What is Early Childhood Education?

by Craig Boyle
Posted: March 14, 2019

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The term early childhood education is often misunderstood or perceived incorrectly. What exactly denotes ‘early childhood’ and what sort of teaching will you be doing?

We have put together a useful guide to explain the category and show why it’s such a fantastic field to work in. Broadly, the term refers to the teaching of children from birth up to 5 years of age. These young minds are at their most impressionable and vulnerable, requiring a Teacher who can support and develop them mentally, emotionally and sometimes even physically. As an Early Childhood Educator, you’ll prepare children for school and give them the best possible foundations for a successful lifetime of learning.

What does an Early Childhood Educator do?

As an Early Childhood Educator, you’ll be tasked with helping develop children at a critical early stage. You will complete a course such as the Diploma of Early Childhood Education, which will enable you to act as a Childcare Educator, Family Day Care Educator, Children’s Advisor or similar operational role. If working in a classroom environment, it will typically be a small class where you will employ either 1 to 1 teaching or small class sizes.

You will be tasked with ensuring that children are provided with a well-rounded curriculum that will develop them in all key areas. You may either work directly with children where you’ll help implement the curriculum, or act in a managerial role where you’ll help put the framework together.

It’s likely that your duties or responsibilities will also address a child’s health – including aspects such as nutrition and family networks. This early childhood stage is critical in life, so it’s important that these aspects are in place to ensure a child can enter primary education successfully.

One of the key differences between early childhood and standard education is that there is a greater onus on development over teaching, meaning you MUST flag concerns and work together with service networks to ensure a child’s emotional and physical wellbeing is supported. This is in addition to their educational requirements.

How to become an Early Childhood Educator

The good news is that being an Early Childhood Educator requires less intensive study as opposed to traditional teaching routes. You can enter the field as an assistant by studying a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, and eventually enter a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care if you’d like to become more senior. You can also combine the courses with a Dual Qualification in both CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.



Craig Boyle
Craig is a copywriter working for Open Colleges. He's originally from the small city of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK, so he is enjoying exploring sunny Sydney. Craig's career passions include marketing, small business, tech, start-ups and leadership.

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