How To Become an Early Childhood Teacher

Create inspiring, interesting and age-appropriate learning environments and opportunities for every child to reach their potential. Early Childhood Teachers create experiences and programs that 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 teacher. If you’re unsure how to become an early childhood teacher, this helpful guide will walk you through the role of an early childhood teacher and the qualifications required to pursue this rewarding career.

What is an early childhood teacher?

Early childhood teachers provide care and education for young children. They work with children from birth to age five, in a variety of settings including childcare centres, preschools, and private homes. 

Early childhood teachers help prepare children for school by providing them with programs and experiences that teach the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

These early learning experiences build confidence, develop self-esteem, and improve socialisation abilities (especially among kids who often struggle with emotions), which sets up each child’s success later on at kindergarten or pre-school!

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

How to become an early childhood teacher in Australia

A career as an early childhood teacher 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.

Once you’ve completed your qualification, you may like to register with the Australian Institute for Teaching and Leadership. This will give you access to resources and support to help you in your career.

After you’ve registered, the next step is to apply for a teaching role at a school or early childhood education and care centre. Once you’ve been offered a position, you’ll need to undergo a working with children check.


The minimum requirement to be an early childhood teacher is a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education.  

Some Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) offer a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care, enabling you to become a fully qualified early childhood teacher. A Bachelor degree takes four years to complete (full-time).

Did you know that some of our ELACCA members have their own RTOs within their organisation?

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 want help to become an early childhood teacher, 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.

More big roles...