7 reasons for childcare workers to invest in professional development

7 reasons for childcare workers to invest in professional development

What is professional development in childcare?

“Professional development” is the development of new skills, knowledge and experience. You can use it to help your personal development and advance your career in the childcare sector. Professional development can include courses, work-based learning, distance learning programs, studying on your own, relevant volunteering work, coaching, tutoring, teaching, going to lectures, seminars or conferences and a range of other activities.

So what are the reasons to invest in professional development in childcare?

7 Reasons for Childcare Workers to Invest in Professional Development

  1. Keep your job – new childcare regulations in Australia require you to have particular qualifications to be employed in many roles in childcare. For example, a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (aka Children’s Services) is required to be a childcare worker in long day care settings.
  2. Advance your career – taking the next step up in your childcare career frequently requires you to have higher level qualifications. Build on your Certificate III in with a Diploma and use that as an entry point into your university Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. You can also move from childcare into related careers – for instance, earn a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to go with your Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education, then teach those qualifications.
  3. Help you stay at the cutting edge of early childhood education and care – “best practices” change constantly in every industry. Staying at the cutting edge can make you more valuable to your employer and you can help ensure the kids you look after get the best care.
  4. You have a moral obligation – when you’re caring for kids you have a responsibility to make sure they go home safe at the end of the day. Courses like the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care include basic first aid but you can build on that yourself with more advanced first aid qualifications or courses to take care of kids with special needs.
  5. Keep up with the latest technology – even within the last few years, technology like tablets and smart phones have revolutionised the way we work and play. Learn how to use this technology to improve learning for the kids in your care (and also protect them from harmful effects that may come with the technology).
  6. Stay up to date with the latest regulations – Australia has introduced several childcare related regulations in recent years including the National Quality Framework and the Early Years Learning Framework. Do you know what your responsibilities are? How do they affect your childcare service?
  7. You might just enjoy learning – even if you don’t, there are many advantages to continuous lifelong learning. It can help you make new friends and develop relationships, keep your mind active, help you find meaning in life, adapt to change, make the world a better place, increase your wisdom, fully develop your natural abilities, open your mind, and keep you actively involved as a contributor to society.

Advantages of professional development for childcare centres and employers

Childcare centers who develop their workers receive several benefits

Professional development is not only important for your career, the childcare centre you work for or manage also benefits. Workplaces that have a policy of continuous professional development and education have been shown to have:

  • Reduced sickness and absenteeism
  • Reduced error rates
  • Reduced staff turnover
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Employees becoming more willing to learn new things and take up the employer’s training
  • Employees becoming more confident to apply for internal promotion
  • Improved industrial relations

Start your childcare professional development today

Professional development is an ongoing process of reflecting on your current skills and knowledge, working out what you’d like to learn next and then doing it. Anything that helps you develop your skills, knowledge or competence at work can be called professional development.

If you need help, look for “mentors” – people who have a job you’d like to do or who have been in the industry a long time and have lots of experience. They can give you ideas, point out the best training and guide your professional development.

Start planning today and get your professional development underway!

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