If you have a calm and nurturing personality, incredible patience and a love for education and children, you should consider a job in early childhood education and care. For many, a career in childcare is very rewarding. As a childcare worker, individuals are responsible for supervising and monitoring the safety of children in their care – whilst also meeting several other needs including organising educational activities and preparing healthy, well- balanced meals. Childcare workers must also keep records of children’s progress and interests, and watch for signs of emotional or developmental issues and bring forward these problems with parents.
In a report by the Australian Government’s Department of Employment, researchers found that employment in child care occupations were expected to increase strongly over the next five years, with an expected growth of 22.7 per cent (or 2900) for child care centre managers and 26.1 per cent (or 39,000) for childcare workers. This, the Government found, was well above the average growth of 8.3 per cent across all other occupations. Report: Childcare occupations Australia, 2016
With a formal qualification such as the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care you too could join the current booming childcare industry, and kick-start a rewarding life-long career as an Early Childhood Educator! Check out the 5 most common characteristics of a childcare worker below to see how you match-up:
In order to work as an Early Childhood Educator, you are required to have (or to be actively working towards) an approved Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. Studying early childhood education ensures you have the foundational skills and knowledge to work-supporting children’s well-being, learning and development in early learning centres across Australia. The Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care prepares graduates with both the practical and theoretical skills to work in a variety of settings including; day care, preschool, integrated child and family services, and early intervention services. Learn how to develop positive relationships with children, use an approved Learning Framework, establish and implement plans for developing cooperative behaviour and enrol in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care today!
Patience is a person’s ability to endure something tedious without getting frustrated. To be patient is to be level headed, and calm. Instead of getting riled up, they stay composed and in control of the situation. For many, patience is the ultimate virtue, being a very tricky thing to master! Without a doubt, the single greatest quality every childcare worker has is the ability to be patient. Working within early childcare requires a lot of patience on a daily basis. Whether it be listening to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” on repeat, dealing with the odd tantrum or remaining encouraging when a child attempts to tie their shoe lace for the 10th time in a row; patience is essential to providing the best quality education and care to young children.
3. A Sense of Humour
If you don’t have the ability to laugh at yourself, life can get pretty boring! Working in childcare calls for the ability to be able to laugh and make light of tough situations. For example: Laughing instead of scolding or lecturing a young child when they accidently spill paint all over their clothes. Being able to apply humour to a situation, or being able to make a young child feel better about their obvious mistake, instead of upset or guilty, creates a positive learning environment for young children to grow and feel safe! And, most importantly, have a laugh!
Not only this, they say laughter is the best medicine – and for a good reason! A study published in the journal Cognition and Emotion suggests laughter helps children learn new tasks Cognition and Emotion, 2016. The study, which included over fifty 18-month-old infants, found that using humour with young children in a demonstration of complex task enhanced their learning potential significantly compared to young children who were not taught the task using humour. Overall, scientists found that a sense of humour helped children build critical thinking and learning skills. To read more about this study click here.
To work in childcare, you need to be warm and friendly. Studies have shown that children’s personalities are largely formed at a young age, so it is essential that childcare workers foster a safe and nurturing environment where children will feel free to be themselves. Being a friendly, kind, familiar face that children trust can help achieve this. Playing, being silly, drawing pictures and genuinely listening to children speak are characteristics of a passionate childcare worker. Not just anyone can be a childcare worker – it takes a special type of personality to connect with young children on their level, and to create a special bond. If being friendly, understanding and accepting is in your nature – then a role in early childhood education and care is the job for you!
On average, Childcare centres operate for 8 hours a day. Staff can work on a part-time basis, with staggered starting times. For example: You could be required to work in 5 hours shifts such as a morning shift from 8AM – 1PM or an afternoon shift from 12PM – 5PM. Childcare workers who have commitments during the week such as study, or family responsibilities, enjoy the flexible nature of working part-time, recognising the benefits of working later, or earlier on specific days. Childcare workers must also be flexible in day-to-day routines, being prepared for sick children, missed naps or toilet training emergencies that disrupt the daily flow of the centre. Being able to respond to unexpected problems calmly, and with a smile on your face minimises the impact on all other children and staff and the running of the day.
Want a rewarding career helping mould the minds of future Australian leaders, politicians, doctors and engineers? Enrol in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care! For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or for a FREE mentoring session with one of our Expert Care Advisers about working in Childcare – call us on 1300 236 364.