Actively working towards a qualification

The National Regulations set out the level of qualification educators must hold to be included in educator to child ratios. ACECQA publishes approved qualifications on our website. If you are 'actively working towards' an ACECQA approved qualification (certificate III, diploma or early childhood teaching (ECT)) you may be counted towards qualification requirements. 

Actively working towards provisions apply under regulations 126(1) and 127 of the National Regulations.

Certificate III level

You can be counted towards meeting the certificate III level qualification requirements if you are: 

  • enrolled in an ACECQA approved qualification and have started study 
  • making satisfactory progress towards completing the course 
  • meeting the requirements to maintain enrolment. 

Diploma level

You can be counted towards meeting the diploma level qualification requirements if you can satisfy all of the above and one of the following: 

  • hold an approved certificate III level qualification OR
  • have completed the approved certificate III units* OR
  • have completed 30% of the units in an approved ECT qualification.

‘Actively working towards’ provisions may not apply where a state or territory specific regulation is in place, including for services educating and caring for school age children. If you have any questions about this, contact your regulatory authority.

Please note that all family day care coordinators in Australia are required to hold an approved diploma level education and care qualification and cannot be ‘actively working towards’ this qualification.

* approved certificate III units include the following 11 units of competency (or equivalent superseded units) from the Certificate III in early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113):

A person is actively working towards an approved diploma level qualification if they hold the following 11 units of competency (or equivalent superseded units) from the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)
  • CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically
  • CHCECE002 Ensure the health and safety of children
  • CHCECE003 Provide care for children
  • CHCPRT001 Identify and respond to children and young people at risk
  • CHCECE004 Promote and provide healthy food and drinks
  • CHCECE007 Develop positive and respectful relationships with children
  • HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting
  • CHCECE001 Develop cultural competence
  • CHCECE005 Provide care for babies and toddlers
  • CHCECE009 Use an approved learning framework to guide practice
  • CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety

Taken to be an early childhood teacher

In April 2021, Education Ministers agreed to extend regulation 242 of the National Regulations. Under regulation 242, you are ‘taken to be an early childhood teacher’ if you: 

  • are enrolled in an approved early childhood teaching qualification, and  
  • give the approved provider documentary evidence from the course provider that you: 
    • have started the course, and 
    • are making satisfactory progress towards completing the course, and 
    • are meeting the requirements for maintaining the enrolment, and 
    • hold an approved diploma level educator qualification, or have completed at least 50 per cent of the course. 

Regulation 242 does not apply in Queensland and Victoria or if you are working in a centre-based service educating and caring for 30 or more children preschool age or under in NSW.

Regulation 242 is scheduled to expire in the ACT, NSW, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia on 31 December 2023.

Once regulation 242 expires, an educator will need to have completed their ECT qualification to be considered a qualified ECT. However, educators ‘actively working towards’ an approved ECT qualification may still be counted as a certificate III, diploma level educator or 'suitably qualified person', depending on how much of the approved ECT qualification they have completed.