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Careers in Education and Childcare

Study childcare online with a Foundation Education course and make a start with an education career

Times are truly changing. While in the past it was common for women to stay at home after they’d had children, now we see a growing number of mums going back to work outside the home, at least on a part-time basis.

With both parents away at work, the children need to be cared for. Grandparents aren’t always close by, and they usually have their own schedule and activities, so parents need more options. Luckily, double-income households make it easier for them to afford to send their offspring to childcare centres and early childhood education institutions.

Over the last few years we’ve seen the number of childcare and early education businesses increase exponentially. There’s great opportunity in this field for workers at all levels to pursue an education career, from Teacher’s Aides and Childhood Educators to Centre Managers and Directors.

As childcare centres and early education institutions compete for business, they’re looking for the best available personnel. So, if you’re thinking of starting an education career specialising in childcare, now is the perfect time to get qualified and start your journey.

An education career or, more specifically, an early childhood career, is for those who not only love children and are naturally patient but who also have a true passion for being a central part of a child’s development. 

Planning and providing age-appropriate activities to challenge students in a safe and encouraging environment are the most important tasks for those involved in an early childhood education career, and formal qualifications will help you stand out from the crowd and land the job of your dreams.

Whether you’re just starting your Teacher Aide career, or working your way up to a centre management position, this education career offers many opportunities, especially for those seeking flexible employment options.

What does a Teacher’s Aide do?

A Teacher’s Aide assists teachers and educators in the classroom and pays special attention to the students themselves, providing extra support whenever needed in order to facilitate their learning.

To be successful in a Teacher Aide career, understanding children’s normal behaviour and development patterns is absolutely crucial. This understanding will enable you to identify the children who might need extra assistance and learning support, and also allows you to appropriately engage with children.

A Teacher’s Aide’s daily duties include:

  • Setting up the classroom before children arrive, ensuring everything is ready for the activities for the day
  • Setting up outdoor playground areas, where applicable
  • Preparing healthy snacks for children to share at snack time
  • Preparing all activities for the day
  • Supervising small group activities
  • Assisting teacher with activities such as reading books and helping with puzzles, to support children’s learning

What does an Early Childhood Educator do?

Early Childhood Educators work with children from 3 to 5 years of age. Their role is very important in the healthy development of children – they’re responsible for maintaining a safe learning environment.

Daily duties of an Early Childhood Educator include:

  • Planning and implementing age-appropriate activities and lessons
  • Developing schedules and enforcing routines, which are extremely important to encourage the development and discipline of children
  • Maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for children to reach their full learning potential
  • Providing age-appropriate discipline and supervision in order to encourage and develop children’s confidence and independence
  • Observing children and communicating their development and challenges to parents
  • Understanding and addressing special needs

Important skills for a Children’s Educator

  • Patience: As childcare workers not only have to interact with children but teach them and ensure their learning, they must have huge amounts of patience. Young children learn through repetition, so Childhood Educators need to be patient and teach the same lessons over and over until every student has learnt.
  • Creativity: To engage with children, teachers must be imaginative in creating and planning activities. Every lesson needs to feel like playtime for children to truly participate in and absorb new skills. As children will learn through repetition, it’s the educator’s job to think of new ways to reinforce the same fundamentals, so as to facilitate each student’s learning.
  • High energy and enthusiasm: Professionals who work with children need to imitate their energy. To truly stimulate children’s minds, a Childhood Educator needs to have high energy levels and be enthusiastic about every activity.
  • Organisation: Keeping student records, planning new activities, assessing children’s development, and maintaining an organised, clean and safe classroom, all requires a great deal of organisation.
  • Communication: Not only do childcare workers communicate with the children, they also need to work as a team with other Teacher Aides and teachers. Communicating with parents is also a fundamental part of the job, so it’s essential that children’s educators have excellent communication skills.

Childcare worker requirements

While in the past it was common for Teacher’s Aides to learn their skills on the job, nowadays it’s extremely hard to find a position if you don’t hold any qualifications. Furthermore, as childcare centres and early education institutions work to stand out and grow their businesses, the demand for formally qualified and passionate workers is huge.

For those taking their first steps on the path to a career in childcare, a CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is a great first step. If you’re looking to upskill and advance further in your education work, studying a CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, combining certificates or adding a certificate and diploma qualification to your résumé will help you start or advance your education career.

If you’re looking to advance your education career and start your own business, you can also check out our variety of business courses, which will allow you to add some valuable strategic knowledge to your professional baggage.

