How to Work in Childcare
Would you love a career working with kids? Working in childcare is an exciting and gratifying role that allows you to help children develop important lifelong skills. And with childcare workers in high demand, you’ll enjoy security and opportunities for progression in your career.
From schools and childcare centres to community organisations and hospitals, childcare workers can find employment in a wide range of settings. Before entering the industry, aspiring childcare workers need to meet certain criteria to ensure they have the required skills, knowledge, and licences to provide a high standard of care.
If you’re not sure how to get into childcare, this article covers all the steps you’ll need complete before you can start building your career.
Childcare workers must undertake formal training to qualify for employment. So, what do you need to do to work in childcare?
In Australia, the minimum qualification for childcare workers is a CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Education and Care. This certificate teaches students how to implement effective learning frameworks for children of various ages, ranging from toddlers to primary-school aged children. You’ll graduate with the ability to care for a child’s wellbeing, learning and development and a nationally recognised qualification.
There are also higher-level childcare course that can help you access more childcare career options. If you’re aiming to one day work in a managerial position, the CHC50113 Diploma of Childcare Education explores strategies for dealing with challenges in childcare settings while teaching students how to communicate effectively with parents, children, and staff.
In addition to learning practical childcare skills, you’ll also learn how to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment for children. This qualification will give you the skills needed for managerial positions in childcare, so you can advance your career in the sector.
Most childcare courses involve a combination of theory and practical learning. No matter what qualification you choose, you’ll likely be required to undertake workplace training so you can develop skills in a real-life setting.
Browse all our Education and Care Courses to find your ideal qualification.
Complete a Background Check
All childcare workers are required to undergo a thorough screening process before being permitted to work with children.
The following types of legislation and licences apply in each state and territory:
- Queensland – Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (QLD): Also known as a Blue Card, a Working with Children licence allows individuals in QLD to participate in child-related occupations and volunteering.
- New South Wales - Child Protection (Working With Children) Amendment (Statutory Review) Act 2018 (NSW): Childcare providers in NSW are required to check that all employees have this licence. Individuals are legally responsible for updating their licence details.
- South Australia - Children's Protection Act 1993 (SA): This employer-driven system requires employers to obtain National Police Checks for all workers.
- Australian Capital Territory - Working With Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (ACT): All childcare workers in the ACT must register for this background check before commencing employment.
- Northern Territory - Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 (NT): Known as an 'Ochre Card' this licence applies to all employees and volunteers in childcare settings.
- Tasmania - Registration to Work With Vulnerable People Act 2013 (Tas.): All childcare workers in Tasmania must apply for a Working With Vulnerable People check.
- Victoria - Working With Children Act 2005 (VIC.): Individuals with this licence can engage in child-related occupations.
- Western Australia – Working With Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 (WA): This screening process is compulsory for all childcare workers.
Once you’ve got the right qualification and working with children licence, you’ll have everything you need to launch your career in childcare.
For more information on how to work in childcare and the vital role this profession plays in a child’s development, check out our article Is a Career in Childcare Right for You?