Recognition as an ‘equivalent early childhood teacher’

In September 2013, ACECQA determined that a person who holds ALL of the following will be recognised as equivalent to an early childhood teacher:

  • a primary teaching qualification that includes at least a focus on children aged 5 to 8 years old (e.g. a qualification with a focus on children aged 3 to 8 or 5 to 12)
    AND
  • teacher registration in Australia (called ‘accreditation’ in New South Wales)
    AND
  • an ACECQA approved diploma level (or higher) early childhood education and care qualification.

This transitional measure was most recently reviewed by the ACECQA Board in June 2021. The ACECQA Board’s deliberations focussed on the following:

  • Achieving a balance between the ongoing goal of building a highly skilled workforce while recognising persistent and increasingly urgent issues with the attraction, supply and retention of early childhood teachers (particularly in regional and remote areas)

  • The ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, including the restrictions on skilled migration for overseas trained early childhood teachers

  • The recent changes to the national children’s education and care training package, including the inclusion of specific skills and knowledge, such as early childhood theorists, developmental milestones and play based pedagogy, in the new Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

  • The extension of Regulation 242 (‘Persons taken to be early childhood teachers’) of the Education and Care Services National Regulations in most jurisdictions until the end of 2023.

Based on these deliberations, the ACECQA Board decided to extend and amend its transitional measure until the end of 2023 as follows.

From 1 January 2022, a person who holds ALL of the following will be recognised as equivalent to an early childhood teacher:

  • a primary or secondary teaching qualification
    AND
  • teacher registration in Australia (called ‘accreditation’ in New South Wales)
    AND
  • an ACECQA approved certificate III level (or higher) early childhood education and care qualification.

After the end of 2023, this transitional measure is scheduled to cease, however individuals who have obtained this combination of qualifications before the end of 2023 will continue to be recognised under this provision.

If you are a registered/accredited primary or secondary school teacher:

Until 31 December 2021, if you are a registered primary school teacher and you successfully complete a diploma level (or higher) early childhood education and care qualification from ACECQA’s list of approved qualifications you will meet the qualification requirements for an early childhood teacher.

From 1 January 2022, if you are a registered primary or secondary school teacher and you successfully complete a certificate III level (or higher) early childhood education and care qualification from ACECQA's list of approved qualifications you will meet the qualification requirements for an early childhood teacher.

You will not need to apply to ACECQA once you achieve a qualification on the list of approved qualifications as, in combination with your primary or secondary teaching qualification and Australian teacher registration, you will automatically be considered to meet the qualification requirements for an equivalent early childhood teacher. 

If you are a registered/accredited primary or secondary school teacher you may be able to be ‘taken to be an early childhood teacher’ upon starting your approved early childhood education and care qualification. Find more information about the 'actively working towards’ provision and Regulation 242.

Alternatively, if you are a registered primary or secondary school teacher you may be able to be recognised as a 'suitably qualified person'. Find more information about 'recognition as a suitably qualified person'.

If you do not have teacher registration/accreditation:

You will need to obtain provisional or full teacher registration/accreditation to meet the requirements of an equivalent early childhood teacher under Regulation 137(3).

A list of teacher registration/accreditation bodies in your state or territory can be found on the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership website.