Launch a rewarding and in-demand pre-school teaching career, with VU's one-year Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
Our graduate diploma allows graduates of degree programs to become early-childhood teachers. With the current 3-year-old kindergarten expansion in Victoria, this course places you in an excellent position to apply for work as a kinder teacher.
If you're a domestic student or you won’t be studying at VU on a student visa, you can study this course online.
This course is tailored to applicants with an undergraduate qualification in a discipline other than early childhood. If you hold an early childhood teaching degree and you're looking to advance your career, we recommend upskilling to a four year degree by applying for the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Leadership.
You'll study units focused on children from birth to five years, learning how teaching practice can include children and families as capable participants in education.
You'll also gain hands-on work experience in a range of settings, including childcare and kindergartens, graduating with expertise in early-childhood learning built on a strong sense of social justice.
Gain insight into the early years by studying these fascinating areas:
- child development
- teaching practice that includes Aboriginal perspectives
- education and curriculum studies focused on childhood and relationships
- family and community contexts
- advocacy and activism in early-childhood settings
- history and philosophy of early childhood
- ethical early-childhood professional practice.
The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education is recognised as the equivalent of a four-year degree.
Commonwealth Supported Places in 2023
Fees are heavily subsidised and HECS-HELP loans available for eligible students in 2023. Apply now or register your interest - there's never been a better time to study!
The Victorian Government offers the Early Childhood Scholarship and Incentives Program to individuals looking to start a rewarding career as an early childhood teacher. Educators wanting to upskill and take the next step to become degree-qualified are also eligible. Students applying for an approved qualification are eligible to receive up to $25,500.
This course is delivered in four-week mode, which means you study one unit (subject) at a time over four weeks, rather than juggling several units at once. And with its focused timetables and smaller, collaborative classes, VU’s Block Model gives you more time to connect with your peers, lecturers and industry partners, helping you to build strong professional networks.
The VU Block Model has improved our student results and engagement, and has won multiple international awards for innovation and excellence.
You'll complete 60 days of supervised professional experience, including:
- 15 days with children aged birth – 35 months
- 15 days with 3–5 year olds
- 5 days community playspace, with children aged birth – 8 years
- 25 days in a 3–4-year-old, or 4–5-year-old, kindergarten program (preschool).
We have many exciting projects, partnerships and initiatives to help you learn from experience working with young children. VU will find you a placement, or you can also organise your own placement, if this is your preference.
The Victorian Government is investing more than $93.2 million to deliver scholarships to support secondary teaching degree students with the cost of studying and living. Scholarships will be available to Victorian students who enrol in Victorian secondary school teaching degrees in 2024 and 2025, with further payments if they then work in Victorian government secondary or specialist school settings after they graduate.
This course has been approved by Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), which oversees national quality frameworks in early-childhood education.
This means that you'll graduate with the latest early-childhood teaching methods and knowledge.
Childcare job openings are expecting massive growth (ACECQA).
Thanks to the essential experience you’ll get from teaching early-childhood settings during your placement, you’ll be work-ready when you graduate.
With an ACECQA approved early-childhood teacher qualification, our graduates can find employment in:
- public or private kindergartens (preschool)
- long-day-care centres
- early-childhood centres in the state of Victoria, Australia.
Interstate applicants should check with their state’s relevant teaching registration board or authority to see if their state requires early-childhood teacher registration and accepts this qualification.
Check the Labour Market Insights website to find the average salary for early-childhood teachers.
To attain the Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education students will be required to complete:
- 96 credit points of Core units and
- the '0' credit point unit ECE 6013 Professional Practice 2.
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On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
|1.||Initiate teaching and learning practices that foster learner engagement in complex contexts and foreground Aboriginal standpoints in early childhood education;|
|2.||Critically review different ways of knowing, being, and doing founded on the view of children and families as capable contributors to conceptual and pedagogical decision-making in learning and teaching;|
|3.||Design teaching practices that reflect an ability to contextualise, question, resist, rethink, and act towards equity and the public good;|
|4.||Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge of early childhood pedagogy, curriculum and assessment in relation to the changing nature of education in a rapidly-evolving global context;|
|5.||Appraise, adapt, and exemplify a range of oral and written communication techniques to engage and connect with learners, their parents/carers and the wider community;|
|6.||Create learning opportunities that embrace a rich and varied curriculum, reflecting culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds ensuring that learning and teaching approaches are based on sound ethical principles and foster reciprocal relationships in early childhood settings.|
What's a unit?
A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.
Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.
Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.
Fees & scholarships
Fee type for this course: Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)
Fee type definitions
The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or a full fee-paying place.
Students who enrol in a:
- Commonwealth supported place pay tuition fees that are partly subsidised by the Australian government
- full fee-paying place need to pay the full amount for all enrolled units before census each study period.
In addition to your tuition fees, you may also be charged a Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF).
Scholarships & assistance
Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.
We can help with fee assistance and advice.
Admission & pathways
Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.
Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline.
Applicants with a Bachelor's degree from countries other than Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada or the Republic of Ireland will be required to complete IELTS: Overall 7.0 with Listening 7.5, Reading 6.5, Writing 6.5, Speaking 7.5.
OR the following scores that serve as equivalent scores for the IELTS:
• ISPLR: Overall (3+) L (4), R (3+), W (3+), S (4)
• TOEFL: Overall (94), L (27), R (21), W (24), S (24)
• PTE: Overall (65-72), L (73), R (58), W (58), S (73)
Applicants with a minimum of a 3 year Bachelor's degree from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada or the Republic of Ireland will not be required to complete IELTS.
Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.
If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.
Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course chair or academic adviser.
Working with Children Check: Applicants must complete a Working with Children Check prior to undertaking placement.
This course is ACECQA accredited and is recognised by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) for teaching registration in Victoria and by the Education Standards Authority (NESA) in New South Wales.
Graduates of Early Childhood Education programs in NSW are required to register with NESA. In Victoria, the VIT advises that "those who wish to teach in an early childhood setting must hold an early childhood education qualification approved or recognised by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)."
Refer to VIT Registration information https://www.vit.vic.edu.au/registering-as-a-teacher/how-do-i-register-as....
How to apply
Available start dates:
- 19 February 2024
Before you apply
Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:
- Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
- Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.
Find out more about applying for our courses.
Apply direct to VU
Direct applications are due on 11 February 2024 for our next intake which starts on 19 February 2024.
Already a VU student?
If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.
After you apply
- It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
- Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered