THE QUALIFICATIONS GUIDE

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THE

QUALIFICATIONS

GUIDE

EDUCATION AND CARE SECTOR:

EDUCATORS

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A GUIDE TO OBTAINING A

VET QUALIFICATION IN

EDUCATION AND CARE IN

TASMANIA

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Early Childhood Australia (ECA) - Tasmania Branch have co-ordinated the development and publication of this Guide with funding support provided by the Department of Education, Tasmania. The need for such a guide was identified and promoted by the (then) Minister’s Education and Care Advisory Council. The Guide aims to be relevant and practical and to promote and support the development of robust and high quality training for the Education and Care sector in Tasmania. To help ensure this, ECA have consulted widely with the Education and Care sector, the Training and Professional Development Reference Group, sector Roundtable members and Skills Tasmania.

The Qualifications Guide: Education and Care Sector

Lisa Bryant, Leanne Gibbs

Published by Early Childhood Australia Tasmania Branch

Copyright held by the Crown in the right of the State of Tasmania licensed to Early Childhood Australia Tasmania Branch

Disclaimer: All care has been taken with this publication and information was correct as at December 2014 but services and educators should rely on their own enquiries before making decisions about their own situations

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T

o work as an educator in many types of early education and care services, you need a qualification – either a university degree or a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. The VET qualification you may need could be a Certificate III, a Certificate IV or a Diploma. Some people working in the sector may also choose to undertake qualifications higher than minimum requirements, because they are a great way of learning new skills or obtaining a formal qualification that is recognised across Australia.

The most common VET courses in the education and care sector are:

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and CareCertificate III in Education Support

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care Diploma of School Age Education and Care

There is also a range of other VET courses and qualifications, such as management courses, that people working in education and care services may also study.

HELLO.

This guide focuses on two main qualifications, Certificate

III in Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma

of Early Childhood Education and Care. Please go to the

ACECQA website (www.acecqa.gov.au) for other relevant

qualifications applicable to the sector.

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HOW TO USE

THIS GUIDE

This guide provides direction in

obtaining a VET qualification in

education and care in Tasmania.

It has been divided into two separate booklets:

Services (Part 1) – for the directors/co-ordinators/managers/

owners of services who want to help their educators obtain

a qualification

Educators (Part 2 – this booklet) – who want to obtain a

qualification themselves

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To help simplify this world, we have used some symbols throughout

this guide:

READ THIS

Crucial knowledge

summaries

GOOD TO KNOW

This material will expand your

understanding

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EDUCATORS

This guide is divided into two

booklets, yellow for services and

managers, and blue for educators.

This booklet is for

This section should be used in discussion with your

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CONTENTS

The who, what, where, when of

gaining a qualification for educators.

(And maybe even the why!)

Section 1 The Whys 8

A qualification: a requirement for most work roles in education and care Qualifications: More skills!

Section 2 The Hows 12

Traineeships Study • Face-to-faceDistance/Online • Blended learning RPL

Section 3 The When 16

Section 4 Where can I obtain a qualification? 18

Section 5 The Whats 20

What qualification?

What will you learn in these qualifications?

What will it cost?

• Costs • Funding

What will it mean?

• Time • Practicums • Assessments

• Help from the service

Section 6 Help! (Who can help?) 30

• My cheat sheet!

Say What? (the meaning of all those acronyms)

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EDUCATORS

GOOD TO KNOW

READ THIS

THE WHYS.

Why would you, as someone who is working in the

education and care sector, or someone who wants to,

decide to gain a qualification or decide to obtain an

additional qualification? Why are qualifications so

important in the education and care sector?

Qualifications

Everybody who becomes an educator in an early education and care service, such as a long day care centre or a family day care service, is required by law to have a minimum qualification or be working towards obtaining one. The minimum qualification is a Certificate III but some people decide to enrol straight into a Diploma.

You don’t have to have these before you start working in a centre-based service, but you do have to be enrolled to obtain your Certificate within three months of working in a centre-based service. Family Day Care educators need to have or be actively working towards a qualification from when they start.

There is no legal requirement to obtain a qualification to work in an out-of-school hours care service (before school, after school or vacation care) as at the time of publication, but there is a qualification available for those who wish to obtain one.

Under the law, early education and care services are required to make sure that half of the educators working at a service at any time the service is open, have a Diploma or higher qualification, or be actively working towards one.

For some roles educators may need additional qualifications, e.g. first aid, food safety. It is important that before you sign up to complete or undertake qualification, you need to make sure it is a qualification that is accepted under the laws that early education and care services operate under. To check, make sure you have the exact name of the qualification and go to the qualifications list: www.acecqa.gov.au/qualifications-checker

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SECTION 1: THE WHYS

What are the current qualifications?

