Mythbusting the ECE Diploma Rule

Selmar’s Mythbusting series takes a look at some of the biggest rumours in the Early Childhood Education industry. Today, we’ll take you through the myth of the so-called diploma rule.

The myth

Our enrolments team has seen an increase in people who are new to ECE, asking to enrol in a child care course at diploma level. When asked why they don’t want to start with a Cert III, many say because of the upcoming diploma rule.

The diploma rule is a myth that says from 2016, all staff in child care centres must be diploma qualified (or higher). This is simply not true!  

The facts

As of January 2016, 50% of staff in early childhood centres are required to have, or be actively working towards, a diploma level ECE qualification. This means the other 50% of staff will likely be Cert III qualified.

The good news is the Cert III remains very relevant. As an entry level qualification, the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care CHC30113 provides the fundamentals of early childhood development, education and care. There are a number of benefits to starting with the Cert III, including:

  • Cert III is shorter than the diploma, so you’ll be job ready sooner
  • Child care centres value practical experience, so starting with a cert III and then building your work experience is valued
  • Centres want a balance of cert III and diploma staff for a mix of skills
  • Once employed with your cert III, you can upskill to a diploma through workplace training

For other students, the diploma is indeed the way to go. If you already have your Cert III and are working in child care, the diploma is the next step in upskilling. Or you may want to study and don’t need a job straight away, such as if you are a stay at home carer or working in another industry, making it a great time for the diploma.

At the end of the day, we encourage students to make the choice that is based on their lives – not on rumours!

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