Where to complete your childhood education and care training

Foundation Education is the best institution for you if you’d prefer to study childcare online and want to get the most out of your course. Our flexible courses fit in with your schedule, so you can study whenever and wherever you choose to.

We take pride in providing our students with a top quality support system, involving real people with real industry experience ready to help you any time.

We also include professional placement components in our courses, which will help you present as a great applicant for any jobs you apply for – you’ll not only have gained a nationally recognised qualification but also some extremely valuable professional experience to begin your education career.

What to expect from a career in education

A career in early childhood education will be rewarding and fruitful. The industry has experienced amazing growth over the past decade and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

An education career is also perfect if you’re seeking part-time or casual positions, and also offers plenty of full-time opportunities. Childcare workers work an average of 38 hours each week and can make up to $67,000 per year.

There’s also great opportunity for professional growth – you can start as a Teacher’s Aide and work your way up to managing or directing a centre, landing a corporate role at a large institution with numerous campuses, or even gather enough industry and business knowledge to open up your own childcare centre.

Childcare and early education: industry insights

As family dynamics and expectations change, and the number of double-income households increases, we can see incredible growth in the childcare industry.

To cater to the growing number of children needing daily care, centres are hiring now more than ever before.

The number of job openings in childcare is expected to be high until the end of this decade. By the end of 2019, there should be more than 50,000* new positions advertised within this industry. There’ll be part-time, full-time and casual positions opening, with most opportunities ranging from 20 to 38 hours of work per week.

Child Carers: Professional prospects

As the industry experiences great growth, those who choose to join it stand to enjoy many benefits. From a huge number of employment opportunities to an increasing earning potential, this is the perfect time to begin your childhood education career.

In Australia, childcare workers earn an average of $800 a week**. Given the high demand and number of centres wanting to secure the very best professionals, highly qualified and experienced workers can expect to enjoy even higher earnings.

The industry predicts a 34.2% growth in the 2015 to 2020 period, higher than the average overall growth for all industries***.

Job seekers will find greater opportunities and openings in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, while opportunities will also be found in Western Australia and South Australia*.

Want to become a Teacher’s Aide?

What sort of early childhood education career would you like? Whether you’re looking to have direct contact with students and be an integral part of their development, or you’d prefer to take on a more corporate or management role – directing one or a range of centres, perhaps – the education and childcare sector offers a huge variety of positions, and one of them is bound to suit you.

There are plenty of casual and part-time positions for job seekers, making this a great industry for those who live a flexible (or chaotic!) lifestyle. Some full-time opportunities also exist for those devoted to their career in education. On average, workers in the early education industry work 20 to 38 hours each week, making it a great career if you’re looking for a good work/life balance.

In this industry, your employment opportunities include:

  • Children’s Service Area Manager, Director, or Centre Manager
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Support Worker
  • Teacher’s Aide
  • Home Tutor

Your career in education starts here

Career option 1: Childcare Centre Director

A Childcare Centre or Early Education Institution Director will conduct the daily operations of the learning institution, from both a business and a learning environment perspective.

It’s the director’s job to continuously evaluate the care provided, assessing children’s holistic development and ensuring their health and safety, from birth until school age.

A Centre Director is responsible for the success of the business, and is the one who needs to liaise and solve problems among children, workers and parents.

Though this role requires a certain level of experience and expertise, a formal qualification is definitely the best first step to get there.

The below course can help you achieve the necessary qualifications to perform this role.

Career option 2: Early Childhood Educator

Engaging with children of different ages, from birth to school years, it’ll be your responsibility as an Early Childhood Educator to plan, provide and supervise a balance of stimulating mental activities and active playtime to keep children happy and healthy.

Early Childhood Educators need to develop different creative activities that enforce and reinforce the same fundamentals, as young children will only learn through repetition. It will also be your duty to guide and support children on their learning journey, providing a safe and encouraging learning environment.

The below courses can help you achieve the necessary qualifications to perform this role.

Career option 3: Teacher’s Aide

Teacher’s Aides are crucial to the development of children. Not only do they provide assistance and support to teachers, they’re also responsible for supervising and facilitating children’s activities inside the classroom as well as outside during playtime.

Teacher’s Aides are also responsible for observing students in order to identify challenges and offer help and support to facilitate their learning whenever and however needed.

It’s certainly a rewarding way to start a career in education because you’ll have close contact with students and learn just what’s involved in a successful childcare or early education business.

The below courses can help you achieve the necessary qualifications to perform this role.

Disclaimer - please note that statistics and projection information were sourced from the below:

*Source joboutlook.gov.au

**Source payscale.com

***Source IBISWorld

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