Minimum qualifications to become a family day care educator or work in a service with children below school age:

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, or

Early childhood teaching degree.

These (along with some specific smaller qualifications, such as first aid) are the only required qualifications to work in an early education and care service with children below school age.

Minimum qualifications for a Family Day Care Co-ordinator:

Diploma level education and care qualification.

Minimum qualifications to work in an Outside School Hours Care (e.g. after school care or school holiday care):

No qualifications are required, as at the time of publication, but those wanting to work in these services can obtain:

Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care

Certificate III in Early Education and Care

Diploma of School Age Education and Care.

Educators may need to obtain specific first aid, child protection and food safety qualifications.

Minimum qualifications to become a room leader/director/co-ordinator:

Again, no additional qualifications are required, as at the time of publication, but those wanting to work in these positions may be interested in obtaining one of the following qualifications, if they do not already hold these:

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care

Diploma of School Age Education and Care

Diploma of Management

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EDUCATORS

FIND OUT MORE

READ THIS

ACECQA (The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority) is the source for information on what qualifications are approved in early education and care services: www.acecqa.gov.au/educators-and-providers1/qualifications

The Education and Care Regulations. Read Regulations 125–128 and 137–143:

www.education.tas.gov.au

Talk to the manager, owner, director or co-ordinator of the service you are working in. They will be able to tell you the appropriate qualification.

Qualifications: More knowledge and skills!

Existing educators often choose to obtain higher qualifications (such as a diploma or an advanced diploma) as a way of achieving more knowledge and skills (which sometimes come with higher pay) or because their employer asks them to.

Qualifications are also important because researchers have proved that qualified educators deliver better education and care to children! Learning more about children and educating and caring for them can help educators build better relationships with the children they care for.

Sometimes when educators take on higher positions, such as a room leader/director or co-ordinator, they may feel like they need more people and process management skills. These can be obtained by undertaking a qualification or a higher qualification.

The qualifications you need or choose or are required to have to work in early education and care (apart from teaching degrees) are a part of a system of training called VET (vocational education and training). VET courses help you obtain the qualifications you need to be able to work in early education and care services, as well as the skills you need to be able to work with children. VET is competency-based training.

Competency-based training is designed to allow you to show your ability to do

something or know something. This may be something like providing healthy food and drinks to children or providing experiences to support children’s play.

What is important about competency-based training is that you either can or cannot do the skill (or have the knowledge) that you are learning about.

When you reach the stage that you can do the skill (or have the knowledge), your trainer can assess you as being ‘competent’.

To obtain a Certificate III you must be assessed as competent in all 18 units of competency (includes 15 core units).

For a Diploma you must be assessed as being competent in all 28 units of competency (includes 23* core units).

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SECTION 1: THE WHYS

GOOD TO KNOW

FIND OUT MORE

Around half of all school leavers in Australia undertake vocational training within a year or two after leaving school. More than half of all students who undertake VET courses are older than 25 years and most VET students study part-time. Training is an investment in you and for your career. People who have a VET or higher qualification are more likely to earn a higher salary and have greater employment prospects than those without.

If you look at page 21, it lists the skills and knowledge you will learn under the major qualifications in the early education and care sector.

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EDUCATORS

GOOD TO KNOW

READ THIS

THE HOWS.

How do I go about obtaining a qualification? Are

there different ways to achieve a qualification?

There is a range of ways to achieve a qualification. Some involve mixing study and work, some involve studying either in a classroom or online, and some involve gaining recognition for skills, knowledge and experience that you may already have.

The main ways to gain a qualification in the education and care sector are:

Traineeships (Certificate III/Diploma)

Study

Recognition.

One of the great things about vocational education and training in Australia is that the qualifications you obtain are nationally recognised. So, a qualification you obtain in Tasmania is recognised in all other states and territories. Whether you obtain your qualification via a traineeship, study or through recognition, it is the same qualification – it certifies that you are competent in the national requirements of that qualification.

Traineeships

A traineeship is an apprenticeship.

A service in the education and care sector can employ an existing or a new worker as a trainee. A traineeship combines training and employment leading to the trainee gaining a Certificate III or a Diploma in Early Education and Care or a qualification in School Aged Care (N.B. Family day care educators are not eligible for traineeships, as they are self-employed).

If you are employed as a trainee, you work at a service and be paid at the same time you are studying. Study can involve training that is on-the-job, off-the-job, or a combination of both. Generally, an employer is required to give trainees time to attend formal course work. When someone is studying for a Certificate III or a Diploma, their course requires they undertake ‘practicums’ or work experience/placements in a service. With a traineeship, both the Certificate III and Diploma’s practicum requirements are met through the student’s work at their own service. A trainee can also gain some of the competencies in their course through recognition of their prior learning and experience.

Who provides the training?

