Kindergarten teachers, room leaders, and educators in childcare centres make a real difference in the lives of their students every day. The Early Childhood sector is dynamic and constantly changing, making it ideal for people who love creative problem solving and are passionate about education.

And the good news is that there’s no better time to start! With the Victorian government rolling out its Three-year-old Kinder initiative, there is plenty of government support and funding available for anyone looking to enter the field. If you’re thinking of taking advantage of the huge opportunities in the Early Childhood sector, here’s what you need to know to get started!

What skills do I need?

As an educator working in a childcare centre, you will be expected to work in a team and communicate well with other adults as well as children. And after some experience working, you might also be interested in becoming a room leader, a role that involves a lot of quick thinking and leadership skills.

Qualities that are in high demand:

  • Empathy

  • Creativity

  • Teamwork

  • Flexibility

  • Confidence

  • Communication

You’ll also be expected to have good time management and organisation skills to help you plan lessons and activities that meet the learning objectives of the children in your care. But don’t let that intimidate you! You likely won’t be handling all that by yourself on the first day. Your team, all individuals with different roles to play in the workplace, will be there to support and guide you.

What kind of jobs can I do in Early Childhood?

If you’ve been looking at job ads recently in Early Childhood, you’ve likely come across listings for “Early Childhood Educators” as well as “Kindergarten Room Leaders”. These are not the same type of job, and if you look at the job description, you can see that they serve different roles

An early childhood teacher provides structured lessons at an education facility like a preschool or kindergarten. They make lesson plans and deliver them to the children to meet certain objectives. You will need at least a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care to become a teacher.

A room leader is in charge of the whole room at a particular childcare centre or kindergarten. They oversee not only the children but also the other teachers in the room, as well as sometimes acting as liaisons between management and their teaching team. To become a room leader, you’ll need to have a Diploma or Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood education and work your way up from an educator or teacher role first. The position requires a lot of experience and is often offered to the more senior teachers on staff.

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