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Gone are the days when childcare was thought of as finger painting and taking naps. It is serious business. The early childcare industry is booming and childcare workers are inspiring the next generation to learn and grow.
With 88.4% of Australians in full-time and part-time work, the need for childcare workers has never been stronger. New jobs are constantly being created, and it is estimated that there will be more than 50,000 job openings in the next five years in this industry.
If you're thinking of a career in this rewarding area, TAFE NSW can help you get there.
Perhaps the most important quality you can have in this industry is your attitude towards children and families. We're talking about more than just liking them. A successful childcare worker needs to have a genuine affinity and empathy. In some cases you will spend more time with their children during the week than they will, so it's important that parents know you are friendly, likeable and approachable.
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.
"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
Be ready earlier
If you are still at school, you can get a headstart on your career in childcare 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.
This means you can learn valuable workplace skills and gain hands-on experience while you're still at school. Watch those employment prospects go up!
Developed by NESA the TVET program can count towards your HSC. So you may be eligible for units toward you HSC and a certificate or statement of attainment when you complete the course. Two qualifications for your resume.
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 campus.
"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)
Such an important role naturally requires qualifications. A good starting point is TAFE NSW's Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. This is the nationally regulated entry-level qualification for working in early childhood education and care and has no entry requirements.
You can then move on to a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and if you are interested in early childhood teaching we offer the TAFE NSW Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (Birth – 5).
There's no doubt that working full-time with young children has its own unique demands and challenges. But anyone who works in this industry will tell you that the rewards outweigh those challenges.
To find out more about how TAFE NSW can help you be ambitious visit Community Services - Childcare.