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Cert 3 Qualified Educator Wages In Early Childhood Services

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Cert 3 Childcare Pay Rate

When working as a Cert 3 Qualified Educator, your pay rate is from the Children's Services Award 2010. This Award states your minimum rate of pay based on the completion of your Cert 3 Qualification. The following will provide information for Cert 3 Education and Care Qualified Educators on minimum wages including full time and casual, job responsibilities, allowances and more.

Level 3 Classification

In the Children’s Services Award 2010, Educators with a Cert 3 qualification who are working as Assitant educators within the room will be Level 3. Each level for childcare wages gives a definition of what is expected of the employee, the qualifications required and the duties the employee should perform in order to be paid at that particular level.  According to the Children's Services Award:

Level 3 - This is an employee who has completed AQF Certificate III in Children's Services or an equivalent qualification or, alternatively, this employee will possess, in the opinion of the employer, sufficient knowledge or experience to perform the duties at this level. An employee appointed at this level will also undertake the same duties and perform the same tasks as a CSE Level 2.

Indicative duties For Level 2:

  • Assist in the implementation of the children's program under supervision.
  • Assist in the implementation of daily care routines.
  • Develop awareness of and assist in the maintenance of the health and safety of the children in care.
  • Give each child individual attention and comfort as required.
  • Understand and work according to the centre or service's policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of hygienic handling of food and equipment.

Indicative duties For Level 3:

  • Assist in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of developmentally appropriate programs for individual children or groups.
  • Record observations of individual children or groups for program planning purposes for qualified staff.
  • Under direction, work with individual children with particular needs.
  • Assist in the direction of untrained staff.
  • Undertake and implement the requirements of quality assurance.
  • Work in accordance with food safety regulations.

As a Cert 3 Qualified Education, you are required to work in a team to provide high-quality early childhood education development, learning and care to children. Key responsibilities and duties include: 

  • plan and implement a quality education program 
  • promote the health and safety of all children 
  • build positive relationships with all stakeholders 
  • contribute to the effective management of the service

Pay Rate

For a Cert 3 Qualified Educator, your cert 3 childcare pay rate falls under the Children’s Services Award 2010. This award states the minimum amount that an employer can pay you based on your qualification and your position while working in an early learning centre.

Full Time/Part-time

Level 3.1 - (for a newly qualified cert 3 educator who begins working for the first year with their qualification).

  • $23.67 per hour
  • $899.50 per week

For casual pay rate, it is $29.58/per hour

Level 3.2 (for the second year of your cert 3 qualification)

  • $24.49 per hour
  • $930.50 per week

For casual pay rate, it is $30.61/per hour

Level 3.3 (for the third year of your cert 3 qualification)

  • $25.26 per hour
  • $959.80 per week

For casual pay rate, it is $31.57/per hour

Note: These pay rates are the minimum pay rate as per the Children's Services 2010 (correct as of 7/5/2022). The casual pay rate is determined by adding 25% casual loading to the full-time hourly rate. 


Clothing and Equipment allowance - Where you're required by your employer to wear any special clothing or articles of clothing (such as work uniform). You must be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing such clothing. This does not apply where your employer pays for the clothing required to be worn by you.

Where you're required to launder any clothing referred to above. You will be paid an allowance of $9.49 per week or $1.90 per day, or where the uniform does not require ironing, $5.98 per week or $1.20 per day.

Excess fares allowance - Where you're directed to work away from your normal place of work on any day, you will be paid an allowance of $13.73 per day to compensate for excess fares. This provision does not apply if your employer provides or offers to provide suitable transport free of charge to you.

First aid allowance - Where an employee classified below Level 3 is required by the employer to administer first aid to children within the employee’s care and the employee holds a current recognised first aid qualification such as a certificate from the St John Ambulance, the Australian Red Cross or a similar body they will be paid an allowance of 1.13% of the standard rate per day. Where the employee is employed in out-of-school hours care, the allowance will be 0.15% of the standard rate per hour.

Where an employee is required by an employer to act as a first aid officer and they do not have current qualifications, the employer must pay the costs of any required training.

Higher Duties - At times you may be engaged in duties carrying a higher rate than your ordinary classification for two or more consecutive hours within any shift or day will be paid for the time so worked at the higher rate provided that:

  • the greater part of the time so worked is spent in performing duties carrying the higher rate
  • an Educator engaged as a Children’s Services Employee Level 3 who is required to undertake duties of the Director by reason of the Director’s non-attendance outside of core hours will not be entitled to payment under this clause
  • an employee who is required to undertake the duties of another employee by reason of the latter employee’s absence for the purpose of attending (with pay) an approved training course (including in-service training) will not be entitled to payment under this clause

Meal Allowance - An employee required to work overtime for more than two hours without being notified on the previous day or earlier that they will be so required to work will either be supplied with a meal by the employer or paid an allowance of $12.83. No meal allowance is payable where an employee could reasonably return home for a meal within the period allowed.

A meal break must be uninterrupted. Where there is an interruption to the meal break and this is occasioned by the employer, overtime will be paid until an uninterrupted break is taken. The minimum overtime payment will be for 15 minutes at any time in excess of 15 minutes being paid in minimum blocks of 15 minutes.

At times when you're required to remain on the employer’s premises, you will be entitled to a paid meal break of not less than 20 minutes or more than 30 minutes. This paid meal break is to be counted as time worked. By agreement with the employer you may leave the premises during the meal break, however, such time away from the premises will not be counted as time worked and nor will any payment be made for such time.

Rest pauses - When you're working four hours or more on any engagement you will be entitled to a paid rest period of 10 minutes.

Provided that you're working for seven hours or more, you will be entitled to two such paid rest periods of 10 minutes each unless you agree to forego one of these rest periods.

All rest periods must be uninterrupted.

Entitlement to overtime rates - You are paid at overtime rates for any work performed outside of your ordinary hours of work.

Overtime will be paid at the rate of time and a half for the first two hours and double time thereafter. In calculating over time, each day’s work will stand alone.

Where, due to a genuine and pressing emergency situation, an employee is required to remain at work after their normal finishing time such time will be paid at the ordinary rate for the employee’s classification. Provided that such emergency overtime does not exceed one hour per week. For the purposes of this subclause, an emergency situation may include a natural disaster affecting a parent, another employee or the centre/service, the death of a child or parent, or a child requiring urgent hospitalisation or medical attention.

Time off instead of payment for overtime

Your employer may agree in writing to you in taking time off instead of being paid for a particular amount of overtime that has been worked by you.

Any amount of overtime that has been worked by you in a particular pay period and that is to be taken as time off instead of the employee being paid for it must be the subject of a separate agreement.

Public Holidays

When working full time and your rostered day off falls on a public holiday, you are entitled to either:

  • be paid an extra day’s pay
  • be provided with an alternative day off within 28 days
  • receive an additional day’s annual leave

It's important to ensure you are getting the entitlements that you deserve based on your cert 3 education and care qualification. Please make sure you check your pay rates and if you have any concerns, talk to your employer about any payment issues.

Created On May 7, 2022 Last modified on Saturday, May 7, 2022
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