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It's not all puppy dogs and rainbows

If you think that the childcare educator just turns up to "care" for children, then you're mistaken - they aren't glorified babysitters

Maintaining enthusiasm in your chosen profession is a challenge and the Early 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 very simplistic.

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.

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