The Early Childhood Education Program at Victoria University sits within the College of Arts, Business, Law, Education and IT.

Our staff are experienced early-childhood teachers, dedicated to supporting you to become a successful early-childhood professional.

We offer a supportive and up-to-date learning environment to help you become a caring and successful kindergarten teacher, childcare worker or early-childhood educator in a community program.

Partnerships & projects

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]

We are partnering with the Victorian state government to upskill more than 700 diploma-qualified educators to Early Childhood teachers.

In addition, we collaborate with councils locally and overseas, and provide opportunities for experience through a range of engaging projects.

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.

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

This pop-up play space at Victoria University Footscray Nicholson Campus provides 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.


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.

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.

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

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]

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. The success of this playspace has led to the planning of a similar space at the VU Footscray Nicholson Campus.

Mini Maddern in the newsChildren 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

Courses we offer

If you already hold a Diploma of Children’s Services, you enter straight into second year of our 3- and 4-year degrees, to graduate in just two years. 

For 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 to graduate with that 4-year degree.

3- & 4-year programs

The following three courses are good for...

  • People who have just finished secondary school
  • Those with Diploma of Children’s Services and want to upskill to a bachelor
  • Qualified early childhood teacher with a 3-year degree looking to qualify as a 4-year trained teacher

Browse all early-childhood courses


The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education is good for those who would like for a career change who already hold a degree in another discipline.

Our people

Head of programProfessor Mary-Rose McLaren



Anna Munari

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Hepsibah Zabde

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Janet Souter

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Jessica Grimes

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Joanne Tnean

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Justine Walsh

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Katharine Gronow

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Lihong Zhen

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Mary-Rose McLaren

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Masud Ahmmed

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Matthea Rudolphy

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Nadia Latin

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Nathalie Nehma

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Nicole Bourke

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Ren Wenas

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Sarah Jobson

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Siobhan Hannan

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Sophia Stirling

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Theresa Evans

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Wendy Almenara

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Course & unit advice

To get information specific to your course in this program area, contact our Course and Unit Advisers (CUA).

Contact a CUA