Interview with Roxanne Elliot, founder of Care for Kids
Want to work in child care but not sure where to start?
The child care industry sector is an exciting place to be in at the moment. It’s finally gaining recognition for the important role it has in ensuring all kids have the best possible start in life. It’s a dynamic and flexible career that is embracing growth and change.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get into the industry, what type of training you may need and what attributes you need to build a successful career, no one is more poised to answer your queries than Roxanne Elliot, the founder of CareforKids.com.au.
The experience of building CareforKids.com.au from scratch has established Roxanne as one of Australia’s foremost experts on the early childhood education and care sector. She is regularly approached by media outlets to comment on sector related news and with 12 years of industry experience is well placed to provide feedback on key industry trends.
Roxanne says that the best way to figure out whether you are cut out for child care is to do a series of work placements and plenty of research. Open Colleges sought her out for her vast network of industry contacts and unique insight into the opportunities and obstacles facing this increasingly important sector.
She shares with us how to stay ahead of the game, what employers are truly looking for in a child care professional and lets us in on the latest trends in the child care industry.
Latest trends in child care
The early childhood education and care sector is finally gaining recognition for the important role it has in ensuring our kids have the best possible start in life. Australian providers offer excellent levels of care and regulatory changes in the sector mean that these standards will continually be improved in the future.
The energy in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector is so dynamic right now and providers seem more than willing to embrace the new quality standards. This make this sector an energetic and stimulating area to work in.
How the recent regulatory changes have impacted the industry
Standards will be constantly improved which is great for providers and even better for children. There are also more jobs available and hopefully in time we will see an increase in pay rates to reflect the important work that early childhood education and care providers do.
How can people ensure their qualifications are kept up to date?
Providers constantly tell us that the key to staying ahead of the game is to take advantage of any training opportunities and apply what you learn in those sessions to your day-to-day work life.
The top 3 characteristics employers are looking for in a child care professional are:
#1: A commitment to offering the highest standards of education and care to Australian kids.
#2: A willingness to get down and dirty with the kids.
#3: High levels of energy and a willingness to learn and adapt.
Many providers are exploring sustainability and building more environmentally aware environments. With an increased understanding about the importance of the early years, there is also an increased focus on building mental wellbeing and resilience in young children and the strategies early childhood providers can implement to support children, especially high risk kids, in these areas.
My best advice for those seeking to enter the child care sector
Try before you commit, many providers tell us that some people just aren’t cut out for child care, it is hard work, physically and emotionally tiring and has long hours! Despite this, the providers we speak with tell us the rewards are endless and working with children and their boundless horizons and zest for life make every day interesting and different.
Spending a week or two in a busy service will soon give you an idea of whether it’s the right job for you.