Do you enjoy working with young children and helping them develop and progress? If yes, a career as an early childhood teacher might be for you.
Early childhood teachers promote learning and development in pre-primary children on intellectual, emotional, and physical levels.
To become an early childhood educator in Australia, you must complete a bachelor's in education or a diploma in early childhood education and care. Postgraduate qualification in early education will help you advance in this role.
In this blog, you will learn how to become an early childhood or preschool teacher and educator in Australia, including what courses to study, their salary, qualifications, and much more.
1. Who Is An Early Childhood Teacher?
A person's formative years (between 2 and 5) are a period of fast development and growth—a child's experiences during this phase impact every sphere of his personal and professional life. Therefore the role of an early childhood teacher becomes critical.
An early childhood educator introduces young children to the school environment. They help them develop vital skills for all future learning and promote social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development.
A pre-primary school educator takes complete care of the social, physical, academic, and emotional requirements of infants and young children in different care settings.
2. What Does An Early Childhood Teacher Do?
Early childhood teachers work one-on-one or with groups of children based on the lesson type and the child's requirements. They care for infants and young children's social, educational, emotional, and physical requirements.
The typical work duties of an early childhood teacher in Australia involve the following:
Teach elementary skills, numeracy, music, literature, art, literacy, and counting knowledge to pre-primary school students
Promote their social, intellectual, emotional, and physical development
Focus on the physical development, health, and well-being of the students, including those with special needs
Structure outdoor and indoor learning classes
Use equipment and materials to develop motor skills, confidence, and social skills.
Help in vocabulary and language development through role-plays, drama, storytelling, rhymes, songs, games, and informal discussions
Evaluate and discuss the progress of the student with carers and parents
Supervise nutritional health, safety, and welfare requirements of students
Involve in community activities and family support programs as needed
Plan learning and play activities using various tools and materials to develop students' creativity and encourage a child's curiosity and exploration abilities.
Listen to children and interpret their actions and words to learn about their needs.
Assist children with personal hygiene, dressing, sleeping, and eating
Identify signs of sickness, hurt and developmental disorders.
Observe, record, and evaluate the growth, behaviour, learning, social development, and progress of children
Communicate the student's condition and progress to other teachers, healthcare nurses, doctors, psychologists, and speech pathologists.
Plan and execute activities to build and improve the communication, learning, creativity, social skills, well-being, and physical ability of a child
Attend interviews with parents, committee meetings, and support staff
Monitor the activities of support staff and train them
Prepare light snacks for children.
Maintain a safe, hygienic, and appealing environment
Provide basic first aid.
Oversee the daily routine and recreational activities of children
3. Early Childhood Teacher Skill Assessment
Early Childhood teachers require the following skills to be successful in this role:
Genuine interest in working with children
Able to relate to young children
Readiness to learn
Likes to do research
Effective oral and verbal communication
Able to use judgment
Willingness to accept responsibility
Able to work as a team
Able to get along with parents
Able to lift children
4. Early Childhood Teacher Requirements In Australia
Over 17 years of age
Completed year 12 education in English
Complete an undergraduate bachelor's qualification in early childhood education or teachings, such as a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood), or a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood). These courses usually take 3 to 4 years of full-time study. They give you a blend of practical and theoretical teaching experience.
Those with an unrelated qualification can complete a 2-year Master of Teaching (Early Childhood). This qualification will help you in a career change or career advancement.
Register with the Department of Education as an early childhood educator in the Australian state/ territory you wish to work.
Hold a National Police Certificate
Hold a valid Working with Children Licence.
Hold a First Aid certificate.
Contact the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority to know more about the qualification.
5. Steps To Become An Early Childhood Teacher In Australia
Here is the general route to becoming an early childhood teacher in Australia.
Step 1: Get Formal Education
The minimum educational requirement to become an early childhood teacher is to complete a 4-years Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) or any related qualification.
Alternatively, you can complete a 2-3 years Diploma of Early Childhood Education. The credit you receive will help you achieve a Bachelor's Degree in just 2-years.
Step 2: Further Your Studies
Those who hold a bachelor's qualification can study for the related master's degree or Post Graduate Diploma. You may require completing the necessary supervised teaching practice as an integral part of the program.
The master's qualification equips students with a more profound knowledge of early childhood development. They learn how to create a favourable and encouraging learning environment for young children.
Moreover, the course also teaches about developing positive relationships with support staff, parents, and communities.
Step 3: Get Registered
Lodge an application form to register with the Department of Education as an early childhood teacher in your Australian state or territory.
Step 4: Apply for Jobs
Once you gain the necessary qualification and register, you can look for job openings in a local childcare centre. Identify work opportunities in close-by primary schools, community care centres, kindergartens, private/government hospitals, and other similar places.
Meanwhile, you can try getting work experience by volunteering in NGOs and not-for-profit organizations that run welfare programs for toddlers and preschool children. While volunteering for social foundations, you would have to perform the following tasks:
Play with children
Perform maintenance tasks such as kitchen organization, cleaning area, arranging furniture, etc.
