Childcare is an essential service that can also be a rewarding career. As a childcare educator, you can inspire, delight, and assist in young children’s development each and every day. Unlike other trades, getting into childcare is relatively easy, but certain things are required to get started.

At Child’s Play ELC, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality childcare with dedicated and passionate staff. We have assisted in the progression of a number of educators and are dedicated to helping them get their start in our early learning centres.

How to get started in childcare

This article will go into the requirements of every application should you consider applying for a position at Child’s Play ELC.

1. Get Certified

To be a childcare educator in Australia, you will need to have (or be working towards) a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. This certificate provides you with the fundamentals of childhood development and the skills to plan activities and provide education in a range of childcare settings. The theory and application skills you will obtain will help you support children in reaching their full potential.

In Victoria, flexible study options are available, and most programs include the necessary 120 hours of placement. This certification can open doors to other career pathways for people genuinely interested in education and young children. Additionally, if this is your first Certificate III, you may be eligible for government funding.

2. Have your checks ready

In Victoria, there are a variety of background checks required to assist employers with securing the right educators.

  • A Paid Working with Children Check is required.
    A Working with Children Check rigorously assesses your professional conduct, potential criminal history and compliance with health orders. Under the Privacy Act (2014), they will collect personal information and may distribute it if required to complete the check. This check helps identify why you want to work with children and in what capacity. In Victoria, you can apply online provided you have 100 points of ID and a smartphone.
  • First Aid Certificate 
    In childcare, accidents happen, and as educators, we need to have the required training to remain calm and assist the sick or injured child most appropriately. It is recommended you at least obtain ‎HLTAID011 in First Aid Training and keep this as up to date as possible.
  • Current Police Check 
    As required with most government jobs, a current police check is required to make a formal decision on whether or not it is suitable for you to be working with young children.

3. Make Connections

Most programs require you to obtain 120 hours of placement which is a fantastic opportunity to network and make connections with other educators, room leaders and centre directors. By networking and making connections with other educators, you are not only showing your passion for childcare but putting yourself in a position to gain greater insight into the childcare industry.

After placement, these connections can turn into referrals and recommendations and may even help you continue working at the childcare centre your placement took place at. Even if you aren’t able to continue working at the same centre, these referrals can help you get your career started.

4. Get Experience

As someone getting started in childcare, we recommend that you add extra experience to your certificate as it shows you are keen to be working with children. You may gain more experience by being a volunteer, babysitting or working with children in another capacity such as a sports coach or an excursion leader. This experience will also better prepare you for what to expect in childcare and provide you with more strategies to help relate to children and assist in their development.

The Skills You Need

Some of the skills you will need as an educator include the following:

These skills will assist you in building relationships with families and the surrounding community and broaden your understanding of children’s development. In addition to these skills, some personal attributes such as the following are also highly valued in childcare:

  • Having compassion
  • Being reliable
  • Having patience

Have the skills to be a childcare educator?

We are actively looking for new educators to join Child’s Play ELC. Visit our Careers Page to find out more about the positions and placements available.