what is a childcare educator?

As a childcare educator, you provide daily care for children. Aside from caring for children's physical needs, you encourage social interaction and help them improve their problem-solving and intellectual skills. Your primary role is to identify the interests and abilities of children. When you understand children, you plan and create learning activities that allow them to learn and grow. It is also important to make children feel safe and secure.

Childcare educators work in pre-schools, crèches and childcare centres. Depending on your work settings, you work with children between six weeks and 12 years old. You provide long daycare, out-of-school-hours care (OCHC) or family daycare services. Sometimes, you work in hospitals or women’s shelters.

As a childcare educator, you work closely with children, which requires patience and good communication skills. Children respond to people who show enthusiasm and listen to them carefully.

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average childcare educator salary

The typical remuneration package for childcare educators is $65,000 per year. Your earnings fluctuate based on various factors, such as experience and the scope of your duties. Childcare educators start with a salary of $60,000 annually in entry-level positions. The most experienced childcare educators take home a salary of $70,000 annually.

how to increase your earnings as a childcare educator

If you want to improve your remuneration package as an educator, consider improving your experience and qualifications. When you are new in the role, you have minimal experience and educational qualifications. You can improve your childcare experience through internships and entry-level roles.

As a childcare educator, your earnings depend on where you work and the hours you work. When you work full-time, you earn more than part-time childcare educators. A full-time childcare educator has more responsibilities and a higher salary. Working in large childcare centres also increases your earnings due to the increased number of resources available.

Want to know what you will earn as a childcare educator? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

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types of childcare educators

As a childcare educator, you work in different work settings. For instance, you can provide home-based care to children below five years or kids with special needs. In home-based care, you tailor your duties to the child's needs. Some childcare educators work in a centre-based daycare that offers long daycare or occasional care services. You may also work in pre-schools or kindergartens, providing care to children between three to five years of age.

woman smiling at children
woman smiling at children
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working as a childcare educator

If you enjoy working with children, read on to discover the specific duties, work environments and career opportunities of childcare educators.

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education and skills

To work as a childcare educator, you require comprehensive skills that you gain through formal training. Consider completing a qualification in early childhood education or children's services. For instance, you can further your education with a diploma or pursue a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. Any course approved by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) equips you with the right skills. If you hold a secondary or primary teaching qualification and a teacher registration in Australia, you are considered an equivalent early childhood teacher.

Aside from completing your college courses, you must pass a Working with Children Check. In Queensland, you should obtain a Blue Card and also undergo a police check. Some employers require first aid certification.

childcare educator skills and competencies

Some of the skills and qualities of childcare educators include:

  • patience: as a childcare educator, you work with young children who require attention, care and guidance. Patience helps you interact with children effectively. Due to their young age, children take time to express their thoughts and understand instructions. Being patient helps you provide them with the support they need.
  • communication: good communication skills help you interact with children, parents and other educators. You communicate verbally and non-verbally to establish positive relationships with children and relay information to parents and caregivers.
  • creativity: as a childcare educator, you use engaging learning activities to promote the growth and development of children. Your creative mindset helps you come up with engaging and interactive learning activities appropriate for children. Being creative also helps you tailor the teaching methods to children’s needs.
  • adaptability: childcare educators handle unexpected situations at work, and it's important to be adaptable to changing environments. Adaptability also helps you adjust your teaching strategies to meet children's needs and their families.
  • organisational skills: as a childcare educator, you need exceptional organisational skills to manage your workload effectively. You are expected to plan activities and maintain records of the children’s progress.
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FAQs about working as a childcare educator

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a childcare educator.

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