How to become an Early Childhood Educator

How to become an Early Childhood Educator

Early Childhood Educators are responsible for teaching and caring for children under school age. They teach kids basic literacy and numeracy skills, as well as engaging them with various activities including arts, sports, music, and more. They also facilitate social interactions and care for a child’s emotional wellbeing.

If you love kids, can handle a job that can be unpredictable and challenging, and are caring and kind, this could be the perfect job for you.


About you:


  • Caring and patient
  • Excellent communicator
  • Adaptable and flexible
  • Emotionally resilient
  • Works great with kids
  • Thrives under pressure
  • Can work in teams and alone


The job:


  • Supervising children while they play and learn
  • Planning lessons appropriate to a child’s developmental level
  • Teaching children basic numeracy and literacy skills
  • Engaging children in appropriate learning and recreational activities
  • Observing children for signs of any unusual behaviour
  • Meeting with parents and carers and discussing development
  • Working in collaboration with other Childcare Workers and Teachers


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: High – around 44% of Early Childhood Educators work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 42 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Early Childhood Educators’ salary (average) $70,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Very strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • You will be doing some of your work indoors, in settings such as childcare centres, kindergartens, and schools. You will also need to supervise children while they learn and play outside.
  • Around a third of workers reported that they regularly work overtime or extra hours (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).


Early Childhood Educators are most in demand in these locations:


This is a large occupation, with only around 47,900 people working as Early Childhood Educators in Australia in 2020 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). Demand for Early Childhood Educators is highest in New South Wales and South Australia. Most Early Childhood Educators work in the Education and Training industry.


How to become an Early Childhood Educator in Australia


To work as an Early Childhood Educator, you will need at minimum an undergraduate qualification in teaching or education.


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Maths.


Step 2 – Complete a relevant undergraduate degree. This will most likely be a Bachelor of Teaching or Education majoring in Early Childhood.


Step 3 – You will also need to hold a Working with Children Check. You may be required to complete a certain number of hours of placements or practicals.


Step 4 – Lodge an application to register as a Teacher in your state or territory.


Step 5 – Start working as an Early Childhood Educator.


Find out more here –











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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Early Childhood Educators do?


Early Childhood Educators are responsible for teaching children under school age. They differ from Early Childhood Carers because they need to educate students rather than just care for and supervise them, and generally need a higher level qualification.


What options are there for career progression?


Once you have some experience, you might like to specialise in teaching children with special needs, or developing education programs for other Teachers and Educators. You might even like to upskill one day and become a Primary or Secondary Teacher.


Do I need to go to university to become an Early Childhood Educator?


Yes, you will need a university-level qualification, as well as registering through your state or territory’s relevant board.


Where do Early Childhood Educators work?


Early Childhood Educators work in a variety of settings, including preschools, kindergartens, day care centres, and schools.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become an Early Childhood Educator?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as an Early Childhood Educator is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Volunteer or find part-time work with children, such as babysitting, tutoring, or even working at a day care centre.
  2. See if you can find work experience in an education-related setting. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
  3. Talk to an Early Childhood Educator to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in education.

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