The training must be provided by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The student and employer can choose which RTO they wish to provide the training component of the traineeship.

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SECTION 2: THE HOWS

FIND OUT MORE

What sorts of traineeships are there?

New entrant traineeship

A service can engage a new employee as a trainee. Traineeships provide services with an opportunity to pass on knowledge and skills from other educators to a person that is new to the sector.

Existing worker traineeships

An existing employee can become a trainee and may receive credit for existing skills or knowledge which may help reduce the length of the traineeship and the amount of training the student has to do.

School-based traineeships

Students in Years 10–12 can undertake a school-based traineeship so they can gain a VET qualification as a trainee while still finishing their high school education.

What sort of funding is there?

Services may be eligible to receive incentives from the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Government for engaging a trainee which can be used to cover training costs. Trainees may also be eligible for some subsidies. This may mean that you will not have to pay for all of the training yourself.

What exactly is a traineeship?

A traineeship is a formal agreement – it gives all parties certain rights and, importantly,

responsibilities. Trainees in the education and care sector are generally employed on a full-time basis, with time allocated out of their employed hours for the training component.

How long does a traineeship last?

Generally, a Certificate III traineeship will run for 1–2 years and, a Diploma, at least 2–4 years. Although each qualification has a nominal duration, because the training is competency-based, once the trainee has achieved all the competencies required, the contract can be finalised and completed.

To find out more about traineeships, go to your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre:

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EDUCATORS

GOOD TO KNOW

READ THIS

Study

Vocational and educational training can be completed through a Registered Training Organisation. Training can be delivered in the following ways.

Face-to-face

Face-to-face training or classroom training generally occurs with a small group of people studying for the same qualification. Face-to-face training generally occurs at the RTO’s training rooms or campus.

Distance study

Distance study can either be carried out:

Online – students access learning materials online and submit assessments online via a website or by email. Some online courses involve forums and chat rooms where students can communicate with other students and their trainer or assessor.

Via email or post – students are sent learning materials by post or email. Students are generally sent a single or a few units at a time and assessment tasks need to be emailed, faxed or posted back to the RTO.

Blended learning

A combination of face-to-face training and distance or online learning.

Some people find face-to-face study in a small group a great way of learning. It often helps to be studying with others learning the same skills and knowledge. Attending set lessons can make it easier to develop a study routine, and you know when you will next see your teacher if you need to ask questions.

Studying online is different from studying in a classroom. It means:

You don’t have to go to a particular campus or training room at certain times

You can plan your study routine around other commitments

You can access your course materials and communicate with trainers and fellow students at times that suit you.

There are many different Registered Training Organisations through which you can undertake your study. Ask other educators and your service director or manager for recommendations.

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SECTION 1: THE WHYS

FIND OUT MORE

FIND OUT MORE

Contact an RTO. To find a Skills Tasmania Endorsed RTO, go to: www.skills.tas.gov.au

RPL

Recognition of Prior Learning – more commonly called RPL – enables a person to receive recognition and credit for the knowledge and skills they have acquired through:

Prior work experience (paid and unpaid)

Previous study (school, college, professional development)

Life experience (including parenting).

RPL is an assessment process that involves assessment of an educator’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to give credit for learning outcomes they have already achieved. Credit given may reduce the amount of units a student may need to study by deeming them competent in some units. To achieve RPL for a unit or units of a qualification, an RTO must assess the educator to determine to what extent the student’s previous learning is equivalent to the learning outcomes of those units.

An educator who wishes to apply for RPL will need to provide evidence to demonstrate how their background, work or life experiences or past studies match against a unit/s of competency from the Certificate or Diploma. Evidence can be provided in a range of formats and could include references, work samples, resumes, evidence of professional development attended, portfolios, etc.

To find out more about the RPL process and whether you may be eligible to obtain a qualification in full or in part by RPL, contact the Registered Training Organisation of your choice. To find a Skills Tasmania Endorsed RTO, go to: www.skills.tas.gov.au

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EDUCATORS

GOOD TO KNOW

READ THIS

READ THIS

THE WHEN.

When is the best time to start a qualification? Do

you have to wait until the beginning of a new year?

How does it all work?

Unlike university or school education, you can normally find a VET course and start when you are ready to study. You mostly don’t have to wait until the beginning of a new year. This means that the timing of starting a qualification is up to you. The only real time requirement is that if you are already working as an educator in an early education and care service, you must start your Certificate III or Diploma qualification within three months of being employed.

Generally, traineeships and distance learning can be started at any time you are ready, as can the RPL process. Most RTOs are set up to start these on an ongoing basis. Sometimes, you may have to wait for the next course to begin.

Studying for a qualification will put additional demands on you, especially if you are working at the same time. As well as the face-to-face or online parts of the course, you will also need to complete assessment tasks for each unit. You need to ensure that you allocate the time to do these. Because of this, you need to think about what else is going on in your life.