The skills and knowledge you gain while volunteering will give you an added advantage and improve your job success chances.
6. Early Childhood Teacher Courses In Australia
We have listed a few recommended courses to help you become a fulfilling childcare professional. Early childhood teacher diplomas like the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care equip students with a detailed understanding of children and ways to involve them in a group setting.
Early childhood teacher Diploma courses give you experience planning and implementing a curriculum in early childhood education and care services. You will learn ways to support the development of a child. Further, learn to understand the regulation and maintain a secure environment for families, staff, and children.
A Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care includes a work placement that teaches the essential skills, competencies, and knowledge for immediate employment into pathway courses.
A Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) course prepares students to teach children from birth to 12 years in kindergarten centres and primary schools in Australia. They learn how to keep children engaged through art, mathematics, literacy, and music.
Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Australia Early Childhood College
Skills Australia Institute
Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)
University of Melbourne
University of South Australia
Edith Cowan University
University of Sydney
Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
Swinburne University of Technology
Australia Early Childhood College
Australian College of Teacher Aides and Childcare
Early Childhood Teaching TAFE Courses
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
Short TAFE Courses on Early Childhood Education
7. How Can You Become An Early Childhood Teacher In NSW?
Here are the required early childhood teacher requirements in NSW:
Complete at least four years of tertiary study, including an accredited teacher education program, at a nationally recognized university or institution.
This could be any of the following:
A Bachelor of Education (Primary)
A Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood and Primary)
A double or combined degree, such as a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and Bachelor of Arts
An undergraduate degree followed by an accredited postgraduate teaching qualification like a Master of Teaching (Primary)
By completing an approved early childhood teacher education program, you can work in Australian pre-schools and primary schools to teach children from Preschool to Year 6.
8. How Long Does It Take To Become An Early Childhood Teacher?
The most common route to be an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia is to complete a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood. The duration of this undergraduate course is four years.
Alternatively, you can complete a 2-3 years Diploma in Early Childhood Education and follow it up with a two years Bachelor's Degree in a related field.
However, suppose you have a graduate qualification in an unrelated field. In that case, you can consider taking a two years master's qualification in early childhood teaching, i.e., Master of Teaching (Early Childhood).
Thus, based on your chosen career pathway, it can take 4 to 5 years to become a pre-primary educator in Australia.
9. Where Do Early Childhood Teachers Work In Australia?
As a growing occupation, you can find competition in this role. An Early Childhood Teacher works in many settings working with and supervising young children in groups and individually.
They are employed in rural, remote, and metropolitan areas providing occasional and long day-care in the following settings:
Community-based childcare centres
Special educational centres
Private and government primary schools
Besides working in a childcare centre, the profession allows teachers to work self-employed in their homes. For this, they must become a registered family day-care provider.
Experienced and fully qualified early childhood teachers can advance their careers to manage a licensed childcare centre. Other opportunities for career progression include:
Special education teacher
Education program director
Education program manager
Out-of-school services worker
10. Working Conditions For An Early Childhood Educator
The work hours of an early childhood educator vary based on their type of role and duties. They may also require working in shifts and standing for long durations.
Early childhood teachers often require lifting and carrying children and displacing equipment. They primarily work in teams.
Around 56% of workers work full-time. This shows that there are opportunities for part-time too. Full-time workers work about 42 hours per week compared to the industry's average of 44 hours.
The average age of workers working in this role is 40 years. This is a female-dominated profession where 98% of the working population is female.
11. Job Prospects Of Early Childhood Teachers In Australia
Early Childhood Teachers are among the prevalent and in-demand occupations in Australia. They teach basic numeracy, art, music, and literacy to pre-primary children and promote their emotional, physical, and social development.
The demand for early childhood teachers in Australia is much more than for primary or secondary teachers. The profession has experienced robust growth in recent years.
The rising need for community service and changes in the service delivery models will result in more job vacancies in these sectors. The Job Outlook website expects that the number of Early Childhood educators will grow from 47,900 in 2020 to 56,200 by 2025.
The key industries that employ these professionals are Education and Training, Public Administration and Safety, and Health Care and Social Assistance.
12. How Much Does An Early Childhood Teacher Earn In Australia?
The average early childhood teacher salary in Australia is $66k/ year, equivalent to $30.09 per hour and $1,488 per week. Their earnings increase as they gain more experience in this sector.
Based on Indeed, the early childhood teacher salary in NSW is $69,578per year. The early childhood teacher's salary in QLD is $72,897 per year.
Earnings in other Australian cities are as follows:
Melbourne VIC: $74,033 per year
Perth, Western Australia: $67,696 per year
Adelaide South Australia: $51,652 per year
An early childhood educator makes a vital and lasting contribution to the education and learning of children.
While teaching young children, you encounter distinctive real-world experiences that make the profession wonderful.
So, if you aim to help children grow and succeed in all spheres of life, complete early childhood teaching courses and get started in this profession.
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