What does an early childhood teacher do?
The role of an early childhood teacher includes ensuring children’s health and safety, assisting with personal hygiene when necessary, and observing, evaluating and reporting on children’s progress. Early childhood teachers supervise children in the playground and the classroom, and implement positive solutions to conflict and disciplinary issues. An early childhood teacher may also work with external professionals such as speech pathologists and child psychologists. They participate in school events and committees, and are qualified to work in government-owned pre-school centres, early education classes, community kindergartens and community childcare centres.
- Devising learning programs
- Structuring art and craft lessons
- Chaperoning on excursions
- Comforting sick or distressed children
- Encouraging acceptance of diversity
What skills do I need to be an early childhood teacher?
To become an early childhood teacher you need a natural affinity for children and a genuine desire to nurture their development. Organisational skills are critical, and must be applied to generating learning programs and reporting learning outcomes. Patience and kindness are also key, as early childhood teachers are responsible for the emotional welfare of children as well as their educational development. The rewards of a career in teaching young children include the joy of watching them successfully progress through their early school years.
- A desire to work with children
- Patience and empathy
- A good level of physical fitness
- Advanced planning and organisational skills
- Willingness to work outside of school hours
Teachers can work at many different levels of the education system, meaning there are many possible areas of specialisation. There are also diverse subject areas to choose from, and the potential to work with a diverse range of age groups, abilities and cultural backgrounds. In order to work as a teacher in the Australian public school system, you will be required to complete a tertiary qualification, generally a Bachelor of Education or postgraduate Master of Teaching.
Primary School Teacher
Secondary School Teacher
Special Education Teacher
Accredited Childcare Worker
Vocational Education and Training (VET) Lecturer
Study pathways for early childhood teachers
Becoming an early childhood teacher requires tertiary study, as well as ongoing professional development to ensure you remain on top of changes within the education sector and your chosen subject area or field.
These courses will qualify you to work in the education sector as support staff, or in childcare; a great introduction to the world of teaching and your future career.
Completing a bachelor’s degree in education will allow you to pursue employment as a professional teacher in Australian schools.
Additional training is available for those refining their skill set or pursuing a specialisation.
In order to work as an early childhood teacher you will need to join the register of qualified teachers in your state. Find out more in our resources section.
Getting a job after graduation
Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your early childhood teacher career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for education jobs.
Job Prospects and Salaries
With Australia’s population increasing, teaching is a profession that is always in demand. Qualified early childhood teachers are able to find employment nationwide, with further predictions of steady growth in future employment rates.