The really good thing to know about VET qualifications is that because they are divided up into individual competencies, you can often pace your own learning and, if you need to take a break, you don’t lose credit for the competencies you have already achieved. The exception to this if for educators working for a qualification required under the Regulations. People studying for these have to always be ‘working toward’ that qualification – you cannot stop mid-course.

Upskilling? Do you want to study for a higher qualification such as an Advanced Diploma? Sometimes, these are not run with the same frequency as Certificate III and Diploma courses – if you hear of a great course starting – grab it!

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SECTION 3: THE WHEN

FIND OUT MORE

To find out when the next course is beginning, you need to contact the RTO/s you are interested in studying with. If you have not yet chosen an RTO, go to: www.skills. tas.gov.au or www.training.gov.au to find one that is able to offer the course you are interested in.

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EDUCATORS

GOOD TO KNOW

QUALIFICATIONS.

Where do I obtain a qualification from? Can I choose who

I study with?

Regardless of whether you choose to obtain your qualification through undertaking a

traineeship, studying face-to-face, or by distance, or applying for recognition, you will still need to be enrolled with a training provider – a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). There are many RTOs in Tasmania. Choosing an RTO is important to ensure you receive high quality training delivered in a way that works for you.

The checklist below may help you choose the best RTO for you. You should also check with your employer and talk about the RTOs they prefer to deliver training.

Although an educator can obtain a training qualification from a range of training providers and will finish with the same qualification (for example, a Diploma), this does not mean all Diplomas are equal. The quality of training offered by training providers differs. So how do you know if the training provider (i.e., the Registered Training Organisation) offers good quality training or not? Ask! Ask your service and other educators. Also ask questions of the RTO itself.

Types of RTOs

RTOs can be small or large. Some RTOs may only offer a few courses. Some will offer many. RTOs can either be public, or can be run on a not for profit basis (often operated by industry organisations), or welfare organisations (such as large charities), or run on a for profit basis. Some RTOs have other business arms – (for example, an employment agency that also provides training).

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SECTION 4: QUALIFICATIONS

FIND OUT MORE

QUALIFICATIONS.

Checklist: Questions to consider when

considering which RTO to sign up with

RTO NAME

RTO NAME

As you ask each question of an RTO, put a tick or cross in that RTO’s column if the answer fits what you want.

✘ ✔

1. Does the RTO have a history of provision of training in the education and care sector? 2. What do other educators you know say about the RTO?

3. Does the RTO’s trainers and assessors have current education and care experience and qualifications?

4. How easy is it to understand the RTO’s training and assessment materials? (Ask if you can look at some.)

5. Can the RTO provide training in a way which suits your needs? (e.g. face-to-face, distance, online or a mix)

6. What elective units will you be studying? 7. How long does the course/traineeship go for?

8. How many hours of study (attendance at training/study/assessment time) will be required?

9. Can the RTO help me with language and literacy support? 10. Does the RTO offer RPL?

11. What are the costs?

12. Can the RTO suggest sources of government funding/subsidies/incentives? 13. Does the RTO provide a key contact person for me?

14. What support does the RTO provide students?

15. Does the contract you will sign with the RTO clearly state their responsibilities and yours?

16. What does the RTO expect of students? Can you reasonably meet these expectations?

To see if an RTO is Skills Tasmania Endorsed, go to: www.skills.tas.gov.au

If you are not satisfied with the quality of service you receive from an RTO, or with the training you are being provided, there are ways for you to make a complaint. Talk to the RTO about the problem. It may be easily fixed. If after trying to solve the problem with the RTO you still have unresolved issues, you can complain to the Australian Skills Quality Authority – go to:

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EDUCATORS

When you think about starting a qualification, you

often have lots of questions about what it will mean

for you to be studying. Will it cost a lot? How much

of your time will it take up? How hard will it be?

This section is designed to give you some answers.

What qualification?

There is a number of qualifications that educators can obtain that are required to work in the childhood education and care sector.

Entry level qualifications

Certificate III in Education Support*

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care*

Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care.

*The Education and Care Services National Regulations state that an educator who is educating and caring for children preschool age or under, must have, or be actively working towards, at least an approved Certificate III level early education and care qualification, for them to be counted in the educator-to-child ratios. A family day care educator must have, or be actively working towards, at least an approved Certificate III level early education and care qualification.

Other qualifications

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Diploma of School Age Education and Care.

Management qualifications

Diploma of Management

Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management

Frontline Management.

Training qualification

Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

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SECTION 5: THE WHATS

Single unit courses

You can also study individual units of competency from a range of courses. Completing these do not give you an entire qualification but you will receive a Statement of Attainment to show that you have completed the unit. You will also receive credit for these units if you decide to obtain a qualification later, of which these units are a part of. Most of these units are part of courses such as the Certificate III and Diploma but may be useful for those who are not doing these qualifications such as admin assistants and cooks.

