Working in School Age Education and Care

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

School age education and care is directed toward caring for children aged 5-12 as they make their way through an important stage of life.

During this time, kids progress and develop in meaningful ways. This is a period in which children learn the nuances of communication, make friends and build key relationships, discover and develop their interests, and learn new ways of becoming independent.

It’s important that children are encouraged and supported through these developmental years so they feel confident and can lay the foundation for a healthy, fulfilling life.

Working in School Age Education and Care

Supporting the next generation

Caring for school age children promotes development and wellbeing through art, play, and physical activity.

Working in school age education and care is a way to have a positive impact on the next generation. It involves supporting children in before and after school care programs, holiday programs and other specialised activities.

Your role as an outside school hours carer is to oversee engaging activities and provide food and assistance to a range of children with diverse needs. There is an increasing demand for well-trained and adaptable workers who can assist children to get the most out of these truly important years.

The benefits speak for themselves. Working in school age education and care, you’ll see the difference you’re making to young lives, have your patience and resilience tested, and have a lot of fun. As many carers say, the work is rewarding and the laughter and stories stick with you for life.

Outside school hours care has the added benefit of offering flexible hours such as split shifts, affording you time during the day to achieve a healthy work life balance.

Skills that make a difference

To work in school age education and care, there are a few personal qualities which make a huge difference. Carers should be good communicators who can take charge and have fun while understanding that every child is different.

Some qualities of a good carer might include:

  • Patience
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Reflection
  • Creativity

As a school age education and care worker, you should be interested in supporting children to learn and grow by:

  • Having fun and being present
  • Being open to challenges and thinking on your feet
  • Managing time effectively
  • Being enthusiastic about arts, crafts, games and physical activity
  • Developing supportive relationships with children and families

Being proud of what you do is important, and working in school age care paves the way for countless moments of satisfaction and reward.

Improve your practice of care

The CHC50221 Diploma of School Age Education and Care is worth considering if you already work in a school age education and care service. The course is an opportunity to upskill, enhancing both your employability and professional development.

Completing the Diploma has a range of benefits, including online learning for flexible study.

The Diploma equips graduates with management competencies in key areas. It has recently been updated to focus on reflective learning, which means that throughout the course learners are encouraged to reflect on and improve their practice of care.

Units cover a range of skills and subjects, including:

  • Lead and manage before and after school care programs
  • Understanding childhood development and risk-factors which help carers identify and respond to children’s needs
  • Training which encourages holistic learning
  • Communications skills which build meaningful relationships
  • Cultural awareness to promote diversity

Strengthening emotional intelligence

A key focus of the Diploma is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence relates to how we use our own emotions to communicate, relieve stress, build relationships and respond to challenges.

Emotional intelligence is particularly important in school age education and care settings. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 are learning about how to communicate effectively, express themselves, and how their emotions influence others.

Promoting emotional intelligence in carers involves asking them to recognise how emotions affect the experience of education and play. Working with a good understanding of emotional intelligence means that carers and educators understand how emotions might be used to overcome challenges, create positive experiences, empathise with others and diffuse conflict.

Support for success

Regardless of age or experience, all learners need support in order to feel satisfied with their workplace training experience and beyond. Practical Outcomes has a team of professionals who can provide study and training support, answer questions and provide advice when learners need it most.

Our trainers promote opportunities for learners, supporting them to build confidence and gain the practical experience required to succeed.

Career pathways and employment opportunities

A Diploma in School Age Education and Care paves the way for rewarding career advancements. Some outcomes include:

  • Outside school hours care coordinator
  • Outside school hours care educator
  • Area manager
  • Educational leader
  • Initial steps toward a career in teaching

Progress your learning

Working with children as they navigate the important stages of life during their primary school years is an opportunity to challenge yourself, laugh, engage and be rewarded. Progress your learning with a Diploma to be the best educator you can be.

Get in touch with our Practical Outcomes team today.


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Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia
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