How to get a job in childcare

Welcome to our Be ambitious in 2017 series. With the new year just around the corner, we hope these posts will inspire you, help you find your passion and launch that career you've always dreamed of.

The early childcare industry is booming! A majority of families now have both parents as full time breadwinners. This means trained early childcare professionals will never be out of a job. And the demand is growing every year. Job openings for early childcare workers over the next couple of years are expected to be around 50,000.

If you're thinking of a career in this challenging, yet very rewarding area, TAFE NSW can show you how to get there.

[quote]"The thing that I like most about working with children is seeing them learning something, even if it's as simple as sitting in a sandpit with a bucket. It's really rewarding seeing children reach milestones." - Mikayla Green, Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, birth - 5[/quote]

Personal qualities

The most important quality here is your attitude towards children – and we're talking about more than just liking them. A successful early childcare worker needs to have a genuine affinity and empathy with kids – you could almost say remembering what it felt like to be one yourself.

It's also pretty important to be friendly, likeable and approachable. No parent wants to leave their child with Nurse Ratched every day.

Other personal qualities that are important for this line of work include patience and tenacity, a calm, even temper, a sense of humour, competence and reliability.

Formal qualifications

To work in early childcare, you'll also need some kind of formal qualification. TAFE NSW's Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care is a good starting point. This is the nationally regulated entry-level qualification for working in early childhood education and care and has no entry requirements.

Learn at school

Did you know you can begin your TAFE studies while you're still at school? This is through the TVET Program. TVET stands for "TAFE-delivered vocational education and training", and Children's Services is among the industry areas that are eligible. It means you can learn valuable workplace skills and gain hands-on experience while you're still at school, increasing your prospects of employment. The TVET program has been developed by the Board of Studies and can count towards your HSC. Upon completion of your TVET course you'll be awarded a Certificate qualification or statement of attainment, which is nationally accredited and recognised. If you're interested in starting your training while still at school, speak to a career advisor either at your school or your nearest TAFE NSW college.

[quote]"If you want to build a strong nation then you have to build a strong foundation in children." - Ito Rivera, Diploma of Children's Services (Early Childhood Education and Care)[/quote]

There's no doubt that working full time with young children has its own unique demands and challenges. But anyone who already works in this area will tell you that the rewards easily outweigh those challenges.

Click here to download your free Childcare Course Guide.