Child protection: Identify and respond to children and young people at risk

Food handling: Follow basic food safety practices

Nutrition and menu planning: Plan and evaluate meals and menus to meet recommended dietary guidelines

First aid: Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting.

What will you learn in these qualifications?

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

In the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, you must complete 18 units – 15 compulsory units and three elective units. These are the compulsory units:

Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework

Develop cultural competence

Ensure the health and safety of children

Provide care for children

Promote and provide healthy food and drinks

Provide care for babies and toddlers

Develop positive and respectful relationships with children

Use an approved learning framework to guide practice

Support the holistic development of children in early childhood

Provide experiences to support children’s play and learning

Use information about children to inform practice

Identify and respond to children and young people at risk

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EDUCATORS

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

In the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, you must complete 28 units – 23 compulsory and five elective. These are the compulsory units:

Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework

Develop cultural competence

Ensure the health and safety of children

Provide care for children

Promote and provide healthy food and drinks

Provide care for babies and toddlers

Develop positive and respectful relationships with children

Use an approved learning framework to guide practice

Establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for children

Foster the holistic development and wellbeing of the child in early childhood

Nurture creativity in children

Establish and implement plans for developing co-operative behaviour

Implement strategies for the inclusion of all children

Promote children’s agency

Analyse information to inform learning

Design and implement the curriculum to foster children’s learning and development

Embed sustainable practices in service operations

Work in partnership with families to provide appropriate early education and care for children

Identify and respond to children and young people at risk

Provide an emergency first aid response in an early education and care setting

Work effectively with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people

Maintain work health and safety

Facilitate compliance in early education and care services.

Diploma of School Age Education and Care

In the Diploma of School Age Education and Care, you must complete 25 units – 18 compulsory and seven elective. These are the compulsory units:

Develop cultural competence

Promote and provide healthy food and drinks

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SECTION 5: THE WHATS

GOOD TO KNOW

Provide experiences to support children’s play and learning

Establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for children

Nurture creativity in children

Facilitate compliance in early education and care services

Establish and implement plans for developing co-operative behaviour

Implement strategies for the inclusion of all children

Design and implement the curriculum to foster children’s learning and development

Work in partnership with families to provide appropriate early education and care for children

Identify and respond to children and young people at risk

Support children to participate in school age care

Develop and implement play and leisure experiences in school age care

Work collaboratively and respectfully with children in school age care

Foster the holistic development and wellbeing of the child in school age care

Provide an emergency first aid response in an early education and care setting

Work effectively with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Starting out in the sector? If you want to work in early education and care (such as in long day care of family day care), you can choose to do either a Certificate III or enrol directly into a Diploma. You can either:

Obtain your Certificate III. You can then choose to stop studying at this point or go on to further study and obtain your Diploma – receiving credit for some units in your Certificate III.

Enrol directly into a Diploma.

To find out more about what qualification you should study, talk to the director of your service or an RTO. Ask them about what qualifications are needed and what

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EDUCATORS

GOOD TO KNOW

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What will it cost?

Costs

Registered Training Organisations charge fees for qualifications. These charges vary depending on:

What qualification you are completing

Which RTO is offering it

Whether you are eligible for concessions

What government support is available to reduce the fee.

There is always a range of government funding/subsidies/incentives to enable the costs of fees to be reduced or removed entirely. Please see the Funding section on page 25 for more information.

The only way to find out what a qualification will cost is by contacting RTOs or checking out their fee schedules on their websites.

RTOs set their own fees, so the cost of a qualification can vary between different RTOs. Remember to ask them what funding is available.

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READ THIS

SECTION 5: THE WHATS

Funding/subsidies/incentives

Funding/subsidies/incentives are often available to assist to cover the cost of vocational and educational training. Sometimes, this is available for students, for employers, or for RTOs. RTOs are often the best informed as to what is available at any point of time.

Funding or subsidies for a qualification can sometimes be obtained from:

The employer, i.e. the education and care service. Services sometimes choose to pay employee training costs as part of an employee’s salary package or because it is the best way for the service to ensure their educators have the skills and qualifications the service needs. Under the Long Day Care Professional Development Programme (LDCPDP), long day care employers have received funding that can be used to pay for long day care educators’ qualifications until June 2017.

Jobs Services Australia providers. Employment agencies can fund or provide vocational and educational training, especially for people who have been unemployed for a long time, or have a disability or other barrier to employment.

Government. A range of Commonwealth and state government programs exist at different times which can provide financial assistance for vocational and educational training. These programs change on a regular basis.

