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Early Childhood Educator

VOC Course Interview Subject Prerequisites Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Working With Children check Police Check First Aid

Also known as Child Care Worker, Child Care Assistant, Creche Attendant and Child Care Aide.

Early childhood educators care for the social, emotional, physical and educational needs of infants and young children in various care settings.

Early childhood educators' duties and hours of work vary. Shiftwork is often required.

Early childhood educators often share basic tasks and work in teams.

They spend long periods on their feet and often have to lift and carry children and move equipment.


    Early childhood educators may perform the following tasks:

  • plan and implement developmental programmes based on observation of individual children
  • observe and record children's growth, behaviour and development, and discuss these with parents
  • integrate children with special needs into the programme, modifying the programme and the physical environment if necessary
  • supervise and train staff
  • prepare play and learning materials and set up the children's environment
  • supervise children's play, ensuring their physical safety at all times
  • help children with daily routines such as toileting, dressing, eating and sleeping
  • guide children's behaviour and social development
  • prepare light snacks and meals
  • maintain a safe, clean and appealing environment
  • perform basic first aid in emergencies


  • alert, observant and active
  • able to use judgment and initiative
  • willing to accept responsibility
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to relate well to children and their parents
  • patient
  • able to lift children and equipment
Very Good Outlook
Very Good Outlook for this career!

Interest Area

Artistic/Creative Clerical/Administrative Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact Outdoor


Out-of-school Services Worker - provides stimulating and developmentally appropriate activities for children aged five to twelve years. Hours of duty vary for after-school and vacation care (ranging from part time or casual to full time).


VOC Course Interview Subject Prerequisites Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Working With Children check Police Check First Aid

To become an early childhood educator you usually have to complete a VOC qualification in early childhood education and care or school age education and care. Applicants may be required to attend an interview. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You may be able to study through distance education.

You can also become an early childhood educator through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Children's Services, Early Childhood Education and Care or School Age Education and Care.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Community Services Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within the industry.

    To work in child care you will need to obtain a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT). A National Police Certificate may also be required. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

    You must also hold an approved Provide First Aid Certificate and have completed training in anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma management. Contact the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority for more information.


Early childhood educators are employed in private, government and community-based childcare centres, kindergartens and creches. They may also work in hospitals, women's shelters and neighbourhood houses. Experienced, fully qualified early childhood educators may progress to coordinate or manage a licensed childcare centre. While this is a growing occupation, it is also very popular and competition for jobs may be strong.

Self-employment prospects exist by becoming a registered family day care provider in your own home. See the separate entry for Family Day Care Educator.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Early Childhood Educator Australian Childcare Alliance Child Care NSW Early Childhood Education Directorate NSW Department of Education and Communities NSW Working with Children Check Office of Regulatory Services (ACT)

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