Child care (aka daycare or childminding) is the supervision and caring for a child or children, usually from ages 0 to 12 years. As a child care worker, you’ll be responsible for the care of children within a centre, or child care facility. So in a nutshell, this is what defines a childcare worker job description.
You’ll get to work with families in their private homes and in communities as daycare workers in order to provide the best care possible based on the needs of each child.
Part of your job will be helping to create and implement programs at a center – all while making sure it feels like home!
A more senior child care professional, such as a group leader or the centre manager, will supervise you and provide direction if it’s needed.
In Australia, child care professionals are now commonly known as Early Childhood Educators. Professionals who specialise in providing care and appropriate development activities for children aged 5-12 after school hours and during vacation periods are called Out-of-School Services Workers.
What are the Key Responsibilities and Duties of Child Care Workers?
Child care workers enjoy an exciting, active role in which they get to help shape the growth and learning of children. There is a wide range of child care educator responsibilities that they need to be mindful of on a regular basis, including:
Keeping young children safe
Your first priority is always to make sure the children stay safe and healthy. You should be on the lookout for children using toys or other supplies in a dangerous way, bullying or fighting, or kids wandering off into unsupervised areas. All their basic needs should be attended to as well.
Teaching social skills
Child care is one of the first places many young children will have regular social interaction with other children.
Good manners and values don’t come naturally to every child, so you’ll need to show them how to play and take part in educational and recreational activities, share and communicate with each other nicely.
This is also the best opportunity for them to hone their interpersonal skills during their early years.
You and your team will work together to prepare and serve food for the children at meal times. You must be keen and responsible to keep food preparation areas clean, well-stocked, and pay attention to dietary and allergy restrictions provided by parents and make sure you wash your hands and follow other sanitary procedures.
Meeting with parents
You might be spending nearly as much time with a child as their parents, so regular communication is essential.
Keeping parents up to date with what their child is learning, how they are behaving, and how they are developing is important. You might notice problems their parents haven’t seen yet.
The child can also develop new health and dietary requirements you need to know. In the end, you both need to work together to ensure the child’s happiness and growth
Educating through play
You’ll help to establish a routine of fun, play-based activities to help children learn and develop. The playrooms found in childcare centres can have a range of toys, puzzles, games, and materials children can use for social development.
These can be used to introduce concepts like math, sorting, cause, and effect, social abilities, and narrative skills. You can contribute new resources to playrooms in childcare centres as long as they are safe and appropriate.
Children also need some free time throughout the day to explore their own interests and follow their own natural curiosity. Playing games is always the way to go.
Overseeing children’s hygiene
Babies and small children need help keeping themselves clean and are also learning basic personal hygiene skills. You may need to change a baby’s and a toddler’s diapers, and teach children how to use the toilet.
Children also need to be reminded to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, after playing games, before eating, and to wipe their nose when it’s running or cover their mouth when coughing and sneezing — all to keep good hygiene.
A key responsibility is creating a nurturing, loving, and supporting environment for children to learn and develop.
You will need to be patient, caring, and willing to intervene when there is a problem, without becoming angry or frustrated. As a child care worker, you will also need to balance praise and freedom with positive discipline.
What Are Useful Attributes and Traits for a Child Care Worker?
In general, it’s useful for child care workers to have:
- Good physical fitness to be able to keep up with children and lift them when required.
- Good observation skills and be able to stay alert throughout the day.
- Teamwork skills to help out with shared activities like preparing food.
- Good communication skills to work with children’s education and communicate to their parents effectively.
- Patience to cope with the normal demands of childhood development and their care.
- The willingness to accept responsibility for the health, safety, and well-being of other people’s children.
Training to Become a Child Care Professional
The minimum qualification required to become a child care worker is the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. It’s designed to develop the skills you’ll need to work with children aged 0-5 years in long daycare services. Click here for more information about the course.
CHC40113 Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care
The Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care is designed to develop the skills you need to care for children aged 5-12 after school hours and during vacation periods as an Out-of-School Services Worker.
The Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care is designed to develop the skills you will need to work as a group leader, child development worker, family childcare providers, or child care centre manager in long daycare services.
The Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care will prepare you to handle the rigorous demands of a career in childcare, but now it’s even easier than before!
You can enrol directly into your Diploma without having completed all those hard classes — as the Diploma qualification now also includes all the skills you learn in the Cert III Child Care course.
Child care regulations require at least half of childcare workers. This means a Diploma-qualified child care worker is typically in high demand across Australia. Click here for more information about the course and learn more about child care services.
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