 Ensure the health and safety of children
CHCECE003 Provide care for children
CHCECE004 Promote and provide healthy food and drinks
CHCECE005 Provide care for babies and toddlers
CHCECE007 Develop positive and respectful relationships with children
CHCECE009 Use an approved learning framework to guide practice
CHCECE016 Establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for children
CHCECE017 Foster the holistic development and wellbeing of the child in early childhood
CHCECE018 Nurture creativity in children
CHCECE019 Facilitate compliance in an education and care services
CHCECE020 Establish and implement plans for developing cooperative behaviour
CHCECE021 Implement strategies for the inclusion of all children
CHCECE022 Promote children’s agency
CHCECE023 Analyse information to inform learning
CHCECE024 Design and implement the curriculum to foster children's learning and development
CHCECE025 Embed sustainable practices in service operations
CHCECE026 Work in partnership with families to provide appropriate education and care for children
CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically
CHCPRT001 Identify and respond to children and young people at risk
HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting
HLTWHS003 Maintain work health and safety

CHCECE010 Support the holistic development of children in early childhood
CHCECE011 Provide experiences to support children’s play and learning
CHCECE013 Use information about children to inform practice
CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice

You will be offered a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to Five Years) at ACU with 80 credit points if you successfully complete this qualification.

Tuition fees and funding

In  Victoria the training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding for eligible candidates. Please refer to the Department of Education and Training website for funding eligibility in Victoria.

VET Student Loans are available for eligible students. For eligibility criteria, please refer to our fees page for details. VET Student Loans (VSL) gives rise to a HELP debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.

In Brisbane the training is delivered fee for service. Please refer to our fees page for details.


The quality of ACU students is of a high standard. We believe this is due to the fact that ACU prepares their students effectively for placement. The way in which the course is delivered ensures that students have a clear and realistic understanding of their responsibilities and requirements while on placement.” Shannan Mudie, Senior Advisor of Pedagogy and Practice, Early Childhood Management Services