I'm thinking of studying to become a childcare worker but have no idea where to start. I used to be a high school teacher but thought I might retrain in childcare for when I return to the workforce once my kids are a bit older.
Can anyone shed some light on what qualifications I need to get?
How many hours per week do you have to study for (obviously this will vary but a general idea is good)?
I've heard the pay is pretty low, but just how low is it?
Is it an area where jobs are available or are there more workers than positions most of the time?
I'm in Albany (south WA) if that makes any difference.
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09-05-2013 13:50 #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
- The Great Southern of WA
working in childcare - any info appreciated
09-05-2013 17:00 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
Personally after working in childcare and becoming an early childhood teacher I don't recommend you becoming a childcare teacher, I feel for you becoming a high school teacher would be a good choice, also not as much chance of burnout. From the lack of parttime work in childcare which drives me nuts, at least a good rate of pay and holidays high school teaching is extremely rewarding. Primary school teaching is good but at present there is glut of people wanting these roles. Maybe you could research to do some study for high school teaching by correspondence. Good luck
09-05-2013 19:42 #3
What qualifications do you have? Depending on your qualifications you may be able to do a graduate diploma in early childhood which would allow you to teach in an early childhood setting. Early childhood services are crying out for teachers at the moment and a preschool setting offers the same conditions as a school (maybe a bit less money depending on where you are)
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09-05-2013 20:22 #4
The lowest level qualification you would need would be a certificate 3, this would set you up as a room assisstant.
Diploma would put you in a qualified room/group/team leader role. It can branch out to a centre director.
Advanced diploma is management level so director type role.
Then you go into your uni qualifications... Im not quite sure how they work but you can do kindergarten teaching, then early childhood (up to about 8yrs old) then primary teaching.
Cert 3 is 3 terms full time on campus.
Diploma is 2yrs full time on campus, including cert 3
Advanced diploma is after diploma. I was going to do this, I think from memory, part time while working ft was going to take 18mnths? Ish...
Kinder teaching/early childood is around 3-4 yrs ft
Primary I believe is 4.
I could be slightly off with these but out wouldn't be by far.
You could study your diploma, then you can get credits and uni courses give you rpl so don't take as long once you have that.
I recommend calling your local tafe and taking to a pathways advisor if you are serious they can explain it better, and would be able to give exact lengths, times etc.
09-05-2013 20:28 #5
I am in the same boat, im a primary teacher wanting to retrain as an early childhood teacher for better work opportunities (I have a 1 year old) also coz i cant find anything atm, and there is a tonn of work in the early childhood field. If u can go to classes there are lots of courses, especially graduate diplomas/masters in early childhood. Personally i am about to do 1 year online so that i can become a kindy teacher.
09-05-2013 20:44 #6
It's actually a pretty good time to be an early childhood teacher. As of 2014, I believe that every centre has to have a qualified early childhood teacher present (uni degree qualified) along with the regular childcare workers. At the moment people are scrabbling to get qualified ECTs in their centres before the 2014 deadline! I'm not sure but I think that with a teaching degree already under your belt you're probably in a good position to skip certain subjects if you go to uni. So you can skip the drudges and go straight to the degree!
For regular childcare workers (as of 2014), you need a Cert III in Children's Services as a minimum requirement. You can do a traineeship too, so you work as you do your Cert III. With a traineeship you can either actually attend TAFE - times depend on what modules you take - or you can do it through a distance learning program - you'll do your coursework in your own time, with allocated hours at work to do it, and someone will visit you at your workplace a few times a month.
It's a pretty demanding job. I've never done high school teaching but childcare is definitely right up there with those 'calling' careers: I think that you have to really want to do it. It's exhausting and draining and crazy. But at the same time it's also such a rewarding experience. I loved every second of my time in childcare - I worked mostly with under 2s, but had some great experiences with older children and preschoolers.
Job availability and salary really depends on where you go. (Two years ago with a Cert III in a private centre in fairly nice area I was earning around $21/h.) Childcare centres vary so much, but generally the higher your qualifications, the more you get paid and the more you're qualified to do, if that makes sense.
Last edited by snowqu33n; 09-05-2013 at 20:58.
09-05-2013 20:52 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
I have only worked as a casual - $27 an hour. Contact your local TAFE for pathways as I am sure you would be RPL'd for lot's of units. Have you thought about family day care and working for your self?
09-05-2013 21:03 #8
I did a 18mth course at TAFE which gave me Cert III and Diploma in children's services.
It is handy if you can get a traineeship as at least you have a job after its finished.
I'm finding it hard to get part time work. I don't really want full time due to some health issues and also being a single mum to a 4yr old I want to spend more time with him than not.
The pay isn't the greatest but you don't do the job just for the pay. Gotta love the tiny humans
Be prepared for lots of paperwork and you will take home work most nights if your the Kindy/preschool teacher or Lead Educator of a room
From Jan 2014 all centres with preschool room have to have Bachelor qualified Kindy teacher so will be lots of jobs from June happening.
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