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How to become an early childhood teacher in Australia: careers in education

Early childhood teachers work with young children and are involved in planning lessons in literacy and numeracy, building confidence through creative lessons like art, storytelling and drama. They develop social skills and ensure children with special needs are catered for in the curriculum. Recording and reporting on children’s progress and communicating with parents are also key aspects of this role. Early childhood educators foster a sense of individuality, self-expression and interest in learning in each child. A relevant tertiary qualification is necessary to become an early childhood teacher in Australia.
Pathways

Being an early childhood teacher: daily duties

Early childhood teachers ensure the health and safety of children in their care, assist them with personal hygiene, and observe, evaluate and report on their progress. They supervise children in classroom and playground settings and develop positive solutions to conflict and discipline issues. Sometimes they may collaborate with external professionals like speech pathologists or child psychologists. Early childhood teachers participate in school committees and events, and can work in government owned preschools, early education classes, community childcare centres and community kindergartens.

Tasks:

  • Devising learning programs
  • Structuring art and craft activities
  • Supervising children on excursions
  • Comforting distressed or sick children
  • Encouraging diversity
Skills

Being an early childhood teacher: skills for success

Early childhood teachers need a natural affinity for children and a genuine desire to nurture their development. Patience and kindness are also necessary skills, as working with young children can be quite trying, and responsibility for their emotional welfare is a critical aspect of this role. Early childhood teachers must have good organisational skills, be able to follow policies and procedures, and report on learning programs and outcomes.
Skills/attributes
  • Desire to work with children
  • Empathy and patience
  • A level of physical fitness
  • Planning and organisation skills
  • Willing to work outside of school hours
Specs

Specialised roles within teaching

Teachers work at different levels in the education system, with numerous options for specialisation. They can work with different age groups, teaching a variety of subjects. To work as a teacher in the Australian school system you need to complete a tertiary qualification.
  • Primary School Teacher
    Teachers in the primary school system are expected to teach a range of basic literacy, numeracy, social science, comprehension and creative expression skills in line with the curriculum, and ensuring foundational skills are developed and built on.
  • Secondary School Teacher
    To work in a secondary school as a teacher, you need to complete a specialisation as part of your Bachelor of Education degree or enter via postgraduate studies.
Pathways

Educational pathways for early childhood teachers

To become an early childhood teacher, you need a tertiary qualification and ongoing professional development to keep up with changes in the sector.
  • Start your career
    Find a course that will qualify you to work in the education sector in a support role, or in child care.
  • Strengthen your skills
    A tertiary qualification in education will allow you to pursue employment in Australian schools as a teacher.
  • Build your resume
    Refine your skill set or pursue a specialisation through one of the additional training options available.
  • Industry requirements
    To work as an early childhood teacher in Australia, you will need to join the register of qualified teachers in your state or territory.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your teaching career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    Because of population growth, teaching is a profession that is always in demand. Early childhood teachers can find employment around Australia, with steady growth in employment in this area predicted into the future.

Resources for Early childhood teacher

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