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Monash University

Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood)

Course code: 3201 ~ Course abbreviation: GradDipEd(EChild) ~ Total credit points required: 48 ~ 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time ~ Managing faculty: Education

Study mode and course location

On-campus (Peninsula)

Course description

This course is designed to communicate both theoretical and practical knowledge in the area of early childhood education and teaching. Students should form a broad conceptual understanding of the field of education and will be expected to engage as active participants in both on-campus and off-campus components of the course.

Course Objectives

The broad objective of this course is to develop in students the necessary skills in teaching relevant to the provision of educational programs for children aged 0 - 5 years. This will include the development of knowledge of theories of curriculum development, the ability to demonstrate best practice in early childhood settings, an understanding of principles of child development and the history and philosophy of early childhood services, and a confident grasp of the ethical and professional foundations of teaching in early childhood education. A further objective of the course is for students to develop responsiveness to the needs of young children and their families, in a flexible and innovative fashion, within the context of an appreciation of the importance of lifelong learning.

Course structure

The course comprises eight units in which the emphasis is on the underpinning theories pertinent to best practice in early childhood teaching and the development of a strong understanding of the theories of child development. The course will also emphasise the range of early childhood services and the social context of early childhood provision, as well as the need for flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of families and young children. In particular, the course will address the relationship between service provision and the families of young children. Graduates will be encouraged to develop flexible strategies to accommodate these needs and to recognise the importance of lifelong learning as a necessary component of their professional development. The course will also develop an understanding of the ethical requirements of early childhood teachers and the practical application of these requirements.

Course requirements

Core units

The core units in this course and minimum fieldwork requirements for each are outlined below. The total fieldwork requirement is 55 plus days:

  • EDF5409 Play and pedagogy
  • EDF5410 Curriculum studies: early childhood**
  • EDF5411 Social, political and professional contexts of early childhood teaching**
  • EDF5412 Field experience#
  • EDF5413 Family studies**
  • EDF5414 Child development principles^
  • EDF5415 Issues in child development
  • EDF5416 Perspectives of early childhood education

    * This course outline is indicative of the program students will follow but is subject to change. Students should consult their course adviser to assist in planning their program. Check the current timetable for unit availability via the website at after 30 September.
    ** Five days
    # 30 days
    ^ 10 days

Fieldwork placements

In order to satisfy the conditions of employment established by the Early Childhood Australia Inc. (Victorian Branch), students who enrol with approved degrees in fields other than primary education will be required to complete an additional 15 days of mandatory field experience. Such students will therefore complete 70 days of field experience placement rather than the base level of 55 days of placement. Students must normally be available to undertake their fieldwork placement on a full-time basis. While some placements may be completed at a site at which the student is employed, the remainder of the placement will need to be undertaken at a site(s) other than that at which they are employed.

Professional recognition

Graduates are eligible for appointment as kindergarten teachers in pre-schools or childcare centres in Victoria. For interstate and overseas positions, applicants are advised to check with local authorities.

Contact details

Telephone +61 3 9904 4291 or visit

Course adviser

Dr Suzy Edwards