Ascend Program: Traineeship in Early Childhood Education and Care

A qualification for you. A career with us.

A career in early childhood education and care is stimulating, satisfying and rewarding. By making a difference in a child’s early years, you can make a difference for life.

Communities‍@‍Work’s Ascend Program is an industry-leading traineeship that will open up exciting career and personal development opportunities, for individuals interested in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector.  Selected applicants will gain practical paid experience, working across our children’s services while they complete their qualification, with support provided every step of the way.

We are currently finalising our Ascend intake calendar for 2021. If you would like to be contacted when we launch our next intake, please provide us with your contact details, and we’ll be in touch as soon as we have confirmed dates.


Express your interest in our Ascend Program


Earn while you learn

The Ascend Program is open to anyone who is passionate about working in the early education and care sector (child care), whether you are commencing a new career, progressing your career, or are interested in making a career change.

As a structured, on-the-job development program, Ascend allows our students to focus their energy on obtaining their qualification as well as obtaining income. Upon successful completion, graduates gain a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113), on-the-job experience and skills as an educator.

Why a traineeship under the Ascend Program? 

Our Ascend Program is offered by our Award-Winning Registered Training Organisation – The Centre of Professional Learning and Qualification. Communities@Work has won the ACT Large Employer of the Year Award for 2 years in a row (2019 and 2020) for excellence in training and education, in the ACT Training Awards.

Our Ascend Program is more than just a traineeship – it is the first important step in a rewarding career in early childhood education and care. Stand-out graduates are often also offered ongoing employment with Communities@Work children’s services after the completion of the program.

Early education and care is a growing employment sector, and for those who are driven to take the next step, there are many opportunities to progress to team leader positions, early childhood teacher roles, and leadership and management roles, even within Communities@Work children’s services.



What to expect from the program? 

In the Ascend program, students participate in a 12-18 month program as part of a group of future educators who undertake a bespoke learning experience.

It is a fantastic opportunity to learn theoretical knowledge and concepts alongside gaining valuable practical experience in our early childhood education and care centres, allowing you to learn from experienced educators, teachers and mentors.

Ascend students are paid over the length of the program and need to be available to work and study full-time for 7.6 hours a day between 7:30 am and 6.00 pm. 

The student’s contribution to commence training is $400. Students can either pay this upfront or elect to pay it over a number of weeks via a payment plan or payroll deduction. A fee concession is also available to eligible trainees if they hold a valid Australian Government Health Care Card, Low Income Health Care Card, Government Pensioner Concession Card, or Veteran’s Gold Card.

Upon completion of the qualification, applicants may be eligible for a $300 government completion bonus as well. Payment of incentives and personal benefits is subject to Australian Apprentices satisfying eligibility criteria as set out in the ACT Standard Compliance Guide for Australian Apprenticeships Training. The amount quoted is to be used as a guide only.

Who Can Apply?

We are looking for candidates who are:

  • passionate about being part of an elite team
  • driven by positive, creative energy
  • enthusiastic about pursuing or advancing a career in early education and care
  • seeking the opportunity to be part of an organisation committed to excellence in service delivery.

The program would suit an applicant who is also:

  • friendly and sociable
  • a good team member
  • a good communicator, and likes working with people
  • conscientious and cooperative
  • enthusiastic about learning.

If that describes you, we encourage you to apply/submit an expression of interest.

Who is eligible?

Candidates who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for the Ascend Program:

  • at least 18 years of age;
  • an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident OR a New Zealand Citizen who has lived in Australia for more than 6 months, OR a visa holder with work rights on a pathway to permanent residency and not excluded from participation in government-funded training;
  • able to pass a language, literacy and numeracy assessment;
  • not already holding other relevant qualifications in early childhood or education;
  • registered for ‘Working With Vulnerable People’, or able to register;
  • interested in working with children and families; and
  • committed to completing the 12-18 month program.

We encourage candidates who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander to apply.

How to Apply?

Applications for our January 2021 intake are now closed but we accept expressions of interests throughout the year.

You can also download the Communities@Work Ascend Program Handbook here.

For more information, contact or call 02 6293 6220.

Not sure if the Ascend Program is the right fit?

If you’re not sure whether the Ascend Program is the right fit for you, or if you don’t wait until the next intake, Communities@Work also offers other pathways for building a career in Early Childhood Education and Care.

You can complete a Certificate III qualification under a personalised traineeship model, subsidised study (such as under the Skilled Capital Funding) or on a fee-for-service basis. Find out more here.

Approved applicants can also begin their Early Childhood Education career in a Communities@Work service (usually a Child Care and Education Centre), before beginning their qualification journey with our Registered Training Organisation. Educators are required to be actively engaged in working towards their qualification within three months of beginning work. 

For more information, submit your expression of interest here and we’ll be in touch to discuss your unique situation and propose pathways to a career in Early Education and Care with Communities@Work.


I am interested to learn more!

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