Early Childhood Education Trainee Jobs

Traineeships at Big Fat Smile

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Finishing year 12, or looking for a career change? For those interested in building a rewarding career working with children, we offer 18 month, full-time traineeships where you’ll learn on the job and receive a nationally recognised qualification. No previous qualifications or experience needed, and the best bit - you’ll be paid as you go!

With valuable on-the-job training and experience, study time off the floor and support from a highly experienced team of educators, you’ll feel supported whilst you work towards your Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Once you’ve graduated, we’ve got casual, part-time or full-time educator jobs on offer for you across our many centres, as well as Diploma Traineeships for those who want to further their studies. With us, you’ll be set for a long, successful career.

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

For Certificate III Educators working at Big Fat Smile, we offer the opportunity to further your education and experience by completing a Diploma Traineeship with us. Working alongside a team of supportive professionals who aspire to make a meaningful impact, in an organisation that’s dedicated to learning and growth, you’ll feel supported in achieving your education and career goals. 

School-based Traineeships – Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

For motivated year 10 students keen to get a head start, we offer School-based Traineeships where you can complete your Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care during year 11 and 12. Working one day a week in one of our leading centres, you’ll gain incredible experience and insight into what the sector is like. Experienced educators will support your journey, helping you get a nationally recognised qualification on top of your HSC. And you’ll also be paid – bonus!

Who we're looking for

Whether you’re graduating high school, looking for a career change, or returning to the workforce, a traineeship is a great opportunity to explore and get a head-start in an early childhood career.

  • You have to be 18 years or older
  • No qualifications or experience is required. In fact, to be eligible, you can’t already hold a Certificate III Education or above
  • You need to be able to work full-time hours
  • Must be able to get a working with children's check, valid for paid work (this is needed for anyone who works or volunteers in child-related work in NSW)
  • You’re passionate about creating better outcomes for local children, families and communities
  • Someone who can commit to making sure the children in our care are safe and healthy
  • A fun-loving attitude and big smile!

What it's like to be a trainee at Big Fat Smile

Still unsure about what you want to be when you grow up? Or perhaps the path you took didn’t turn out how you hoped? An early childhood qualification is a skill for life. For those who love children, this is more than a job - it’s an opportunity to make a child’s world a better, brighter place. Join us and you’ll be smiling too, when you make more of a difference.

When you’re working with children, there are certainly ups and downs. But fun always comes with the territory. You’ll bring the laughter and play to each day, but most importantly, you’ll create magical moments for children to experiment and grow.

Working with a supportive, expert team in the day-to-day running of our centres, our trainees play an important role in shaping young minds. You’ll be encouraged to adapt approaches and bring creativity and playfulness to your work. To tap into your childlike wonder. To meet children where they’re at. And together with the children, their families and your team, you’ll design and deliver colourful learning experiences that match a child’s interests and needs.

No previous experience is needed, as we’ll teach you everything you need to know. You’ll get amazing experience working with children from 0-5 years. Plus, you’ll be part of our Big Fat Smile trainee study group (Community of Practice) where you’ll be connected with other trainees who’ll become your friends and supporters as you go through this journey.

Search current Traineeship job vacancies in our day care and term only preschools in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Goulburn and Sydney

Why choose us

There’s so much more to smile about here. The trust you’ll be given in exchange for your expertise. The freedom you’ll have to use your judgement. The joy you’ll get from doing work you love with people who are as invested as you. And the beautiful relationships you’ll form with peers, children and families – through shared experiences that are as rich as they are rewarding. 

We’re a leader in our field because of our dedication to learning, collaboration and finding ways to improve. And that goes for our people too. Everyone is always willing to share for the betterment of one another, giving you big opportunities to grow your career.

When the going gets tough, as it sometimes does, you’ll find teammates and leaders have your back. There’s a real in-it-together feeling here, thanks to our safe and supportive environment. And well-established policies that outline exactly what’s expected and needed in any situation. Everyone’s in it together, making it easier for you to thrive.

Big Benefits

It’s important to make sure we support and reward the people we owe our success to; in the ways they care about most. That’s why we offer a range of perks and benefits to show our appreciation.

  • A bonus $1,250 paid to you every six months throughout your traineeship (Government incentive)
  • Exclusive face-to-face and online professional learning opportunities
  • 6 weeks parental leave at full pay for primary and secondary carers
  • 60% discount on our Early Learning and Out of School Hours Care services for full time and part time employees
  • Free access to our Total Wellbeing Platform and confidential Employee Assistance Program
  • Generous discounts with the Illawarra Credit Union, The Good Guys, St George Illawarra Dragons, Early Start Discovery Space and Kai Yoga, Future Steps for Kids and more

Not-for-profit salary packaging reduces the tax you need to pay which means even more money in your weekly pay cheque (many other services can’t offer this).

Meet one of our Trainees

Thomas, Trainee at Bulli Community Preschool

Thomas’ journey with Big Fat Smile started as a participant of our Pre-Employment Program. Building relationships with children and families has been the highlight so far

Read story

I truly love that I can have an impact on these young people’s lives

- Thomas, Trainee at Bulli Community Preschool

Supporting your growth and development

As leaders in our field, we’re never not learning. Or growing. It’s at the heart of everything we do. These are just some ways we’ll set you up for success with your traineeship.

  • 3 hours off the floor (non-contact time) each week to use for study time
  • Paid study leave to attend exams
  • Support, mentorship and guidance from experienced educators and teachers
  • Exclusive face-to-face (and free!) professional learning opportunities and access to our Learning Hub with 50+ online modules
  • Be part of our Communities of Practice where you can connect with other trainees like you across our many centres - a platform for sharing ideas and getting exposure to different practices and reflections
  • Get practical on-the-job experience applying your knowledge and gain valuable skills and training that goes way beyond the industry norm

Bigger career progression opportunities

When you finish your traineeship, we’ll work with you to find a casual, part-time or full-time position that suits your ambitions and life commitments across one of our centres in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Goulburn or Sydney areas.

Because of our size, there are big opportunities for those who want to go further. You’ll find meaningful career paths with lots of promotions across our community preschools and long day care centres, and our Fun Clubs, offering out of school hours and vacation care. And with professional learning and growth at the heart of everything we do, you’ll have the support to progress anywhere from Certificate III up to Teacher or Director level, or into our community service programs, inclusion or head office roles.

At Big Fat Smile, you’ll have a front row seat to the latest research and thinking on early childhood education. Combine this with a platform for sharing ideas, where you’ll reflect on learnings and be exposed to different practices across our centres.

This is how we grow, get better and solve problems: together.

Register your interest for early childhood trainee positions

We post all our open job vacancies here, so check back regularly for new opportunities.

You can also register your interest for Early Childhood Traineeship jobs in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Goulburn and Sydney areas here.

Got any questions, big or small? You can chat with our friendly HR team on [email protected]