This blog post was written by Stephanie E. Stephanie is a child care trainer from Inspire Education and has many years of experience training new child care educators and working in childcare facilities.
How and why I got into Early Childhood Education and Care (Long Day Care) begins with a story:
I was about 21 when I started in the child care industry, and I have previously been working for a big, BIG debt collection company since I was 18 when I decided I’ve had enough.
What I hated about the job was the disconnect I had with people (I was in a call-centre type environment surrounded by technology and loud phone calls daily); sure, I made contact with them, but it wasn’t for a positive reason.
Also, a lot of people I spoke to were ones that I couldn’t actually help – they were undergoing their own troubles in life and I was limited to what I could say or do due to my role.
How a Child Made me Realise it was Time to Switch to a Career in Child Care
I have always been one of those weirdos that decorated their desk in an insane manner – I had toys scattered everywhere, wooden carvings of animals going up around the edge of my monitors, fluffy colourful pens, etc.
When I made the decision to change careers, I was discussing it with a friend who had just had their first child.
We were in her house and she was holding her little one, when she offered me to hold her baby in which I had no clue how to react. I had never been around young children, let alone held one.
When her daughter was in my arms I felt awkward, but then I thought about how they would grow up in a household that was loving, spunky and nurturing.
It was then I thought that maybe working with young children would be my way of making a difference. It was then I was able to answer why do you want to work in childcare?
For the Love of the Job and the Love of Children
So, without further ado, here is why I love working in childcare:
1. The children are always the No. 1 reason.
Every child is unique and that is an understatement.
They can make you laugh, cry and even pull your hair out. But it’s not on purpose and you will always come back because they are the ones who need the most care in this world.
Working in the early childhood education sector will bolster your love for children — this alone can justify that it is such a rewarding job that can cause a positive difference, and help children grow and guide them during their early years.
2. Creativity, craziness and company.
I was almost soulless by the time I left debt collection, but being in a stimulating, bright and colourful environment allowed me to resurrect my creativity and bring out my inner child.
Working in child care can reignite a creative and colourful side of you that may have been lost, or learn it from scratch if it isn’t really your thing.
Bottom line is, taking this career path can bring out a joyful spark in your life, which can be easily the main answer I can give if someone asks me why become an early childhood teacher?
3. The interactions in early childhood education are of genuine value.
Children LOVE having company – and it’s mostly either for a playful or nurturing purpose – not for spite, or not because they have to.
It’s an interaction you can take enjoyment and real comfort from, and an added bonus is it’s what you do for a living — one of the charms of a child care career.
No matter how stressed you might feel at the beginning of the day, it’s always worth it when you get to see children running around with big smiles on their faces. You’re actually in a career that gives and take: You help in promoting early childhood development, while you find yourself to be comforted with their bright and joyful presence.
If you’re someone who’s looking to become a child care worker, these are just some of the heaps of great stuff childcare workers get to experience which only reinforces how working in childhood education and care is such a smart career choice.
4. There is always so much to learn in child care
I love to learn new things – working with children were, and still is a HUGE learning experience.
Not one child is the same (neither their backgrounds, etc.) and even though some of the things you cover in your qualifications can seem a bit outdated (theories, etc.), it doesn’t mean you can’t take on a new perspective towards them.
5. The ‘team’ is always in the child care centre
Granted each workplace has its ups and downs, but in a child care setting, you will find that the people you work with are like family…kooky and sometimes awkward, but overall supportive.
Every childcare worker considers the centre as a safe haven. You may think this is only true for children, but no.
Working in child care means you also get to share a safe space and peaceful environment. Children’s health isn’t the only priority, but yours as well. — a pretty cool perk if you ask me, and is just one of many. Just goes to show that this rewarding early childhood sector is such a cool and safe workspace to be in.
6. A sense of community
Other jobs, particularly those in an office, can be quite restrictive on who you interact with.
In early childhood education, your role involves speaking with pretty much everyone as it’s crucial in doing right by the children you care for.
Developing relationships and expanding your social circle has never been so simple!
So if you want to have a stable job while maintaining good and genuine relationships, a smart career choice would definitely be in child care.
7. The variation in shifts (The 9-5 workday can get boring)
Most childcare centres are open for about 11 to 12 hours, so as a child care worker, there is some wiggle room to move with regards to when you can work.
The early childhood centres I’ve worked with have been supportive in allowing me to have the full range of shifts, and also to work with as many of the other early childhood educators as possible (as a float).
8. A chance to educate others— both children and adults
When working in early childhood education, you aren’t only teaching children.
You are also teaching other people you work with, the parents and the community what they may not know about their children’s lives and littler members of the society.
Early childhood educators are the most capable and the best candidates to educate both children and adults on life in general. Both parties will sure learn heaps of stuff within early childhood, and even outside of it. You become a positive role model not only to children but to everyone else in the community.
9. At the end of the day (every day)… you have made a difference. ‘Nough said.
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