No matter what stage of life you’re in, you’re likely reading this blog post because you’ve thought about chasing that dream of becoming a childcare educator.
That’s great news! We hope this will be the first step in an exciting learning journey that leads to a rewarding career!
But first thing’s first: you can’t just apply for a job in a local childcare centre without the appropriate skills and qualifications. The first thing you need to do is decide on the right childcare course for you.
In this blog post, we cover the differences between two of the most popular childcare courses educators complete before they can begin working in childcare.
Certificate 3 in childcare
Certificate 3 in childcare is also referred to by its code, which is CHC30113.
CHC30113 is now the industry minimum required to work in childcare in Australia.
The course is made up of a combination of assessment (where training is completed ether online or on-campus) as well as workplace experience that immerses you in a childcare environment.
Certificate 3 opens up a host of career options including:
Work in a privately owned or government run childcare centre with children ranging from a few months old right up until pre-school age.
Early childhood educator
By providing care as well as supervising and initiating a variety of fundamental activities, an early childhood educator plays a pivotal role in a child’s development.
Working either before the school day or after (or both) you’ll be caring for school-aged kids in a safe learning environment.
The Certificate 3 is made up of:
- 15 core units
- 3 electives
- 120 hours of work experience
We recommend allowing 6-12 months to complete this course. We offer both full- and part-time training. Choose the type that best fits your lifestyle!
Is Certificate 3 being phased out?
There were whispers some years ago that suggested that Certificate 3 would eventually be phased out and that everyone who works in the industry would need to be diploma qualified.
No such truth exists behind these rumours. In fact, the main industry body ACECQA has squashed that myth, saying:
“There are no changes planned to require all educators counted towards ratios to have or be working towards an approved diploma qualification.”
So how did this myth come about? We’re not entirely sure, but it may have stemmed from the requirement that 50% of all childhood educators in centre-based services must be Diploma-qualified (or at least working towards their Diploma).
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
The Diploma (code CHC50113) can lead to a variety of career options.
The Diploma is made up of:
- 23 core units
- 5 electives
- 240 hours of work experience
Allow up to one year to complete your Diploma.
Those who have already obtained their Certificate 3 choose to pursue their Diploma in order to advance their childcare careers.
As you compare the two courses, you will see that the Diploma has a heavier workload and as such can lead to further career options beyond childcare assistants or educators.
Those who hold their Diploma can strive for the following career options, too:
- Room leader
- Early childhood teacher
- Educational leader
- 2nd in charge (2IC)
- Centre manager
Which child care course do I choose? CHC30113 or CHC50113
In the past, to obtain your Diploma you first had to complete Certificate 3. However now, you can enrol directly into the Diploma. Your next question is likely this:
Why would I do Certificate 3 then the Diploma? Why not head straight for the Diploma?
The answer to that question depends on your goals.
Certificate 3 (CHC30113):
Certificate 3 will arm you with the knowledge and experience to competently work as an educator in a childcare centre, which for some of you is exactly where you want to be. It is ideal for those just starting out in the industry or currently do not have plans to become a centre manager or leader.
Those who choose the Diploma learn the same skills as the Certificate 3, but in addition also the skills required to become a centre manager, coordinator, or leader.
They are already likely working in a childcare centre, have possibly already obtained their Certificate 3, and want to further develop their skills in order to take the next step in their professional career.
Continue learning about our childcare courses
We hope that after reading this blog you have a better idea of which childcare course may be more suited to your current goals.
Explore both courses using the links below: