Like most professions, there are a lot of assumptions about working in early childhood education and care. You might have heard a few of them, and it’s possible that you might find it stops you from wanting to pursue a career in this meaningful profession. But what is it really like to work in early childhood education?
There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Take it from us – we’ve been in the business for over 15 years.
We’re debunking five myths about the sector to give you a better idea of what it involves, how and where you’ll be working, and just how rewarding your job as an early childhood educator can be.
1. It’s a piece of cake
Some people might think working in early education is easy peasy, but that would fail to appreciate just how challenging – and interesting – the job can be. Children can be demanding at times, but they’re also funny and adorable and make you think in different ways.
When people dismiss early childhood education and care because it’s ‘too easy’, they’re refusing to appreciate how busy your days can be and how many complex situations you’ll face. You will need to be able to deal with upset children, upset parents, tricky interpersonal situations, learning hurdles and time-management pressures.
These are challenges of the best kind: helping you to grow, become a better communicator, improve your patience, and develop your organisational skills.
The best part? There will be so many opportunities to have fun and enjoy the work you do.
2. Anyone can be an early childhood educator
This is one of those annoying myths which fails to account for the unique set of skills and attributes required to become an early educator.
The good news is that you might already have some of them – we like to call them ‘adaptive skills’. These are transferrable and interpersonal skills, like emotional intelligence and teamwork, which make working with children and parents easier and more enjoyable.
3. You get to knock off early every day
Oh, don’t we just wish this one were true? We hate to break it to you, but the idea that you’ll get to finish work at 3pm every day is officially a myth.
In saying that, working in early childhood education can be quite flexible. You might opt for a casual or part-time role, or you might start later or earlier in the day depending on what works for you and your employer. Because you’re not working the typical 9-5, there will be more opportunities to balance work with other life commitments.
4. You don’t need to be skilled
Want to offend an early childhood educator? Tell them they’re doing unskilled work.
Early childhood educators work with children at the most critical stage of human development. This means they need to be highly skilled when it comes to teaching, understanding and supporting the needs of young people.
This is an important job with a unique set of skills, which is why choosing the right course provider is a must. Selmar courses provide aspiring educators with the thorough training and workplace experience they need to do it well.
5. It’s just a short-term job
Some people like to say that childcare is a short-term job rather than a career. Others would imply that it’s the equivalent of being a babysitter.
This rhetoric is frankly boring. What’s more, it’s incorrect – there are a host of amazing opportunities awaiting anyone who decides to pursue a career in early childhood education.
You might start out working in an educator role and progressively take on more responsibilities at your centre. You might decide to become qualified with a Diploma and work your way up to becoming a Centre Director or even own your own centre.
If you’re interested in becoming a teacher but missed out on getting into university, a Diploma can also open a pathway to studying a bachelor’s degree. In fact, graduates of Selmar’s CHC50121 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care are offered a university pathway to Swinburne via credit recognition to study a Bachelor of Education in either Early Childhood and Primary or Early Childhood Teaching!
Opportunities to thrive!
Debunking inaccurate myths like these enables us to see how complex early childhood education and care can be. It’s a dynamic sector to work in with plenty of opportunities to thrive and be rewarded.
With high job demand, fulfilling work, flexible hours and many pathways to choose from, early childhood education and care has all the ingredients of a smart career.
Get started today
With jobs in early education in incredibly high demand, you don’t want to miss out on anything the sector currently has to offer. The best thing is that you may already have a number of transferrable skills which you can draw from.
Check out our early childhood courses and see where a career in child care can take you!