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Course - Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Certificate: CHC30121

RTO: AIS 90413

This course is for students who wish to work in the childcare industry in the future. This course will allow students to commence a study that will assist them to work towards a certification that will enable them to move into and of the following career areas: early childhood educator; playgroup supervisor; family day care worker; childhood educator; childhood educator assistant; outside school hours care assistant; nanny; or mobile assistant.

Download the PDF (below) to get the full course description.


What is Exploring Early Childhood?

It is a dual accredited course satisfying both TAFE and NESA requirements. It is a tertiary TAFE course that is held at school. It runs differently to other HSC courses as it is competency based. This course is for students who wish to work in the childcare industry and may lead to junior school teaching in the future. 

What can this course lead to?

This course is for students who wish to work in the childcare industry in the future. This course will allow students to commence a study that will assist them to work towards a certification that will enable them to move into career areas such as:  

  • early childhood teacher; 
  • playgroup supervisor; 
  • family day care worker; mobile assistant;
  • early childhood assistant; 
  • outside school hours care assistant; 
  • nanny; or
  • vacation care; 
  • scripture teacher; 
  • Church youth worker or Camp assistant.  

After Year 12 many students have been offered trainee positions in Child Care Centres who have paid for the students to complete the remainder of their Certificate III (Early Childhood) and Diploma of Teaching. Other students have been able to use their enrolment in Exploring Early Childhood as early entrance to studying Teaching at Universities. 

How are students assessed?

This is a competency‐based course. This means that students work to develop the competencies, skills and knowledge described in each Unit of Competency. To be assessed as competent a student must demonstrate to a qualified assessor that they can effectively carry out the various tasks. There is no mark awarded in competency‐based assessment, students are assessed as either ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’. Students will be progressively assessed as ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’ in individual Units of Competency. When a student achieves a Unit of Competency it is signed off by the assessor. 

What is competency-based assessments?

They are assessments that are based on the student showing the knowledge and skills required for each unit of study. Students work through a series of units both practical and theory based about the early childhood industry. They are marked as competent or not yet competent based on their performance in the unit. They are given multiple attempts at the assessment tasks to achieve a competent result. Competency tasks can include quizzes, demonstrations, research questions, practical work. When a student completes all units, they will receive a nationally accredited certificate. If they only successfully complete some of the units, they will receive a statement of attainment listing their completed units. This will not affect their HSC units.

What is the HSC Component?

For a student to receive their 2 HSC units they must complete the mandatory 120 work placement hours. This experience will allow the students to develop their skills in the area of working with children and will deepen their experience and knowledge in this area. There is no HSC exam for this course so there will be no marks for their ATAR.

What are study arrangements for Exploring Early Childhood?

To study Exploring Early Childhood we try and make the conditions as close as possible to real life experiences. We complete all work in the school’s Prep or in the Child Care Centre next to Covenant. The Prep or Child Care Centre in effect becomes a workplace and punctuality and a commitment to doing one’s best is essential to this format of study. The lessons are 2 hours long, so we start classes after normal school time, students must be able to get home from school after buses have left. Work placement is will take place in school hours in the timetabled 2 periods a week. It will be held both on-site and off-site in local childcare centre.

How much theory is there?

Like any HSC course, there is a significant theoretical component to the Exploring Early Childhood course.  This course will enable students to develop skills through both practical and theory units. The completion of units in the following areas: ensure the health and safety of children; promote and provide healthy food and drinks; participate in work health and safety; use an approved learning framework to guide practice; provide experiences to support behaviour of children and young people; support children to connect with their world; use information about children to inform practice; and first aid. 

Are there any Special Considerations?

Students will not receive their Certificate III but will be working towards it. Further study will be required to complete this course. Students who do not complete all aspects of the course will receive a Statement of Attainment for successfully completed units. 

There is no ATAR given for this course, but it does count towards 2 units of the HSC. 

If you have further questions, please contact:
VET Coordinator - Mr Tim Hewitt