Move from NZ to teach kindergarten

Come for the career, stay for the lifestyle

Why teach kindergarten in Victoria?

There is a job for you

From metropolitan Melbourne to regional and rural areas, there is a job for you in Victoria's early childhood sector. With record investment and significant reforms there is a high demand for head teachers ('teachers' in Australia) and teachers ('educators' in Australia) within kindergarten services.

Career opportunities

Victoria is leading Australia in investing in early childhood education and supporting the experienced professionals who work in the sector. In 2022, two-years of kindergarten was made available across the state.

In 2023 kinder was made free for every 3 and 4-year old at participating services. And from 2025, Victoria will start rolling out Pre-Prep in stages across the state - which will increase funded kinder hours from 15 to 30 hours a week in the year before school. All this reform and investment means lots of opportunities to advance your career.

Financial support

Individual incentives worth $9,000, plus relocation support, are available for all qualified early childhood head teachers or teachers moving from New Zealand.

There is extra financial support available if you relocate to Victoria with your family or dependents.

Relocating alone (head teachers or teachers):

• $6,000 for those moving from New Zealand

Relocating with family or dependents (teacher or educator):

• $8,000 for those moving from New Zealand

You may also be eligible for an additional Location Incentive if you take up a role at selected services delivering free Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Location Incentives range from $9,000 to $50,000, depending on the service’s location and circumstances.

Find more information on financial support to study and work in early childhood, or register your interest to hear more about opportunities and incentives in Victoria here.

Find an early childhood job in Victoria

The Early Childhood Jobs website connects early childhood education professionals with employers seeking to fill vacancies across Victoria.

Search and apply for a job

The Early Childhood Jobs website is free to use and lists employment opportunities for head teachers and teachers. Employers whose services are pre-approved for location incentives can tag this in their job ads, which allows job seekers to search by incentive amount.

In Victoria, the Department of Education also provides specialist recruitment agency support for head teachers and teachers from New Zealand to find a new role and successfully relocate.

You are encouraged to register with one of these specialist recruitment agencies. These agencies provide expert support to the sector to help find early childhood education staff seeking a new career or a change.

Register your interest to connect with a recruitment agency.

Discover Melbourne and Victoria

There are job opportunities, and endless possibilities, available across Victoria. Discover Victoria’s diverse regions here.

Migrating to Australia

New Zealand citizens with a valid New Zealand passport can visit, live and work in Australia without applying for a tourist or work visa.

If you are not a New Zealand citizen, you will need to apply for a visa.

You can read more about migrating to Australia on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.

Early childhood professionals in Victoria

In Victoria, early childhood services, including kindergartens are owned and operated by a variety of entities, rather than the Victorian Government. Instead, the Victorian Government funds and regulates the sector.

While, the Victorian Government does not employ the workforce, it does provide the sector with funding and support to recruit early childhood professionals.

Registration as an early childhood teacher in Victoria

To teach in Victoria, early childhood teachers must be registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). VIT will issue you with a registration card, noting the:

  • type of registration (full or provisional)
  • the speciality area (Early Childhood/Primary)
  • expiry date.

The VIT register of teachers can be utilised to verify registration status.

The registration processes can take between 4 – 6 weeks once all documentation has been submitted. It is important to start this process promptly.

Registration in Victoria is only required for head teachers and not required for teachers. Teacher assistants are encouraged to check the ACECQA Qualifications Checker to determine if their qualifications are recognised in Victoria.

How do I register to be an early childhood teacher in Victoria?

Individuals can check their qualification first on the Qualifications Checker on the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website.

Those registered in New Zealand (or in another Australian state or territory) may be eligible to apply to the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) for registration using the Mutual Recognition pathway. Registration and payment are required annually in Victoria and typically expire in September of each year.

Register as an early childhood teacher in Victoria

To support the registration process, individuals should access the VIT Registration Evidence Checklist to avoid delays in processing applications.

I can’t see my qualification on the pre-approved qualifications list

Individuals whose qualifications do not meet the pre-approved qualifications under mutual recognition can apply for an Early Childhood Qualification Assessment through ACECQA at Early Childhood Qualification Assessment. Once assessed and approved, individuals can then apply to VIT for registration.

How long does it take to register?

Most applications take between 4-6 weeks to assess once all documentation has been submitted. In some cases, applications may be assessed more quickly.