What Do Child Care Workers Do?
Child care workers are generally involved in supervising and caring for children aged from 0 up to 12 years. In the role, you’ll be responsible for caring for children in a child care centre. This profession usually works closely with both families and communities to ensure you deliver the highest level of care that is individually tailored to the needs of each child. A major part of this role is to help both create and implement the child care programs that will be used at a centre.
Child care workers normally have a senior child care professional in charge to provide guidance, often referred to as a centre manager or group leader. Many in this profession choose to specialise in caring for children aged from 5 to 12 years of age, after standard school hours and over vacations, are generally called Out-of-School Service Workers.
Child care workers do a number of different tasks every day, some of these include:
- Food Preparation
- Child Safety
- Communicating with Parents
- Managing Time and Activities
- Monitoring Children
- Educating and Supporting Children
- Maintain Hygiene
Job in Child Care
If you’re interested in a career in childcare, you’re in luck. According to the Job Outlook website, employment in the industry is expected to grow by 17% in the next 5 years – that’s 184,000 new jobs.
The average child care salary ranges between $20-$27 per hour, depending on the centre itself, education and experience. Almost half are employed full-time. The early childhood development and education sector is also performing very well, with an expected 29,000 more positions looking to open up over the next 5 years.
What Kind of Child Care Courses Are Available?
There’s a wide range of child care courses available across the country, depending on the role you’re seeking. Knowing where to start can often be difficult when you are embarking on a new career. If you are entering child care without any prior experience it’s often a good idea to begin with a TAFE course, such as a Diploma or Child Care certification. It can be hard finding the right course if you have previous commitments. Luckily, there are plenty of childcare courses online available to allow you to balance your study around your schedule. If not, there are also options to study in-class at TAFE campuses right across the country.
Some of the many courses in child care study you can take part in include:
- Certificate III in Early Childhood Education & Care
- Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
- Diploma of School Age Education and Care
- Bachelor of Education
- Diploma in Childcare online
- Childcare Certificate 3 online
- Child Care Certificate
Short courses are a great way to get some insight into whether childcare is the right field for you. These can vary in length, but often can be completed in only a matter of weeks. There’s also a number of childcare courses online at this level, which is ideal for anyone needing to balance their study around existing commitments.
Child care Certificate
Shorter in duration than a Diploma, a Certificate in Child care is one of the most popular courses undertaken in this area, with the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care as being a common entry into the career. This course teaches students wanting to become educators what’s required in early education settings, such as child care centres or facilities.
A Certificate supports students in learning how to implement approved learning frameworks as part of the curriculum within the requirements established by the National Quality Standard and the Care Services National Regulations. This course also focuses on teaching students how to care for children’s learning and development and is one of many online child care courses.
Diploma in Child Care
A Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care is a TAFE course that’s more in-depth than a Certificate and provides a detailed background of, and training in, child care.
For those wanting to become early childhood educators, the diploma specifically teaches you how to design and apply the approved learning frameworks in a child care centre or facility while working within the requirements dictated by the Education and Care Services National Regulations, as well as the National Quality Standard. This role can become more senior with time and experience to include the supervision of staff or volunteers.
A Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education prepares students to work in either independent, government or private preschools, as well as advance into leadership roles in early childhood settings. After completing a Bachelor Degree over 4 years’ of full-time study, you are also able to work in work placements, usually kindergartens or daycare centres. It teaches you the skills necessary to care for the learning and development needs of children from 0 through to 5 years old.
The most advanced qualification in Early Childhood Education, you can complete a postgraduate Masters level qualification, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma after doing prior study. This will enable you to have a deeper understanding of creating and implementing approved learning frameworks for children aged 0 through to 5.
After finishing your postgraduate course, you can work in preschools, daycare and early intervention services, as well as integrated child and family services. A senior-level qualification, postgraduate courses are often suited to those interested in becoming leaders in their field.
Learn whether you’re eligible to study a free childcare course.
What Are Some Careers in Child Care and Education?
Child care can involve plenty of types of careers, depending on what you’re the most interested in. Some of the types of careers in childcare include:
To become a child care worker, you’ll need to:
- Obtain a Certificate III in Early Childhood Care and/or Children’s Services
- Undertake a mandatory 120 hours of work placement
- Get your Working with Children check and police check
- Get your first-aid certificate
Are Childcare Courses Government Funded?
Many Childcare courses are available for funding – to find out if you are eligible, contact your provider directly and request information on government funding.
Opportunities for Male Child Care Workers
Although child care is considered to be a female-dominated industry, more and more men are working towards breaking away from this gender stereotype by becoming male child care workers.
According to a study conducted by the former National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC), and current Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, it’s been found that a male presence within a childcare environment is said to help children with learnings around equal respectful relationships, and promotes a healthy male gender rol.
Is Child Care Right for You?
If you would like to play an active role in helping to shape the development and learning capabilities of children, then a career in childcare would be ideal for you. Skills or traits that are necessary to become a child care worker would range from good physical fitness, to keep up with the children, great observation skills and a high level of alertness, as well as teamwork, good communication and responsibility for the health, well-being and safety of the children in your care.
Patience is also a very important trait that good child care workers must have, as every child’s development will vary, so being patient and understanding of those with learning or behavioural difficulties is crucial. Having a sense of fun is also integral to working in child care, as children often learn through play.