Free TAFE comes to Ararat to boost ECEC
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Free TAFE makes its way to Ararat to boost ECEC workforce numbers

Free TAFE makes its way to Ararat to boost ECEC workforce numbers

by Freya Lucas

July 09, 2024

Ararat Rural City Council in conjunction with Federation University Australia will bring the Free TAFE Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to the Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct at 3/5 Laby Street.


The newly accessible hybrid classes will mean that students can access their education in Ararat, rather than having to travel to Ballarat or Horsham for their course contact hours. 


“This initiative contributes to Council’s ongoing commitment to developing key skills areas in the municipality,” Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said. 


“It will also complement the Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct, which is a digitally sophisticated multi-use hub for research, business start-ups, and a professional co-working space. This demonstrates that having access to reliable digital technologies in regional centres such as Ararat fosters workforce development, increased productivity, economic growth, and sustainability of our businesses and services.” 

As well as boosting the availability of ECEC in the region, and allowing for more women to return to work, the initiative will help to address existing workforce shortages in the ECEC sector. 


The next intake for the course commences 15 July 2024, with enrolments closing today, 9 July 2024. 


With Ararat Rural City being one of the first local government areas to transition from 15 hours of 4-Year-Old Kindergarten to 30 hours of Pre-Prep in 2025 ECEC services will need additional staff to deliver the new program, making 2024 the ideal time to enrol. 


Students undertaking the Certificate III in ECEC can ‘earn while they learn’ by gaining casual or part time employment at the local kindergartens or early childhood centres. This employment may also count towards the work placement requirements of the course. 


Once students complete the Certificate III course, they become eligible to enrol in the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, which is also a Free TAFE course. 


Students who continue on to the Diploma course may be eligible for the $7,000 Certificate III Upskill Support Program. The Diploma is also a pathway into the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education), and may be counted as 1 year of credit towards the Bachelor degree. 


Those who are interested in enrolling in the Certificate III in ECEC at Federation University should visit this link. For educators who already hold a Diploma and are interested in upgrading to a Bachelor through Federation University please see here


Information about financial support to upgrade from a Certificate III to the Diploma in ECEC is available here

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