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CHC30121 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Free TAFE Early Childhood Education

Next intake February 2025
LocationsWerribee Princes Campus
Geelong City Campus
DurationFull-time: 12 Months
Traineeship Part-time: 36 Months

Course description

Are you looking for a rewarding career working with young children? This entry-level course will equip you with the foundation skills and knowledge you need to become a qualified assistant within this sector. In addition, you will learn about effective interaction and communication with children, appropriate care for babies, toddlers and children, first aid, safety and working legally and ethically.

Our trainers are all experienced Early Childhood Educators who are up-to-date with current industry standards and practices. With seven weeks of practical placement in industry, you'll graduate with the skills and knowledge to succeed and work appropriately in the early childhood sector, which has increased demand for qualified educators.

If you are a Gordon VCE student

This course is offered to Gordon VCE students one day per week. To APPLY, select the VCE ONLY apply button below. As you will be studying in conjunction with VCE the entry requirements, learning outcomes and assessments differ. This course may be delivered under VETDSS as a partial qualification. Fees APPLY for this course – see the Fees section below.

Work placement/industry experience

A minimum of 160 hours over 3 blocks of 5 days per week in the industry, as organised by The Gordon. *Please note that you may be required to travel outside of your usual training location to attend placement. This may include other regional areas or suburbs of Melbourne. Placement is not paid work and students will not receive payment for undertaking practical placement. A mandatory course component is a practical placement in a registered education and care service. Minimum 160 hours of work placement. (organised by The Gordon). You must have a valid Working with Children Check. Some centres may require you to have immunity to COVID-19 and whooping cough.

Possible career outcomes

  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Qualified out of school hours coordinator
  • Nanny
  • Family day carer 

Applications & attendance

Apprenticeship and traineeship applicants

To become an apprentice or trainee, you will first need to find an employer willing to employ you. An Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider can assist you with this and will also start your application and enrolment process. Find a local provider here

Contact us

Are you ready to start an aged care traineeship or want to find out more?


2024 July
Geelong City Campus 
Open: 1 Apr 2024
Close: 1 Jul 2024 
Class DayStart: 15 Jul 2024
Full-time: 12 Months    
2024 Ongoing
Open: 1 Aug 2023
Close: 15 Dec 2024 
Traineeship: Part-time: 36 Months    
2025 February
Geelong City Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2024
Close: 1 Feb 2025 
Class DayStart: 28 Jan 2025
Full-time: 12 Months    
2025 February
Werribee Princes Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2024
Close: 1 Mar 2025 
Class DayStart: 28 Jan 2025
Full-time: 12 Months    
2025 Ongoing
Open: 31 Jul 2024
Close: 15 Dec 2025 
Traineeship: Part-time: 36 Months    


Students may need to complete some self-paced learning and assessment activities outside class time. This will be different for each course and will depend on a student’s level of skill and experience.

Class days and times in the above table are indicative. Prior to course commencement, changes may be necessary. Follow the link for more information on Attendance mode definitions. When you submit your application, please make sure you answer all the questions. Only successful applicants with complete applications will receive an offer. We issue offers as soon as possible. Follow the link for more information on Offer timing.

Many courses have limited places and high demand. We may close an intake before the date above. We recommend you apply early. If student numbers are insufficient we may cancel an intake or a course. An application does not guarantee a place in this course.

  • Applicants must be 17 years and over at the time of course commencement.
  • Applicants are expected to have literacy skills at Year 11 or Year 12 or Australian Core Skills Framework Level 3 and numeracy skills at Year 10 or Year 11 or Australian Core Skills Framework Level 2.

  • You must reside in Victoria to access Victorian Government Subsidised Fees and any incentive such as Free TAFE. Full fees apply to all non-Victorian residents.

Work placement requirements

  • Applicants must be employed in a permanent position of more than 13 hours per week under a Traineeship contract, working within an approved Early Childhood Education and Care Centre
  • Applicants are required to hold a current Working with Children Check.
  • Applicants must provide Covid vaccination evidence as per guidelines of Department of Education and Training.

