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.

In recognition of the requirements for the delivery of education to international students in Australia, all course delivery will require some form of face-to-face learning at VU Sydney from Semester 2, 2023.



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!

Following the overwhelming success of the revolutionary VU Block Model® with undergraduate students, we have rolled out the VU Block Model® to our postgraduate courses.

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.

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.

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.


Check the Labour Market Insights website to find the average salary for early-childhood teachers.

Course structure

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.

Unit title Unit code Credits
Contemporary Issues, Social Contexts of Learning and Social Justice ECE6003 12
Inclusive Practice in Education ECE6008 12
Early Childhood Development Learning and Teaching ECE6009 12
Place, Play and the Languages of Science ECE6010 12
Languages of Children ECE6011 12
Professional Practice 1 ECE6012 12
Professional Practice 2 ECE6013  
Professional Practice 3 ECE6014 24

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • initiate teaching and learning practices that foster learner engagement in complex contexts and foreground Aboriginal standpoints in early childhood education 
  • 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
  • design teaching practices that reflect an ability to contextualise, question, resist, rethink, and act towards equity and the public good
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Entry requirements

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.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent).

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 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.

Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.

Additional information

Working with Children Check

Applicants must complete a Working with Children Check prior to undertaking placement.

ACECQA accredited

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)."

For more information, please refer to the NESA Registration information.

Credit for skills & past 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 credit (advanced standing).

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course chair or academic adviser.

Apply for this course

Submit an application to study this course at VU Sydney.

Please note that all tuition fees are subject to an annual increase each year of your study, effective at the start of each calendar year. This increase will be reflected in invoicing issued to you. This annual increase in fees is covered as part of the agreed terms and conditions of your Letter of Offer.

The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education Scholarship supports new students who plan to commence their studies in 2023.

Eligibility (2023 commencement)

New students commencing a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education with VU Sydney are eligible. English courses, Business and IT courses are not eligible for this scholarship.

How to apply

Students will be assessed automatically after submitting their application for an eligible course.

Value (2023 commencement)

10% tuition fee reduction for the entire standard duration of the Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education program (calculated from the date of commencement to the course end date in the letter of offer).

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