Choose a Career in Early Childhood Education and Care
With demand for Australian childcare workers on the rise, there has been no better time than this for considering a career start – or turn – in Early Childhood education.
According to Associate Professor Marianne Fenech, Program Director of Early Childhood Education at the University of Sydney, the high demand for early childhood teachers today is actually due to problems that have been encountered in the early learning sector in the recent past. The lack of qualifications of teachers in childcare centres produced results that have only proven that it’s not enough just to have any educational degree or background.
Teaching learners in the earliest stages of growth necessitates a special and very different approach in order to foster their physical, emotional, mental and cognitive health. A young child’s learning process is distinctly different from that of an adult, and it’s a difference that Early Childhood Educators should be well aware of, if they are to be truly effective at teaching. Quality education for early learners is the current aim of the sector. As such, educators will need to have completed a degree in Early Childhood education to teach young learners.
According to recent reports by Future Tracks and the Front Project, an additional 29,000 Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) jobs in Australia will need to be filled by 2023. The reports further state that “If action is not taken soon, one-third of preschool services will not have a trained teacher on staff within four years.”
Although this demand for ECT has caused a surge in teacher training courses in TAFE and Australian Universities, worries still can’t be put to rest on the issue of getting enough qualified teachers to fill the need.
Continued teacher shortage has been due to a number of factors, according to one report by Upskilling in Early Education. Results from surveyed educators reveal that up to 84% who wanted to get a teaching degree didn’t pursue it for these reasons:
1. The benefits in terms of improved pay and conditions were not clear
2. The challenge of managing the triple workload of paid work, family obligations and study was overwhelming
3. Anxiety about being able to meet academic standards
4. Limited employer support for intensive study
5. Financial constraints and cost
Thus, education institutions are highly encouraged to offer credits for Diplomas. Additionally, since full-time course loads often cover just 2-3 days in a week, it’s possible to continue working while studying for a degree.
To Associate Professor Fenech, the benefits of completing a degree focused in early childhood care are clear: “Educators will have a stronger theoretical knowledge base to work from. They’ll be better prepared, have more confidence, and be able to lead pedagogy in early childhood settings.”
If you’re passionate about teaching young children, then now is the best time to complete a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care at Education Training and Employment Australia (ETEA). As a leading Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Australia, ETEA has campuses all over the country to meet your educational needs conveniently, giving you the quality training you need for employment as an ECT. An industry with a very high demand for this job role awaits. Reach out to us now.
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