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Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood Education and Care

Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood Education and Care (GCCH)

Entry requirements
Study mode
  • External
  • -
  • 1 year part-time
  • Feb, Jul, Nov


  • Are you a primary or secondary teacher wanting to expand your qualifications into early childhood education? The Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood Education and Care provides you with essential qualifications to deliver crucial early childhood and Kindergarten learning.
  • One of the most significant times of a person’s life is during their first 5 years, where brain development is at it’s peak and a supportive, nurturing environment is essential to build a foundation for future learning, health and life success. Expand your teaching qualifications to deliver learning that makes a life-long difference.
  • This Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)-accredited degree is an ideal option for teachers who have the desire to take a role in the early childhood education space, for example, in rural areas where teachers are often limited and the need for staff to become multi-skilled is essential.
  • Once graduated, you will have a broad range of qualifications giving you the ability to deliver essential learning in an early childhood education setting, or to become a manager or advisor of an educational centre for children aged from birth to 5 years of age.

Professional accreditation

This degree is an approved Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) qualification with the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

Career outcomes

  • This degree suits teachers who want to broaden their career opportunities and be qualified for in-demand kindergarten career vacancies. This qualification also suits those wishing to pursue management or advisory positions within education settings to work with children from birth to 5 years of age. 

Entry requirements

Find the entry requirements most relevant to you.

  • Completion of an undergraduate initial teacher education qualification in Primary or Secondary Education which leads to teacher registration, such as a Bachelor of Education.


  • Completion of a postgraduate initial teacher education qualification in Primary or Secondary Education which leads to teacher registration, such as a Master of Learning and Teaching.

English language requirements

English language requirements apply to applicants whose previous undergraduate study was completed in a country other than Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom or the United States of America or undertaken in a language other than English. Applicants from a non-English speaking background must attain an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Additional requirements for placements

You must be able to meet the physical and other professional requirements of professional experience placements within this degree.

Some childcare centres may require evidence of vaccination prior to undertaking professional experience at the site.

State law in Queensland (Australia) requires that all adults working/undertaking professional experience/researching with children under the age of 18, are required to hold a current Positive Exemption Card (Blue Card) or hold a valid Working with Children Check. Students in other Australian states or in overseas contexts need to ensure they have complied with the equivalent requirements and have registered the details with the USQ Education Placement Office.

Recognition of prior learning or work experience

You may be eligible for recognition of prior learning if you have previously studied or have relevant work experience. This will help to reduce the number of courses that you need to study to finish your program.

Degree structure

To complete this degree students must complete 4 units. Most courses (similar to ‘subjects’) are valued at 1 unit.

Students can enrol in a maximum of 2 courses per semester due to the time constraints which are required to attend professional experience placements. This enrolment pattern is provided to accommodate students' needs, many of whom, in addition to study, are teaching on a full or part-time basis. Therefore, this qualification can only be studied part-time. 

Courses to be studied Units
Core courses 4
Total 4

Refer to the USQ Handbook for courses to be studied and recommended enrolment patterns.

Professional experience / education placements 

A student of the Graduate Certificate of Early Education and Care, you will embark on the following professional placements:

  • 20 days with children aged 3-5 (Kindergarten)
  • 10 days with children aged from birth – 35 months
  • 30 days in any learning context with children, including school-aged children.

Fees and scholarships

Your actual fees may vary depending on the courses you select. We review our fees annually so these may be subject to change.

Approximate annual costs1 for your study (4 units) in this degree are:

Study Mode Cost
Commonwealth supported

The Federal Government contributes to the cost of your course and you need to pay a student contribution.

AUD 1992
Domestic full fee paying

You are responsible for the full cost of your course and are charged a tuition fee.

AUD 11280

1 These are indicative annual fees for 2022. 

Student services and amenities fees

You may need to pay student services and amenities (SA) fees as part of your course costs.

Professional experience costs

This degree includes a professional experience component that may involve travel, accommodation and meal expenses.

Loan to help you pay your fees

You may not have to pay your course (subject) fees upfront. HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP allows you to defer your fees until your income reaches a certain level. Find out if you are eligible for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP.

You may also be eligible to receive financial support from Centrelink.


At USQ, we offer a range of scholarships to support your success at university. Find a scholarship that works for you.

How to apply

Complete your online application directly to USQ.

The closing dates for applying directly to USQ are:

  • Semester 2, 2022 - applications close Monday 11 July, with Semester 2 commencing on Monday 11 July, 2022.
  • Semester 3, 2022 - application closing date to be advised. Semester 3 commences on Monday 14 November, 2022.
  • Semester 1, 2023 - application closing date to be advised. Semester 1 commences in February, 2023.

More information on applying key dates is available.

Further information

Discover further information on applying to study at USQ that is relevant to you.

Got questions?


Begin your study journey today with Australia's #1 university for graduate starting salary* and start the degree that’s right for you.

*Good Universities Guide, 2022

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