Becoming a Child Care Worker: Everything you Need to Know
Becoming a Child Care Worker: Everything you Need to Know
Childcare is an incredibly fast-growing industry. It’s estimated that there are likely to be a whopping 184,000 job openings in childcare over the next 5 years. This is most likely due to the growing population and the increasing demand for both parents to return to work after maternity leave.
The early years of a child’s life are the most important, it’s where they develop their passion for learning, social skills and the development of motor and sensory skills. Watching how you can contribute to a child’s development is what drives most people to enter in to childcare as a career.
What is Childcare and What does a Childcare Worker do?
Childcare is where children are placed into the care of qualified professionals to look after them while their parents are busy working or otherwise. They may either be placed in a childcare centre, an early learning centre, a nursery, a creche or looked after at home by a nanny.
There’s a perception that childcare is an easy and fun role, the work that childcare workers do often goes unnoticed and there’s so much more involved than just playing with children all day.
Roles and responsibilities of childcare workers include:
Information About Childcare in Australia
What is the Child Care subsidy?
The child care subsidy is a system the Australian government uses to help families pay for their childcare fees. You can receive the subsidy if:
The childcare benefit is super helpful for any parents looking to reduce child care costs as the cost of childcare can be incredibly expensive. Some parents may even be liable to childcare rebates under the Australian government initiative.
How to become a childcare worker in Australia
What qualifications do I need to be a childcare worker in Australia?
At a minimum, child care workers in Australia will need to complete a Certificate III in Early Childhood Care and/or Children’s services. If you wish to take on the role of manager or coordinator, you will need to also obtain a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. You must have a Certificate III before you can study the diploma.
During your course, you’ll be required to learn information surrounding the code of ethics in childcare as well. With a childcare qualification you can work anywhere in Australia, whether that’s Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide, all you need is a qualification.
It’s also worth noting that you can undertake courses in early childhood education and education support if you wish to upskill and become a teacher or assistant in early learning.
Child care worker requirements
Before being employed, your employers will carry out rigorous and strict background checks. They will check your criminal record and also check for a valid and up-to-date working with children’s check.
It’s also highly recommended that you undertake a first aid course and gain a certificate in first aid which you will need to update annually. Depending on where you’re applying to work you will also need to register with the Department of Human Services which can be a long and thorough process.
If you need more information surrounding the rules and regulations in childcare, it’s a good idea to check out the ACECQA (Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority) which assists governments in administering the National Quality Framework for children’s education and care.
Is Being a Child Care Worker Right For You?
Having a love for children goes without saying in a childcare career, but there are a range of other traits that are also incredibly important if you wish to become a childcare professional. Before pursuing further, ask yourself these six questions below:
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 have to deal with tantrums, dirty nappies, hyperactivity, crying and screaming, which makes the job extremely challenging. As a childcare worker, you need to love everything about kids – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Can you communicate with both the young and old?
Throughout your career as a childcare worker, you will be required to communicate with both children and parents. Though most of your day will involve playing and caring for the children, you’re also required to constantly observe and report on their behaviour. That includes talking to the child’s parents about their development, their achievements, their struggles and their education.
Can you be patient and flexible?
It may seem obvious, but patience and flexibility are probably the most important traits you should have in a childcare role. All children are different and you need to be flexible enough to understand that while a certain method may work for some children, it won’t work with all of them. Also, they aren’t your children! This means being patient and calm with them even when they drive you insane.
Are you willing to pursue further education and training?
In any education role, if you want to be successful, you need to have a willingness to learn. It’s not only required as part of your employment but it’s important for refreshing your memory and to keep you up-to-date on important training such as first aid and meeting the national quality standard.
Are you the dependable type?
A child’s safety is of the utmost importance in a career such as childcare. Parents and employers put their trust in you to both look after the wellbeing of their children and their safety. You also need to be appropriate and responsible at all times, these children will look up to you as a guardian and a role model.
Is your salary level a driving factor in your career choice?
A childcare wage is middle range and it won’t be enough to get you rich. If earning money is your main driving factor in choosing a career, childcare probably isn’t suitable for you. There are plenty of rewards and highlights in a childcare career that money just can’t buy and it’s a job that’s guaranteed to fulfil you.
