People best suited to a career in early childhood sectors should:
- Be passionate about working with and caring for children
- Be able to relate to and communicate with people of all ages. Including babies, infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers, colleagues (senior and junior), parents and other industry professionals
- Have lots of patience, compassion and creativity
- Work well in a team, and be flexible and willing to do a variety of activities and jobs, and work different shifts
- Be physically fit and healthy, to lift children and equipment. And stay active for long periods, whilst remaining alert and observant
- Have the ability to keep calm under pressure and in emergency situations
- Possess good judgement and emotional intelligence
- Bring lots of energy and enthusiasm on a daily basis
Industries where you find early childhood workers and educators:
- Before and after school care
If you’re thinking you have all the right skills and attributes, and would really like to work with children, you’ll have lots of choices to make about what job you’d like to do and the qualifications you’ll need to get there.
You could go to University and obtain a degree which would qualify you to work as a teacher for pre-school aged children.
Graduate from a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at VU, including completion of supervised work experience. You’ll then be eligible to register with the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and your local state or territory registration authority e.g. Victorian Institute for Teaching (VIT). You’d be qualified to teach children aged 0-5 years old.
Complete a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) at ACU and you could graduate with the option of teaching any ages between 0-12years.
The 3 + 2 Teaching Pathway from UWA is an example of a University course that would give you all the qualifications you’d need to get you a great head start on your career advancement after graduating. You could work in any government or independent school, plus other early childhood settings, both nationally and internationally.
Alternatively, you can start out at TAFE or other RTO (registered training organisation) and gain a Cert III or IV, or a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. Get some work experience and decide if you’d like to study further, to qualify for promotions.
The Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care completed through any RTO (see details on the My Skills site), in conjunction with a traineeship (NSW, TAS, VIC, QLD, SA & WA), or apprenticeship (NT), could qualify you to work as an Early Childhood Educator within 12 months. You’ll also be able to work while you study.
Kindergarten or Early Childhood Teacher
Introduce young children to literacy and numeracy, build confidence and social skills through creative lessons like art, storytelling and drama.
Lesson planning, recording and reporting on children’s progress, communicating with parents are the major elements of this job.
The average wage for pre-school teachers is $72,000 per year.
Child Care Centre Manager / Director / Coordinator
Minimum Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care is required
Managers have ensure their centre runs in accordance with laws, best practises and a budget. They’re responsible for the welfare of the children attending, and manage the staff in the centre.
They might have to create programs and activities for the kids, create staff rosters, carry out book keeping and administrative duties, enrol new families and deal with any problems or complaints that arise.
The average salary of centre managers in Australia is $66,144 per year.
Early Childhood Educator
Minimum Certificate III required
You’d be engaging with the children at the centre all day, every day. Implementing programs and completing documentation. You’ll set up equipment, do activities with the children, supervise them at all times (including when they’re sleeping, eating and in the bathroom).
You’d report to the centre manager and have to communicate daily with the children’s families / carers.
The average wage for Educators is $41,600.
Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) Worker
Certificate III or Diploma (depends on the service)
OSHC workers have split shifts (early mornings and mid-afternoon through to early evenings) during the term time, and long days during the holidays.
They keep the children entertained, implement fun programs for them and make sure they are safely supervised.
The average salary of an OSHC Worker is $44,000 per year (but varies with level of education and responsibility).
Some knowledge and experience of the National Quality Standard + complete ACEQA’s (or other body) assessment and rating training.
Employed by state and territory regulatory authorities.
They monitor education and care services, enforce compliance, assess applications for approval, conducting assessment and rating visits, investigate reported incidents and complaints, and provide advice and guidance.
Salary is variable, Senior Officers can expect to receive around $77,000 per year.
In most states and territories, when working with children it is often required that you have the following additional qualifications:
- First Aid certificate
- anaphylaxis management certificate
- asthma management certificate
- Working with Children Check (WWCC)
- National Police Certificate
Future growth in this industry is very strong, as the population grows and it becomes more necessary, or desirable, for parents to return to work.