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Children’s Education and Care IRC

Work in this sector is focused on younger people, usually aged under 18.

The current children’s services qualifications were reviewed in 2013 and endorsed in the same year in the first release of the CHC Community Services Training Package.

Early Childhood Education and Care

Population growth is increasing demand for early childhood education and care (ECEC).

  • The number of children in childcare increased by 20 percent in the four years to 2012
  • By 2031 there will be 2.2 million children under five years of age in Australia. By 2051, there will be 2.6 million.

Meeting the demand is already a challenge. Childcare workers were the only VET-qualified community services workers on the latest skills shortage list. Diploma-qualified childcare workers were in the shortest supply.

Regulations and the National Quality Framework (NQF), introduced in 2012, require providers to have workers with a mix of qualifications. Between 2010 and 2013 the proportion of workers with an ECEC-related qualification increased from 69.8 to 82 percent.


Occupations in the sector include:

Early childhood educator: Provides early childhood education and care services in a range of settings.

Outside school hours care worker: Conducts vacation programs as well as before and after-school care activities for school age children.

Education assistant: Provides assistance and support to teachers and students in settings like schools or community education programs.


The VET qualifications that cater to this sector are:

CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support
CHC40113 Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care
CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support
CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
CHC50213 Diploma of School Age Education and Care.

Links to view and download the content for each of these qualifications may be found in our Training Packages section.

Children’s Education and Care IRC Industry Skills Forecast

On 30th September 2016, IRCs submitted their initial four-year workplans to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) for consideration. These workplans were developed incorporating information sourced in a variety of ways, including meetings and consultations with stakeholders, desktop research, an industry workforce survey open to all stakeholders, across all industries for a five-week period and consultation with IRC members and their stakeholder networks.

In April 2017, these workplans were refreshed, retitled as Industry Skills Forecasts and again submitted to the AISC. An IRC’s Industry Skills Forecast provides an overview of the sector and the current challenges and opportunities it faces, along with an analysis of current and projected employment and workforce skills needs. It proposes a schedule for the ongoing review of relevant training package products to inform the AISC’s development of the four-year rolling National Schedule.

It is noted that this Industry Skills Forecast has been developed and signed off by this IRC, but the final decision with regard to the scheduling of training product development rests with the AISC, once it has reviewed the submitted Industry Skills Forecasts of all 60 plus IRCs across the various sectors of Australian Industry. The confirmed National Schedule is published on the AISC website once approved.

CLICK HERE to download the Children’s Education and Care IRC Industry Skills Forecast.