Childcare is one of the most underrated career opportunities out there and at the same time one of the hidden gems of the work field. The perception and status of childcare workers have changed numerous times across the centuries and now they seem to be more sought-after than ever.
This is because more and more parents are looking to give their children more personalized care that caters to their own personality traits and specific needs. But what does it take to work in childcare? Let’s look at some of the skills you need to have and the steps you need to take in order to become a successful childcare worker:
1. You Need to Be Adaptable
If you choose this line of work, you need to know that childcare will often take place in a varying number of environments, from government settings to private settings.
You can either work in a kindergarten, a hospital, a childcare centre, a residential home or a women’s shelter, to only name a few. All these settings come with their own unique set of challenges and benefits, so adaptability as a childcare worker will play a tremendous role in your development on this professional path.
2. You Need to Genuinely Care for Children
This cannot be stressed enough. Children can be a handful sometimes and, depending on their age, even difficult to look after. They may throw tantrums, they may lose focus easily or feel too tense and agitates – whatever it is, you will need tremendous patience and understanding. All this can only be possible if you genuinely care about children and are invested in educating them towards a brighter future.
Passion and devotion are key in this line of work, as well as a bigger sense of purpose. Otherwise, you risk getting trapped in the daily trappings of childcare. You will need to be able to constantly connect to your inner ‘why’, the reason why you chose that path in the first place and what you see is possible for those children.
3. You Need to Become Qualified In Childcare
Before you can do anything as a childcare worker, you will need proper certification that attests to your merits. There is a wide range of childcare courses that can set you on the right path. You can either get a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, a Certificate III in Education Support or a Certificate III In Early Childhood Education and Care.
Each of them is laser-focused on teaching you different skill sets, depending on what you’d like to specialise in. Take the time to understand what would be most appealing to you, extensively research all the available courses and what they offer and finally, decide on what would bring you the most fulfilment.
4. You Need to Be Organized
Working in childcare doesn’t only imply spending time with children, having fun activities with them and talking. Childcare is centred around education and clear information that, taught step by step, is meant to lift children to new heights of understanding regarding the world they live in.
Having said this, you will need to carefully and methodically prepare your materials ahead of time, you will need to stick to a lesson plan and have clearly established goals. Once you have these goals in place, you’ll also need to follow-up on your plans together with the children. You will need to test them on their knowledge, come up with new games and activities that enhance your vision for them and be able to correct the path where needed.
Having said this, it’s safe to say that without proper organisational skills as a childcare worker, your career may quickly disassemble under all the pressure.
These are only a few of the skills and steps you need to become a successful childcare worker. However, if you pair them with genuine enthusiasm, communication skills and monitoring skills, you may well find yourself advancing steadily on the career path of your dreams. After all, working with children can be extremely rewarding, regardless of the hurdles that may come your way.