Early childhood teachers plan and conduct education programmes for young children while helping them learn early social, cognitive and physical life skills.
Personal requirements for a Teacher - Early Childhood
- Able to relate to children and their families
- A keen desire to teach children
- Willing to learn
- Good problem-solving skills
- Sound literacy and numeracy skills
- High-level planning and organisational skills
- Enthusiastic, tactful, patient and a sense of humour
- Prepared to work outside of school hours
Education & Training for a Teacher - Early Childhood
To become an early childhood teacher you usually have to complete a degree in education, with a major in early childhood. Alternatively, you can complete a bachelor degree in a related area, followed by a postgraduate qualification in education, specialising in early childhood. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.
Before undertaking practical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a Working with Children Check. A National Police Certificate may also be required. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. You will need to register with the teaching board in your state or territory. Teachers are required by mandatory reporting laws to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. You may also be required to hold an approved Provide First Aid Certificate and have completed training in anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma management. Contact the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority for more information.
Duties & Tasks of a Teacher - Early Childhood
Early childhood teachers:
- Plan activities using a variety of materials and equipment to develop good coordination, social skills, creativity, self-expression and an interest in learning
- Promote language development and self-confidence through storytelling, drama, music and discussions
- Help to organise and participate in excursions to enhance learning experiences
- Encourage children to question and explore the world in which they live
- Observe children to evaluate and record their progress and to detect signs of developmental disorders, ill health or emotional disturbance
- Recommend appropriate programs for further development
- Work with guidance officers, speech pathologists and psychologists to assist children with special needs
- Help integrate children with special needs into mainstream classes
- Promote health and safety concepts and social interaction with other children
- Promote awareness and appreciation of diversity in multicultural societies
- Attend to sick children and those in need of first aid
- Comfort children who are hurt or distressed
- Assist children with their toileting and personal hygiene
- Discuss aspects of children's development with parents and other educators
- Discuss the aims of the education program with parents
- Participate in community activities and parent/staff committees
- Supervise and work with student teachers and trainee childcare workers.
- Observing nutritional health, welfare and safety needs of students and identifying factors which may impede students' progress.
- Planning and structuring learning in both indoor and outdoor environments using a variety of materials and equipment to facilitate students' development.
- Discussing students' progress with parents.
- Participating in community and family support programs as appropriate.
- Attending parent interviews, and staff and committee meetings.
- Providing a variety of experiences and activities to develop motor skills, cooperative social skills, confidence and understanding.
- Supervising student teachers on placement.
- Promoting language development through story telling, role play, songs, rhymes and informal discussions held individually and within groups.
- Observing students to evaluate progress and to detect signs of ill health, emotional disturbance and other disabilities.
Working conditions for a Teacher - Early Childhood
Early childhood teachers work in government-owned pre-school centres, early education classes, community kindergartens and community childcare centres.
Employment Opportunities for a Teacher - Early Childhood
Early childhood teachers are employed in education and care services for children aged 0-8 years by state and territory education departments, government and non-government schools or childcare centres. They may work in metropolitan or remote areas, or Aboriginal communities. Self-employment opportunities exist as the proprietor of a private preschool or childcare centre. Other opportunities may be available as home tutors.
Teacher - Early Childhood
Early childhood teachers plan and conduct education programmes for young children.
Skill level rating
Very high skill
Employment by state ACT: 1.8%
Age brackets 15-19: 0.9%
65 and Over: 1.6%
Education level Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 16.3%
Bachelor degree: 59%
Below Year 10: 0%
Certificate III/IV: 4.6%
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 16.3%
Year 10 and below: 0.7%
Year 11: 0.3%
Year 12: 2.9%
Years 11 & 10: 0%