Find out about the partnerships and community programs that support your learning about early childhood at Victoria University.

Projects & initiatives

Children painting with the help of adults

Mini Maddern

Mini Maddern was a collaboration between Victoria University, Maribyrnong City Council and Public Realm Lab Architects in Maddern Square, Footscray. Victoria University staff and students ran a pop-up play space in the square for 12 weeks in 2021.

Mini Maddern gave early childhood pre-service teachers the opportunity to complete professional placement in a community setting, connecting with families and children. Pre-service teachers completed training in playwork pedagogy and were involved in planning for the space, setting up, observing children and reflecting on their learning.

The success of this playspace has led to the planning of a similar space at the VU Footscray Nicholson campus where children and families will be able to come and play and students will be able to learn about Playwork and complete professional placement.

Mini Maddern in the news: Children to take over Footscray's Maddern Square | QA with Public Realm, the brainchild behind Mini Maddern | Kids flock to the new play space, Mini Maddern in Footscray

[Photo credits: Gianna Rizzo]












Toddler and child fold paper at an outdoor table, with the help of an adult

toddler painting an outdoor wall in bright colours

Child plays with their father outdoors in Footscray using string and boxes

Early Childhood Professional Practice Partnership (ECP3) Project

Victoria University has partnered with the Department of Education and Training and Goodstart Early Learning to deliver a program supporting pre-service teachers to complete their final professional placement in rural and regional areas of Victoria.

The project includes extra support for mentor teacher and pre-service teachers with the aim of improving the experience of placement and providing further training for mentors. The findings of the research will inform the way in which professional placements are delivered by VU in the future.

Professional practice the news: VU helps tackle early childhood teacher shortage

Pre-schooler on a video call

child's hands covered in paint, with paint brushes and feathers

pre-school girls making playdough in online lesson, in front of computer

Remote Placement in Early Childhood at VU

In 2020, education providers all over the world were forced to move to virtual delivery due to the restrictions and challenges posed by COVID-19. Universities were faced with the issue of how to offer professional placement to students when early childhood sites were closed and cities were locked down.

The early childhood team at VU started to think outside the box and instead of simply cancelling or postponing placement set about developing an online replacement. Students were offered the opportunity to connect with families and children online and to plan and implement playgroup sessions for groups of children.

Remote placements in the news: Student teachers participate in virtual placements during COVID closures | Pre-service teacher placement time, COVID-19 | Silver linings: unexpected outcomes early childhood professional placements time COVID-19

Find out more: parents and services, email us to find out more [email protected]


Planned for 2022 is a pop-up play space at Victoria University Footscray Nicholson Campus. This will provide a place for community to gather, for children to play and parents and carers to meet. Pre-service teachers will be given the opportunity to complete placement time at the site. This offers them a unique and highly valuable experience connecting with children, families and community while also arming them with skills in Playwork.

Pop-Up PlaySpace at the Coburg Courtyard

Over a 6-week period in 2022, Victoria University and Moreland Council partnered to create a pop-up playspace within the newly developed Coburg Courtyard. This pop-up was activated through a Playwork lens, offering children opportunities to engage with a variety of loose parts. Children were given the chance to explore, experiment, construct, deconstruct and express curiosity in an urban environment. The pop-up was activated by VU pre-service teachers on placement, who supported and facilitated the space.


Partnerships with local council

Hume Council

We have partnered with Hume Council to offer their employees a well-supported and responsive offering of our Bachelor of Early Childhood to diploma-qualified educators working and living in Hume.

Partnerships with overseas universities

Dublin City University, Ireland

We are currently partnered with early childhood colleagues in Dublin, Ireland. This partnership was brought about through sharing experiences of remote and virtual placement for early childhood pre-service teachers in the time of COVID-19.

Karlstad University, Sweden

Academics and students at Karlstad are partnering with Victoria University to share ideas and experiences. We are planning for exchanges in the future.

Join us!

If your service or service provider would like to join our mentoring network or establish a partnership with the early childhood team at VU, please email [email protected]

Early childhood courses at VU

  • Are you a school leaver?
  • Do you hold a Diploma of Children’s Services and want to upskill to a Bachelor?
  • Are you a qualified early childhood teacher with a 3-year degree looking to qualify as a 4-year trained teacher?

Victoria University offers a three-year Bachelor of Early Childhood and Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching, and a four-year Bachelor of Early Childhood and Leadership. If you already hold a Diploma of Children’s Services, you enter straight into second year. This means you can graduate as a three-year trained early childhood teacher in just two years.

For current three-year trained early childhood teachers, we offer a direct entry into the fourth year of our Bachelor of Early Childhood and Leadership, meaning you can study with us for one year and graduate qualified as a four-year trained early childhood teacher.

Our undergraduate courses contain 80 days of professional placement in a range of settings, including at our exciting playspace VU-Play situated at Footscray Nicholson Campus.

Find your course and enrol:

Are you looking for a career change and already hold a degree in another discipline?

Our Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood allows students who hold an existing degree in any discipline to graduate as an early childhood teacher in just one year.

Students undertake a range of units and complete professional placement in a range of settings.

Find your course and enrol: Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education