Education & Training
Early Childhood Centre Worker
Early childhood workers care for social, emotional, physical and educational needs of infants and young children in various care settings.
What does an Early Childhood Centre Worker do?
Early childhood workers care for social, emotional, physical and educational needs of infants and young children in various care settings. They deliver appropriate training programs, care for children’s basic needs, and plan daily routines. In addition, some help children prepare for kindergarten or help older children with homework.
As an early childhood centre worker you might:
- plan and implement developmental programs based on observation of individual children
- observe and record children's growth, behaviour and development, and discuss these with parents
- integrate children with special needs into the program, modifying the program and the physical environment if necessary
- prepare play and learning materials and set up the children's environment
- supervise children's play, ensuring their physical safety at all times
- help children with daily routines such as toileting, dressing, eating and sleeping
- guide children's behaviour and social development
- prepare light snacks and meals
- maintain a safe, clean and appealing environment
- perform basic first aid in emergencies.
Key skills and interests
To become an early childhood centre worker, you would need:
- a love of children and a commitment to giving them high standards of care
- patience and a sense of humour
- good communication skills
- an awareness of health, safety and hygiene
- knowledge of child protection issues.
Working hours and conditions
Early childhood centre worker's hours of work vary. Part time work is often available, and shiftwork may be required.
Early childhood centre workers often share basic tasks and work in teams. You would spend long periods on your feet and often have to lift and carry children and move equipment.
How to become an Early Childhood Centre Worker?
Entry Level Education
To become an early childhood centre worker you usually have to complete a VET qualification in early childhood education and care or school age education and care. Applicants may be required to attend an interview.
You can also become an early childhood worker through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Children's Services, Early Childhood Education and Care or School Age Education and Care. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
To work in child care you will need to obtain a Working with Children Check or equivalent. A National Police Certificate may also be required.
You must also hold an approved Provide First Aid Certificate and have completed training in anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma management.
Employment of early childhood centre workers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Parents will increasingly need assistance during working hours to care for their children. Because the number of children requiring childcare is expected to grow, demand for childcare workers is expected to grow as well.
In the past decade, early childhood education has become widely recognised as important for children’s development. Childcare workers often work alongside preschool teachers as assistants. This continued focus on the importance of early childhood education will spur demand for pre-school programs and thus for early childhood centre workers.