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If you think that the childcare educator just turns up to
"care" for children, then you're mistaken - they aren't
Maintaining enthusiasm in your chosen profession is a challenge and
Childhood career sector is no exception. I'm sure there are
many people in the wider community who believe that workers in the
childcare industry have a fairly simple job of caring for other
peoples' children. And as long as those children are safe, fed and
entertained then they've done their job. I'm not saying that this view
of childcare is necessarily either good or bad - but it's certainly
In recent years a lot has been done to professionalise the early
childhood sector. This has been achieved through creating national
regulations and frameworks. Even the subtle change from the use of the
word "carer" to "educator" has caused an important
shift in the mindset of our industry.
One thing is true. If you think that the childcare educator just
turns up to "care" for children, then you're mistaken - they
aren't glorified babysitters. They're part of an industry which is
trying to be taken more seriously. Even if some services aren't
interested in keeping up with the crowd, the regulations and
frameworks ensure that this happens.
We have systems that check and rate the quality of a service;
regulations that ensure the safety of our children; and a learning
framework that guides educators on outcomes for learning. Now this all
sounds great (and it is) but ironically, it creates an enormous amount
of work, which at times can be overwhelming. You can almost hear the
collective groan when the industry has to implement new systems. It
seems as though we just get the hang of one system when another is
thrust upon us.
Good services find the right balance between what requirements they
need to meet and retaining a child focused approach to the young minds
in their charge. They also take the time to reignite, reinvigorate and
reinvent what they do. This not only keeps it fresh for the educators,
but this energy flows through to what the children experience. The
result is high quality care and education for our children.
Keeping the passion for what we do at work on a daily basis seems a
lofty idea. It's important to take charge and ensure that we work
towards continual improvement and engage in thought provoking
professional development. It's not all puppy dogs and rainbows but
educating our next generation is most certainly a worthy pursuit.
Want to learn more? I will be co-presenting a workshop on Risk in
Early Childhood at the "Rekindle the Passion" Conference at
Nirimba TAFE, Quakers Hill on Saturday 13 September 2014. If you're
interested in attending this informative one day conference, please
click here to register. Stay tuned for our next post covering another
of our exciting workshops.