Skills Tasmania manages a range of subsidy, incentive and grant programs that support industry, employers, community organisations and registered training providers to provide subsidised training.

Some RTOs can offer VET FEE–HELP. VET FEE–HELP is an interest-free Commonwealth loan that assists full fee paying students to pay their tuition fees when studying a

Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualification. The Australian Government pays the amount of the loan directly to the RTO, and students repay their loan through the Australian taxation system, once their earnings reach a certain level. VET FEE–HELP is similar to the HECS system in place for universities study. As at the end of 2014 TasTAFE was registered to offer VET FEE–HELP. To find out more, go to: www.studyassist.gov.au/ sites/studyassist/helppayingmyfees/vet-fee-help

The Australian Government is providing Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) grants for eligible early childhood educators in services in regional and remote locations. Grants of up to $3,500 are available for eligible early childhood educators as a contribution to the costs associated with undertaking an RPL assessment for the Certificate III and Diploma.

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EDUCATORS

GOOD TO KNOW

FIND OUT MORE

Most subsidies for qualifications goes directly to RTOs, who then pass it on to students via funded or partially-funded qualifications. Sometimes, qualifications are completely funded but, more often than not, subsidies and incentives will reduce the cost, rather than remove it completely.

VET funding in general: www.skills.tas.gov.au/funding or contact your chosen RTO

Traineeship subsidies – contact your Australian Apprenticeships Centre see:

www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/find-my-aac-by-region or read more at:

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GOOD TO KNOW

READ THIS

SECTION 5: THE WHATS

What will undertaking a qualification mean for you?

Time

Because qualifications are competency based there are no set completion times. You are awarded your qualification when you have been assessed to be ‘competent’ in all the required skills and knowledge for that qualification. Each qualification does have a minimum number of required hours for work placements.

How long a qualification takes depends on a range of factors, such as your previous skills and knowledge, how many units you are studying at a time and how the RTO you are studying with, structures your course. The following times are guides only – remembering that the final duration depends on how long it takes you to be competent in the skills required.

A Certificate III typically takes about 1-to-2 years to complete

A Certificate IV is typically between 1-to-3 years (the shorter Certificate IV courses are qualifications designed for those with many existing knowledge and skills)

A Diploma typically takes around 2 years to complete

An Advanced Diploma is typically between 18 months–2 years

An early childhood teaching degree usually takes 3–4 years.

Before you sign up to an RTO, it is important you find out from that RTO how long the qualification typically takes people to obtain. If it sounds like too little time, it could be that you are not studying the subjects in the depth required to equip you to work in an education and care service.

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EDUCATORS

READ THIS

The minimum amount of time that must be spent in work placement or pracs are as follows:

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care: 120 hours

Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care: 120 hours

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care: 240 hours (if you already possess a Certificate III, it is only 120 hours)

Diploma of School Age Education and Care: 240 hours.

Like any form of study, when you are studying for a qualification, there will be ‘homework’ or assessments. How many and how long these will take depends upon which qualification you are doing, which unit within that qualification, and the RTO’s requirements. If you are a trainee, your employer is required to pay you for all the time you spend in training.

Assessments

Assessments may include multiple choice questions, short questions and answers, workplace observations, written assessments and projects or reports. Sometimes, you may have to complete a task within your workplace as an assessment. Assessment helps you to prove that you have the skills and knowledge to gain a competency.

Help from the service

What sort of help can you expect to receive from your service when you are completing a qualification?

The sort of help you can expect to receive really depends upon your individual service. Most services are proud of their educators obtaining a qualification or upskilling, and are often prepared to assist by:

Study leave (check your award or agreement)

Assisting you find resources to help with assessments

Ensuring you can complete tasks required for assessments or practicums

Setting you up with a mentor to assist your study

Helping you find a way of reducing course fees through subsidies or incentives

Giving you access to service documentation to enable you to use it in completing assessments

Organising study groups for all employees completing qualifications

Having educators who already have that qualification work with you to assist you to understand course and assessment requirements.

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READ THIS

SECTION 5: THE WHATS

Before you start a qualification, it is always good to have a discussion with your service about what support and assistance might be available to help you. Do not make assumptions about what might be on offer.

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EDUCATORS

GOOD TO KNOW

READ THIS

Once you are enrolled in a qualification, the main place you will go to seek help or ask questions is your RTO. They are the ones that are being paid and have responsibilities to assist you to obtain your qualification, so never be shy to ask them questions about the course, requirements, assessments, fees, subsidies, etc.

Sometimes when you are doing a qualification, you may require help. It is important that you ask for help early when you don’t understand something or need to know something.

Sometimes, it can be hard to know exactly who can provide you with help about what – this is what this section tries to simplify.

Help with questions about qualifications

Go to the Skills Tasmania website: www.skills.tas.gov.au/learners

Go to The Commonwealth’s My Skills website: www.myskills.gov.au

Ask your service.