Apprenticeship and traineeship requirements

Apprenticeship and traineeship applicants must be currently employed under a training contract and referred by their employer.

Pre-training review

Each student must complete a pre-training review as part of their application. The outcome of your pre-training review assists our teachers and trainers to better understand your capabilities prior to training and enables you to be matched to the right program. Your literacy and numeracy skills will be evaluated and you may be required to undertake a separate assessment. Follow this link for more information about literacy and numeracy skills .

Personal Learning Requirements

There are personal learning requirements for each qualification at The Gordon. These are essential personal capabilities and skills required to successfully complete the course and be ready to work in the industry.

Please review the requirements here and consider any challenges you may have in meeting them. When applying for your course, please let us know what support you may need.

Selection mode

Core Units Code Hours
Develop positive and respectful relationships with children CHCECE033 100
Encourage understanding of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples' cultures CHCECE054 55
Identify and respond to children and young people at risk CHCPRT001 40
Meet legal and ethical obligations in children's education and care CHCECE055 60
Nurture babies and toddlers CHCECE032 108
Observe children to inform practice CHCECE038 40
Participate in workplace health and safety HLTWHS001 20
Provide experiences to support children's play and learning CHCECE036 75
Provide First Aid in an education and care setting HLTAID012 22
Support children to connect with the natural environment CHCECE037 50
Support children's health safety and wellbeing CHCECE031 160
Support inclusion and diversity CHCECE030 63
Support the holistic learning and development of children CHCECE035 100
Use an approved learning framework to guide practice CHCECE034 80
Work effectively in children's education and care CHCECE056 65
Elective Units Code Hours
Lead personal development BSBPEF403 40
Work with diverse people CHCDIV001 40


Please note that the listed electives are delivered by The Gordon but you may not need to complete all of these units to successfully complete this qualification. If you have previously completed any of the units of competency relevant to this course, you may be eligible for Credit Transfer (CT). Any previous relevant experience may qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Find out more about CT or RPL here.

Assessment is based on:

  • Hands-on work
  • Workplace tasks
  • Written assignments
  • Industry placement
  • Team projects

This course is eligible for Free TAFE!

Eligible Victorian students who elect to use their Free TAFE opportunity will not incur any tuition fees. Material and resources fees still apply. Follow the link for further information and to check the eligibility criteria.

FeesRateUnitIndicative Course HoursIndicative Tuition Payable by StudentMax. Indicative Government Subsidy Total
Concession Tuition AUD $1.13 per hour 1118 AUD $1,263.00 AUD $8,385.00
Standard Tuition AUD $5.65 per hour 1118 AUD $6,317.00 AUD $8,385.00
Full Fee Tuition AUD $10.76 per hour 1118 AUD $12,030.00

Add the costs below to your relevant tuition fee

Materials AUD $425.00
Education Levy AUD $167.70
Excursion AUD $60.00 Once
Additional Costs AUD $80.00 Once
Administrative Fee AUD $200.00 Once


All fees and charges are correct at time of publication but may change without notice. The student tuition fees are indicative only. Additional fees may apply. Where GST is applicable to any courses or materials, the fee displayed is inclusive of the GST.

Which fee will I pay?

Your fees will be charged according to your eligibility for government funding. For more information, visit our Fees & Payments pages.

Fee help and student loans

VET Student Loans are available for eligible students for tuition fees ONLY.
The current years maximum VET Student Loan Course Cap is $

Payment plans may be available for eligible students who need assistance to manage their fee payments.

Many Gordon courses offer pathways to higher qualifications within The Gordon and in some cases, to university degrees. Your Gordon course may provide credit points which could reduce further study time. Follow the link to find more information about pathways, or contact Customer Service.

Date published: 2/07/2024 8:00:42 AM