Bendigo TAFE is expecting a surge in enrolments in early childhood education courses for the new year as students become eligible to study fee-free.
Both the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care have been added to the free TAFE course list.
It comes ahead of three-year-old kindergarten, which is expected to create more than 6000 new jobs.
Bendigo Kangan Institute chief academic officer Claire Rasmussen said enrolments for the TAFE's early childhood education programs had started.
"We have had a very busy week and it's an exciting time, there's a real buzz around the place for enrolments in this area," she said.
The provider offers more than 30 free TAFE courses. Demand was particularly high for courses in community services, education support, justice and disability, Ms Rasmussen said.
Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards said the free TAFE program was making a big difference to people's lives.
"These courses have been driven a lot by industry and where we know industry demand is," she said.
"So we know with the roll-out of three-year-old kinder there will be a demand for jobs in that sector."
Asked why early childhood education courses weren't added to the free TAFE course list sooner, Ms Edwards said there had only been four-year-old kinder.
"There has been plenty of skills out there in the workforce but we know with the additional hours for three-year-olds... it means there will be a requirement for additional teachers," she said.
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She said the government was hopeful students would be encouraged to enrol in the free early childhood education courses.
"There's still time - the Certificate III and Diploma take one to two years so there's plenty of time for people to complete the course... and to have a job in the end," Ms Edwards said.
Buloke will be among the first six municipalities to receive three-year-old kindergarten.
Campaspe, Central Goldfields and Loddon shires are part of the next stage, from 2021.
The program will be rolled out to the rest of the state from 2022.