Help with questions about fees, subsidies

Ask your RTO (or any RTO you are thinking of using)

Ask your service

Go to the Skills Tasmania website: www.skills.tas.gov.au/learners

Help with assessments

Ask other educators at your service and or your service director or mentor

Go to the ECA Skills Plan website – http://tinyurl.com/tasquals – this will give you a list of websites that may help you find information for each unit of the Certificate III and Diploma

Use Google! There is a mass of information on the website about education and care. The ECA website at www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au has some great resources for educators.

Need help with reading and writing? Help

is available for educators undertaking a

qualification that need assistance – ask your

director or co-ordinator.

HELP!

WHO CAN

HELP?

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GOOD TO KNOW

SECTION 6: HELP!

It is always better to ask for help than to drop out of your course. If you are finding studying difficult, let someone at your RTO know.

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SAY WHAT?

SAY WHAT?

FIND OUT MORE

EDUCATORS

CHEAT

Websites that you may need to consult

There are a range of websites that will be helpful no matter what topic the employee/s or students on practicum are learning. These are listed here.

Tasmanian Professional Support Co-ordinator: www.gowrie-tas.com.au/ professional_support_coordinator__psc_tas_.html

ACECQA: www.acecqa.gov.au

Early Childhood Australia: www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au

NQS PLP website – Early Childhood Australia:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp

PSC Alliance: www.pscalliance.org.au

My Time Our Place: www.mytimeourplace.com.au

IPSP Online Library: www.ipsplibrary.net.au

READ THIS

The following websites are grouped by quality area, with the first section being those websites that cross all quality areas or are particularly helpful for the National Quality Framework. When a student asks for help, think about what quality area the topic they are studying most fits under, then check the resources for that study area.

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SAY WHAT?

SAY WHAT?

SECTION 6: HELP!

SHEET!

Quality Area 1: Educational Program and Practice

The Early Years Learning Framework:

www.education.gov.au/early-years-learning-framework

Practice-based resources for the Early Years Learning Framework:

www.docs.education.gov.au/node/33217

Educator’s Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework:

www.docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/educators_guide_to_the_early_ years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf

My Time Our Place website:

www.mytimeourplace.com.au

Early Childhood Australia Professional Learning Program:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp

IPSP Online Library:

www.ipsplibrary.net.au

Pedagogical Documentation: www.psctas.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ Pedagogical-Documentation.pdf

Intentional Teaching Strategies:

www.psctas.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/INTENTIONAL-TEACHING-STRATEGIES.pdf

Inclusion and Professional Support Program:

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EDUCATORS

Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety

Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care

services (5th Edition):

www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/ch55

Australian Dietary Guidelines:

www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/n55

Healthy Eating for Children:

www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/publications/n55f_children_brochure_print.pdf

Get Up & Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Early Childhood – Staff/Carers

Book:

www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/phd-gug-staffcarers

Current Immunisation Schedule

www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/nips-ctn

National Quality Standard Professional Learning Program:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp

Work Health and Safety Fact Sheets:

www.worksafe.tas.gov.au/whs_laws/fact_sheets

IPSP Online Library:

www.ipsplibrary.net.au

Department of Health and Human Services (Child Protection):

www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/children/child_protection_services

Food Standards: www.foodstandards.gov.au

Allergies: www.allergyfacts.org.au www.allergy.org.au

Asthma: www.asthmafoundation.org.au/Asthma_Friendly_Child_Care.aspx

CHEAT SHEET!

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SECTION 6: HELP!

Quality Area 3: Physical Environment

NQS PLP website – Early Childhood Australia:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp

Tasmanian Professional Support Co-ordinator:

www.psctas.org.au

Learning Through Play:

www.psctas.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Learning-Through-Play-Fact-Sheet-Anne-Kennedy.pdf

Climbing the Little Green Steps (Sustainability):

www.gosford.nsw.gov.au/environment/education/documents/climbing-the-little-green-steps.pdf

IPSP Online Library:

www.ipsplibrary.net.au

Quality Area 4: Staffing Arrangements

ECA Code of Ethics:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/code

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/code_of_ethics/code_of_ethics_publications. html  

My Time, Our Place website:

www.mytimeourplace.com.au

NQS PLP website – Early Childhood Australia:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp

IPSP Online Library:

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EDUCATORS

Quality Area 5: Relationships with Children

My Time Our Place website:

www.mytimeourplace.com.au

NQS PLP website – Early Childhood Australia:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp

IPSP Online Library:

www.ipsplibrary.net.au

Inclusion: www.cscentral.org.au/publications/resources-to-support-inclusion.html www.noahsarkinc.org.au

Managing behaviour: www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/learning_and_teaching/childrens_behaviour/ managing_challenging_behaviour.html www.ncac.acecqa.gov.au/educator-resources/factsheets/factsheet6%20.pdf

Quality Area 6: Collaborative Relationships with Families

and Communities

Children’s Services Central:

www.cscentral.org.au/culturalcompetency

Early Childhood Australia:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/NQS_ PLP_E-Newsletter_No35.pdf

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SECTION 6: HELP!

