« Back to BlogTuesday 15 March 2022

Early childhood pathways to becoming a Kindergarten teacher

Early childhood pathways to becoming a Kindergarten teacher

Early childhood pathways to becoming a Kindergarten teacher

For educators, there are opportunities to upskill through a university degree to become teachers.

In an Australian first, from 2022 Victorian children will have access to 2 years of kinder before school, giving children the chance to enjoy the benefits that come with early childhood education. This will create over 6,000 new teaching jobs – more than 4,000 new kinder teachers and 2,000 new educators across the state.

If you’re passionate about helping children learn and develop, consider becoming a kinder teacher or educator working in an early childhood service.

There are many early childhood education careers which you can follow:

  • working for a community organisation or in local or state government which assists children to improve their early education as well as their families into the future
  • exploring research opportunities to improve understanding of how children learn and thrive
  • starting your own early learning centre
  • leading new programs to help Victorians businesses and communities re-imagine the future of early learning

As a kinder teacher or educator, you will help children unlock their imagination through play and have a significant impact on their immediate growth and wellbeing.

School students over 16 years of age:

There are no prerequisite subjects to enrol in an early childhood teaching degree.

Lots of subjects are useful in preparing you for an early childhood education career, including English, mathematics, art, health and human relations, and psychology. Of course, it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of course requirements so you can enrol in subjects that will help you achieve your goal. You should have a sound foundation in English and maths.

To become a kinder teacher, you need a degree in early childhood education.

The most common qualifications are:

  • an undergraduate early childhood qualification (for example, bachelor’s in early childhood education). If you study full-time, this usually takes 4 years to complete
  • a ‘pathways’ course where people with an approved Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care can enrol and gain credit that accelerates their degree in early childhood education.

If you’re currently studying or have completed a vocational education and training (VET) qualification in early childhood (such as a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care) at school universities may recognise this as prior learning when you enrol. This may reduce the number of subjects you’ll need to study and how long your degree will take to complete.

The Victorian Government has invested $28.5 million to build the skills needed to deliver Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Through Government Funding, the following courses are now available tuition fee-free for eligible students starting their study at:

The Victorian Skills Gateway website has more information on studying a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Current educators:

If you’re a current educator, you can upskill and become qualified as a kinder teacher. A kinder teacher requires a degree in early childhood education. If you study full-time this usually takes 3 to 4 years to complete, or less if your university recognises your experience on enrolment.

Financial support:

Financial support in the form of scholarships and employment incentives is available for people looking for a rewarding career in the early childhood sector.

There is a range of generous scholarships available, whether you are starting your study, upskilling as an educator, or already studying an early childhood teaching qualification.

Financial incentives of between $9,000 and $50,000 are available for early childhood teachers to take up positions in services delivering the nation-leading Three-Year-Old Kindergarten reform.

Learn more about the incentives available for the state-wide roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in 2022.

Early childhood Aboriginal pathway scholarships

This scholarship is for eligible Aboriginal people wanting to become an early childhood educator or early childhood teacher, including those looking to upskill.

Those completing vocational training must enrol in one of the following eligible courses:

The study component of scholarships will not be available for the Certificate III in, and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care being studied in a TAFE setting once these courses become funded courses through the free TAFE initiative in 2020. For further information, see: Free TAFE

Aboriginal people studying a free TAFE course can however apply for a scholarship to receive employment milestone payments at the completion of their course.

Scholarships for the Certificate III and Diploma qualifications will continue to be available for Aboriginal people studying at non-TAFE registered training organisations.

How to apply

Apply for this scholarship on the early childhood scholarships and incentives application portal


As a kinder teacher or educator, you will play a key role in helping children’s learning and development, so they are better prepared for school and their future.

You will have a lasting impact on the lives of hundreds of young children.