Educational qualifications - National Quality Framework (NQF)
The NQF sets out the minimum qualifications for educators required to meet the educator to child ratios.
Read Qualification requirements to find detailed information about the following topics:
- the qualification requirements for each education and care setting (including school aged care)
- the meaning of ‘actively working towards a qualification’
- recognition as a ‘suitably qualified person’
- recognition as an ‘equivalent early childhood teacher’.
For information about ECT requirements see: Early childhood teacher requirements.
Short term relief of educators at centre-based services
From 1 July 2023, centre-based services can replace educators who are absent or have resigned, on a short term basis.
Services can replace Certificate III or Diploma qualified educators required to meet the educator to child ratios for the following reasons:
- short-term illness
- attendance at a practicum placement for a higher approved qualification (new) or
- resignation (new).
These educator roles can be replaced by a primary school teacher for up to 30 days in any 12 month period, per role. Where the educator is part-time, the days are calculated on a pro rata basis.
The 12 month period is not based on a calendar year or any other set date. The days are counted by looking at the 12 month period immediately before the role is replaced.
For example: Elly, a full-time educator with a Certificate III, is ill on 15 August 2023.
- Before the service can replace Elly’s role it must check its records and count how many days her role has been replaced by a primary school teacher in the previous 12 month period (ie. between 14 August 2022 and 14 August 2023)
- If Elly’s role has been replaced for fewer than 30 days, the service can replace her with an educator that holds primary teaching qualification.
The replacement person can be counted in the relevant educator to child ratio if they are working directly with children.
For more information read ACECQA’s information sheet: Short term relief of educators at centre-based services.
Record keeping requirements
Services must keep a record of when educators are replaced . The record must include:
- the name of the person being replaced
- the role being replaced (e.g. Certificate III, Diploma level educator)
- the qualification of the person replacing the role
- the dates the person was replaced
- the reason for the absence (short-term illness, leave, attendance at a practicum placement for an approved qualification or resignation).
Read about short-term staffing relief for early childhood teachers (ECTs).
Educational qualifications - limited hours and occasional care services (CS Act)
Limited hours services
All educators educating and caring for children must have completed at least an approved Certificate III level Education and Care qualification.
Occasional care services
Of the educators required to meet the educator to child ratio:
- at least 50% of the educators must have, or be actively working towards, an approved diploma level education and care qualification
- all other educators required to meet the required educator to child ratio must hold, or be actively working towards, at least an approved Certificate III qualification.
Read more about children’s services regulated under the CS Act.
Check if your qualification is approved
If your qualification is not listed, you can apply to ACECQA to have your qualifications assessed for equivalence:
First aid, anaphylaxis and asthma management training
Read about first aid, anaphylaxis and asthma management training and qualifications requirements for services.
Workforce initiatives to support upskilling
The department provides a range of funding and career support, and professional development.
For more information, read: Training and support for early childhood professionals.