How To Become an Early Childhood Educator (Childcare Worker)

Create inspiring, interesting and age-appropriate learning environments and opportunities for every child to reach their potential. They inspire curiosity for children to create and explore their environment.

Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or working full-time and want to make a career change, there’s no more fulfilling career than an early childhood educator. If you’re unsure how to become an early childhood educator (sometimes called a childcare worker), this helpful guide will walk you through the role of an early education provider and the qualifications required to pursue this rewarding career.

What is an early childhood educator (childcare worker)?

Early childhood educators play a fundamental role in shaping the lives of young children. They help build the foundational skills children require for their early development. Research has shown that a child’s early education in the first five years can shape their whole life.

Early childhood educators (childcare workers) are integral to giving each and every child the best possible chance of success throughout life. Each child needs support to ensure their physical, social, emotional, personal, creative and cognitive growth and development.

If you are passionate about working with children and want to make a difference in their lives, this career is the right fit for you!

How to become an early childhood educator (childcare worker) in Australia

A career in early education (childcare) can be pursued at various life stages. Whether you’ve always wanted to teach in the early education sector and are ready to jump into a university degree, or you’ve spent years working in another field and have decided to switch careers, there are flexible course options available.


The minimum requirement to be an early educator is a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. It takes around 12 months to complete. If you’re keen to start working as soon as possible, this opportunity means you can learn on the job! How? 

You can complete a Certificate III as part of a traineeship to work while studying part-time. You will be required to complete a certain amount of mandatory work placement while completing your studies. 

What better way to learn than to balance theory with the practical skills you’ll pick up on the job?

Work Experience and Jobs

Many early learning and care providers offer traineeships, so you can work as an educator while you gain your qualification.

If you’re wondering, “how do you become a childcare worker in the early education sector?” we can help. ELACCA members operate more than 2,300 early learning and care services across Australia, educating and nurturing more than 243,000 children.

Together, our members provide almost 30 per cent of the nation’s early learning and care places. Reach out to our member network to learn how to become an early childhood educator (childcare worker) in Australia..

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