The diverse career opportunities in early childhood education and childcare are increasing due to the growth in the industry and the roles that are required to fulfill the objectives of Australia’s early childhood education and care strategy. Achieving an early childhood qualification can lead to any of the following potential jobs:
- Early childhood educator
- Early childhood teacher (ECT)
- Educational leader
- Coordinator of family day care, school age care or mobile services
- Centre manager
- Area manager
- Operations manager
- Child development or support worker
- Early childhood intervention specialist
- Early childhood consultant
- Early childhood assessor and trainer
- Early childhood officer
The definitions below explain the difference of the roles of educators in an early childhood service.
Early childhood teachers
Early childhood teachers (ECT) have an approved early childhood teaching qualification and work directly with pre-school or kindergarten aged children (the year before school) that develop and implement an early childhood program. Centre-based early childhood services are required to have an ECT.
Educators provide education and care to children in any early childhood setting, that may include a centre-based service, family day care or outside school hours care and vacation care. Depending on the service and level of early childhood training and experience; an individual may have the role of a lead educator or an assistant educator (co-educator). Some services may require to employ a support worker to assist children with additional needs that may be specifically trained or have experience in this area.
An early childhood educational leader is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the educational program within an early childhood service. The educational leader is not required to have specific qualifications, experience or skills, they are chosen based on being the most suitable person for the role. The educational leader working with educators by providing support and strategies in the development of quality programs that provide experiences that support children’s holistic learning and development.