Career insight: Working as an early childhood educator

Monday, May 9, 2022

The journey into a career in early childhood education varies for everyone. Some get started as an educator right from the beginning of their working life, while others might have a variety of other careers before joining the sector.

What is often a common thread for those studying or working in early childhood is a love of children. When we spoke to recent Diploma graduate Jasmin Carmody, she echoed this sentiment when asked why she chose to pursue a career in early childhood education:

“I always really loved children and wanted to care for them and help them grow and develop”, said Jasmin.

Career in early childhood education

Levelling up an early childhood education career

With Certificate level qualifications in early childhood education and social services already under her belt, Jasmin opted to undertake the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care to take her career as an educator to the next level.

“My goal in doing the Diploma was to be able to become a Room Leader at my current place of employment”, confirmed Jasmin.

The intake for the Diploma was organised through her employer and with her new qualification complete Jasmin is thoroughly enjoying her new role as Room Leader. In this role she can take further ownership over the way the children in her care develop and learn. Jasmin enjoys being able to set experiences that will meet each child’s needs. And while she’s loving this position, every job has its challenges.

“Working with babies aged 6 weeks to 12 months, there are days that are harder than others, but it’s all worth it!”

A career with options

Career progression and variety are both available to those in the early childhood education sector. As Jasmin explains:

“There’s lots of different areas you can go into, so there’s plenty of options for a career change down the track.”

Early childhood education qualifications can provide you with a career as an educator in a setting such as long day care where Jasmin is working currently. Alternatively, you might explore work as a nanny, look at running your own family day care service or take a pathway to university to become a kindergarten or primary school teacher.

Rewarding relationships that make a difference

If you’ve been researching careers in early childhood education, you have probably heard that it is known as a highly rewarding career. But what is it that makes it so? The key contributors that make working in early childhood so fulfilling centre around making a meaningful difference in children’s lives. This includes helping a child who might be facing challenges settling in or with aspects of their development.

“Seeing that you’ve helped a child and made a difference for them is amazing”, Jasmin elaborates.

Early childhood educators build strong relationships with the children they care for as well as with the parents and carers. In fact, these relationships are crucial to the work you do as an educator. Jasmin explains:

“Trying to understand where parents are coming from is important. Communication has to be a priority – you have to be able to build strong relationships with parents.”

Qualities of a great educator

At Practical Outcomes we aim to help learners to develop the skills and qualities required to thrive as an educator, while also imparting knowledge and best practices alongside hands-on training.

Often training includes leaning into what your existing skillset is and identifying skills you might have that will be easily transferable to early learning settings.

Jasmin believes that educators who have a playful energy and can interact with children on their level will do well in the sector.

“You have to be willing to get down in the sandpit and connect with children through the things they enjoy.”

Fitting in studying with life

Jasmin’s training experience upskilling with Practical Outcomes saw her take on the juggle of working and studying simultaneously. Thankfully she found her studies and trainers were flexible so that she could get it all done to a high standard.

“The flexibility of the course and the way that the trainers work with you shows they really want you to succeed.”

She found the coursework was relevant, and as a hands-on learner definitely felt she got the most from the practical elements of her studies. Practical Outcomes trainers even head out to visit you on site during your placement hours so you can receive feedback that is directly related to how you’re going in a workplace setting.

For anyone contemplating studying early childhood education or upskilling in the sector, Jasmin’s advice is:

“Give it a go! It might be something you really love!”

For more information about our courses, reach out to our team.


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