What is the right qualification for you?

Early childhood education is a very rewarding career choice. It is also a very important job because you are supporting the development of children, to create confident and keen learners. However contradictory information regarding industry requirements and the thought of a study debt puts people off choosing early childhood education as a career. If you find yourself thinking “what’s the right qualification for me?” we’ve busted some myths to help you.

This article will give you the correct information and help you make the important decision about your career and course of study.

Do I really need a Diploma?

If you are thinking of choosing Early Childhood Education as a career, your first question is likely to be “What qualifications do I need?” If you have approached various education providers for the answer, you may be feeling very u confused right now.

We’ve been doing some research and we’ve found that at least one major training provider is giving out information which is not accurate. Potential students are being told that they need to do the Diploma level course to enter into this career. This is not correct.

What you aren’t being told is that there is an option that can see you enter the industry sooner, they may be more financially suitable for you. This would be to complete the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care instead. This is the entry level qualification for anyone who wishes to work in early childhood education.

We spoke to staff at a number of Early Childhood Education and Care services in Melbourne and each confirmed that you do not need to have a Diploma to start work as an Early Childhood Educator. Early childhood educators from Plenty Valley Montessori School (Rosanna) and Dudley Street Childcare (Wallan) confirmed that a Certificate III is all that is required to begin a career in the industry.

Nancy from Saltwater Child Care Centre (Footscray) agreed, saying that their centre would certainly hire staff with Certificate III qualifications. Nancy said, “If students are hoping to reach for higher pay and higher responsibilities, they will need to go on to complete the Diploma level course but that does not have to happen until some stage in the future.” She recommended starting with the Certificate level course and gaining work experience before committing to the Diploma.

Nancy also pointed out the impossibility of gaining work in Early Childhood Education without any qualification at all and suggested that if time is a factor, one option would include completing the Certificate course through a Registered Training provider, and a good quality course can be completed in 6 months.

The Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care gives you all the qualifications you need to get started as an Early Childhood Educator, Family Day Care Educator or even as a nanny.

Is the Certificate III going to be obsolete soon?

Another rumour that is sweeping through the industry is that the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care course will be out of date in 2015. This is simply not true.

The industry body, ACECQA, has said that it has no intention of changing their entry qualification requirements. The Certificate III will remain as a key part of early childhood educator’s learning.

It’s important that you understand that both the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and the Diploma course cover 11 core units of competency needed by anyone seeking to gain either qualification to work in the child care industry. By completing the Certificate level course, you will also have completed 11 units of the Diploma level course should you choose to go on to further study, and that’s a great head start.

What is Selmar’s recommendation?

The ideal way to enter the Early Childhood Education industry is to do the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, get a job and then consider further study once you have been working in the industry for at least one year.

Completing the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care has many advantages. The course will enable you get your qualifications more quickly and cheaply than if you studied a Diploma course. You can be earning and income and gaining valuable experience in only 6-12 months.

By gaining a certificate in Early Childhood Education you are opening up a range of career choices to help set you up for the future. Talk to us at Selmar. We will always give you the correct information.

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