Having a love for children alone is an important component, but not enough to make you a good childcare provider. There are several personality traits you should embody to ensure you have a successful career in the industry. If you are thinking of becoming a childcare professional here are a few questions to find out if this is the career for you!
1. Do you love everything about kids?
Working with kids can be fun and highly rewarding, but there are times when kids can become draining, frustrating and difficult to deal with. You will come across tantrums, dirty nappies, hyperactivity, crying, screaming and even shoving making your job both mentally and physically challenging. As a childcare worker you need to love everything about kids – the good, the bad and the ugly.
2. Can you communicate with both the young and old?
Throughout your career you will be required to communicate with both the kids you look after and their parents. Your day will involve not only playing Duck, Duck, Goose, reading stories and singing songs, but also talking to the child’s parents about their development, their achievements or struggles and their education. You will need to be professional and have the communication skills regardless of the childcare setting you choose to work in.
3. Can you be patient and flexible?
Working with kids of all types requires a great deal of patience. You may be in the position where you will be caring for an intellectually or physically disabled child, an extremely introverted and shy personality or an over energetic, testing one. In order to successfully care for and manage a variety of personality types, you need be easy-going, tolerant and flexible.
4. Are you willing to pursue further education and training?
To be successful in your career as a childcare worker you need to have the willingness to pursue further education and training when required. Your employer may require you to participate in in-house training tailored to the particular organisation or you made need to refresh your first aid qualifications at some point along the way. Further studies throughout our career can not only be required as part of your employment, but can be a helpful way to enhance your career.
5. Are you the dependable type?
When working with children you have to be particularly dependable and responsible. You will be caring for the lives of little people who not only need you for guidance, for entertainment and for love, but also for their wellbeing and safety. Parents and employers will be putting their trust in you to look after the welfare of the children.
6. Can you be a positive role model?
As a childcare worker, you will be an integral part of each child’s life that you look after. Whether you are a nanny working one-on-one, a carer of a disabled child or part of a team in a kindergarten, you will be a person those children look up to.
7. Is your salary level a driving factor in your career choice?
Child care workers generally earn a middle of the range salary, so if getting rich is a driving factor in choosing a career, than perhaps childcare isn’t the one for you. There are however plenty of rewards and highlights that don’t come in the form of cash that may be enough to outweigh any financial concerns.
8. Are you ready to get qualified?
If you think you have the personality traits to take on the responsibility and the challenges of caring for children, then are you ready to get qualified? Not all jobs in the childcare industry require qualifications but most do. Take a look at childcare courses including diplomas and certificates in early childhood education and education support (teacher’s aide) as well as short courses to enhance your skills such as teaching students with learning disabilities, first aid and education psychology.
Being a childcare professional can be a rewarding and enriching experience, but it’s not for everyone. By taking the time to ask yourself these questions before you commence your studies and career in childcare, you can greatly increase your chances of having a successful experience.