Does this sound like you? Then look into getting qualified with a childcare course that can lead to a diploma or certificate in early childhood education and education support.
There are even courses available that can qualify you in teaching children with disabilities, education psychology and first aid. 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.
Where Will You Work?
Childcare workers are employed in a range of different environments, childcare options include: childcare centres, schools, hospitals, offices, outside school hours care, kindergarten programs, early learning centres and creches.
Sometimes you can be employed privately for in home care as a nanny in which you may only be required to take care of a few children. In the long run, you may even be able to run your own home daycare.
As a childcare worker you will also work irregular hours, shift work is common in childcare as they need people who are available to take care of children both before and after school times as well as during.
You must ensure you’re also very fit and healthy in a childcare career, this is due to being on your feet all day, the heavy lifting involved and the fast-paced environment. Childcare centres are extremely noisy, but if you love children it shouldn’t be an issue.
Employment Share By Top Four States
New South Wales
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Childcare Worker?
To work in childcare, there’s a range of skills you will need to both learn and develop before pursuing childcare as a career. Whether you wish to pursue childcare or early childhood education, these range of skills below are extremely important to any child caring role:
With these skills behind you and a qualification in childcare, you can expect a wonderful and thriving career as a childcare worker.
What Careers Can A Child Care Course Lead To?
A qualification in childcare can open a range of opportunities for anyone looking to expand their horizons beyond a career as a childcare worker.
Once you become qualified in childcare, you can even look at early learning as a career option and progress into early childhood education. Or you can choose to up-skill and move up further up the ranks in a child caring role.
For example, a child care qualification can lead to a career as:
Get started today in this truly rewarding career and never doubt your career path again. Check out our great range of child care courses, or, even our education courses and find one that suits you. With plenty of flexible learning options such as the ability to complete your childcare course online, getting a qualification has never been more simple.
How to Become a Teacher’s Aide
The role of a teacher’s aide is to assist students, do tasks such as grading, supervising field trips and being there for any students who need extra help.
Job openings for a teacher’s aide are predicted to expand very strongly over the next 5 years, with approximately 85,000 jobs expected to open up.
If you wish to become a teacher’s aide, you first need to become qualified. You can undertake a course in Education Support and specialise in teacher’s aide work specifically.
There’s also a range of courses to specialise in becoming a special needs teacher’s aide, a language or literacy worker and even a home tutor.
Why a Teacher’s Aide Career is so Rewarding
You get to watch children grow and expand their knowledge
You will be hard-pressed to find a more rewarding career where you have the opportunity to watch children develop and expand their knowledge throughout their education.
As a teacher’s aide, you would play an important part in delivering the child’s lesson alongside the teacher, providing you with the chance to be an integral part of their success.
It creates a work-life balance
As a teacher’s aide, you’ll only work during school times and have weekends off. You will also enjoy the luxury of having school holidays, which can be very accommodating if you’re a parent also.
You’re not tied to a computer working late in an office, but instead hands on with students and their education and development.
Supporting students within the classroom
While the teacher is busy conducting the lesson or marking assignments, you will have the chance to spend more time with the pupils on a one-on-one level or together as groups.
You will be hands-on in helping the children navigate their way through a task and help the individual to understand and develop their skill set. It may also be that you are supporting a child with disabilities both on an educational and emotional level, ensuring that their needs are met.
You play a role in the planning and running of the class
As a highly experienced teacher’s aide, you also have the opportunity to work with the teacher to help develop lesson plans and assist with daily lessons.
In some cases, you may even take over the running of the class. This will also allow you to consider your teaching options and whether a teacher’s role is suited to you or not.
Opportunity to connect with students
Throughout your career as a teacher’s aide, you will be able to nurture relationships with your students. You will ultimately be a positive role model for them and help guide them throughout their education.
As a teacher’s aide you will not only be assisting staff, you will be providing care and hands-on knowledge which is integral to the running of a classroom, as well as the individual students’ success throughout their education.
Although it’s a tough and sometimes testing role, childcare is an incredibly rewarding and fast growing industry that’s perfect for anyone with a love of children and a good ability to multitask.
You can begin building the starting blocks to your career in childcare by becoming qualified, continually up skilling and gaining hands on experience in a child caring role. Become a part of children’s development and help them both learn and grow by diving into a childcare career.
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