Quality Area 7: Leadership and Service Management

Fair Work Commission:

www.fwc.gov.au

Service Financial Management:

www.cpaaustralia.com.au/cps/rde/xbcr/cpa-site/financial_management_of_not-for-profits.pdf

NQS PLP website – Early Childhood Australia:

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp

IPSP Online Library:

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SAY WHAT?

SAY WHAT?

EDUCATORS

READ THIS

The training sector uses many acronyms. If an

acronym is unknown, unclear or mysterious, it’s

always best to ask – not everyone knows that RPL

from an RTO gives someone a VET Qualification

that is NRT under the AQF!

Here is a helpful guide.

AAC Australian Apprenticeships Centre

AQF Australian Qualifications Framework

ASQA Australian Skills Quality Authority

COAG Council of Australian Government

CSHISC Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council

DoE Commonwealth Department of Education

DoE Tas Department of Education Tasmania

ISC Industry Skills Council

ISPC Inclusion and Professional Support Program

JSA Job Search Association

LLN Language, Literacy and Numeracy

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SAY WHAT?

SAY WHAT?

SECTION 6: HELP!

GOOD TO KNOW

MAAP Mentoring Australia Apprenticeship Program

NRT Nationally Recognised Training

NSF National Skills Framework

PSC Professional Support Co-ordinator

RPL Recognition of Prior Learning

RCC Recognition of Current Competency

RTO Registered Training Organisation

TGA training.gov.au

VET Vocational Education and Training

VETiS Vocational Education and Training in Schools

WHS Workers’ Health and Safety

Common acronyms used in the education and care sector about qualifications are RPL

(Recognition of Prior Learning) and RTO (Registered Training Organisation). Shortened course names (Cert 3, Cert 4, Dip) are also used.

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EDUCATORS

READ THIS

Registered Training Organisations (RTO) generally

apply skills recognition in two ways:

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Credit transfer.

RPL is an assessment process that can give you credit for skills, knowledge and experience gained through working and learning at different stages of your life. You may be able to reduce the time it takes to obtain your qualification through the RPL process.

RPL can help reduce the time it takes you to obtain a qualification by recognising the skills you already have and other learning you may have done. Your skills are assessed against the appropriate training package.

When you are trying to obtain RPL a specialist RPL assessor may ask you to:

Perform tasks

Talk about how you do things at a service

Show paperwork such as qualifications, certificates of attendance at training courses, job descriptions, etc.

The assessor then works out which competencies you can be considered as already having.

RPL recognises both current and prior knowledge and experience and measures it against the course in which you are enrolled.

To find out about the exact methods of obtaining RPL, you will need to talk to your chosen RTO.

They will:

Provide you with information about the process

Conduct skills assessments for competencies/qualifications.

There is no difference between achieving a competency through prior learning or through a formal program of study.

What sort of evidence of competency or prior learning can be provided? Evidence of skills and knowledge can come from:

Other accredited courses or nationally recognised qualification you have completed

Professional development an educator has completed

Work records

Life experience

Work history.

RPL

NEED TO

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FIND OUT MORE

SECTION 7: RPL

The RTO may obtain the evidence needed to grant you RPL through:

Competency conversations (a formal conversation designed to assess your relevant skills, knowledge and experience.)

Observation of you performing practical tasks

Observation of you at a service

Documentation – whereby a director or other educator attests to the your competency after observing you over time.

www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp/e-learning-videos/talking-about-practice/ recognition-of-prior-learning-pathways

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Have you finished this guide and still have

questions?

Read the Part 1 of this guide. It is directed at services, and is a bit more technical but the answer you seek may be there!

Talk to your service director or manager

Contact an RTO – they are the gurus on all things related to qualifications (Often, it’s good to ask two different RTOs the same question though, so you can be sure you are getting consistent answers.)

Search the internet. The websites listed throughout this section are a good place to start

Ask other educators who already have the qualification you are interested in. We are all learners here.

Make sure you talk to the children you care and educate for about the fact you are doing a qualification. Our services are one of the first places outside of the family where children begin their education journey. What a wonderful way to demonstrate that education is a life-long process by having educators actively involved in their own education! Educators within services can actively demonstrate that we are all learners at a service by modelling their own learning to children. Congratulations on undertaking or considering undertaking a qualification. Enjoy your education journey!

BUT!

STILL HAVE

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THE QUALIFICATIONS GUIDE

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