Early childhood educators care for the social, emotional, physical and educational needs of infants and young children in various care settings.
To become an early childhood educator you usually have to complete a VET qualification in early childhood education and care or school age education and care. Applicants may be required to attend an interview. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become an early childhood educator through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Early Childhood Education and Care or School Age Education and Care. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Early childhood educators may perform the following tasks:
Early childhood educators' duties and hours of work vary. Shiftwork is often required. Early childhood educators often share basic tasks and work in teams. They spend long periods on their feet and often have to lift and carry children and move equipment.
Early childhood educators are employed in private, government and community-based childcare centres, kindergartens and creches. They may also work in hospitals, womenâ€™s shelters and neighbourhood houses. Experienced, fully qualified early childhood educators may progress to coordinate or manage a licensed childcare centre. While this is a growing occupation, it is also very popular and competition for jobs may be strong. Self-employment prospects exist by becoming a registered family day care provider in your own home. See the separate entry for Family Day Care Educator.
An out-of-school services worker provides stimulating and developmentally appropriate activities for children aged five to twelve years. Hours of duty vary for after-school and vacation care (ranging from part time or casual to full time).