Career change to childcare

FAQs on qualifications, starting a childcare business, starting a new job, contracts etc.
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Questionable
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Career change to childcare

Post by Questionable » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:46 pm

I've been working in the social welfare field and have a university degree in social science.
Since having my children, I have been considering a career change and I'm drawn to childcare. My field of work has changed drastically over the past 2 years and I'm not at all interested in any of the new roles that I am qualified for. If I must be honest, I'm quite burnt-out and I didn't realise this until I quit my job a few months back and became a sahm.

Now I'm trying to decide whether to study something while I am at home for a while.
1. Has anyone had a career change to childcare? How do you feel about it now?
2. Would you have a career change to childcare if the wage drop is up to 1/2 of your previous wage?
3. Pros and cons of working in early childhood education and care?


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Lorina
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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by Lorina » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:13 am

Working in early childhood is a fulfilling experience but it's also hard work and it's non stop. You are working in a room with either one or a couple of other Educators, with up to 15 or 20 children (or more, depending on the ages and ratios of course), you have a routine to follow, deal with behaviour challenges, toileting, setting up experiences, cleaning etc. have documentation to complete throughout the day and you collaborate with parents and other Educators within the service to provide high-quality care and education to the children.

It's a rewarding experience but it does take its toll some days... I guess it's like with any job you get the good and the bad!

However, it's a rewarding experience and nothing can compare with the relationships you develop with each individual child and their families.

In regards to money etc. you don't get into the industry for the money... wages are not that great compared to what you can earn elsewhere for a more simplified job. You do it for the passion of working with and educating children.

:geek:,
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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by Butterflyblue » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:09 pm

Working in childcare is an amazing career and is definitely very rewarding! It isn’t perfect, but is pretty close :inlove:

Have you considered working as a family daycare educator?
You get to work from home, the hours you want and look after your own children as well!
It’s a great option especially for sahm’s
In terms of pay it can vary but is generally very good as far as annual income goes. The main benefit of family daycare is you can study and work at the same time

Pros of childcare overall would have to be helping children to learn and develop through play, watching them discover the world and doing lots of fun activities with them. Us educators often form very close bonds with the children as well as their families and that in itself really is priceless.
The major con would be the workload, especially the paperwork which can be tough for some but I guess that’s what most jobs are like.
It certainly isn’t perfect, but there are many different roles and types of work available in different settings to explore.

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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by Questionable » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:31 pm

Thank you both for your feedback!

I'm still so undecided on what to do. A part of me would like the change. The paperwork doesnt bother me as such, as my previous roles included a lot of paperwork (I actually enjoy office work so that is a totally different option I am considering).

I am appealed by childcare because I love kids and I like feeling like I am helping people. There is something about caring for children, and supporting and teaching them that sounds fulfilling.

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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by Lorina » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:40 pm

Questionable wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:31 pm
Thank you both for your feedback!

I'm still so undecided on what to do. A part of me would like the change. The paperwork doesnt bother me as such, as my previous roles included a lot of paperwork (I actually enjoy office work so that is a totally different option I am considering).

I am appealed by childcare because I love kids and I like feeling like I am helping people. There is something about caring for children, and supporting and teaching them that sounds fulfilling.

It sounds like you're heading in the right direction of working in early childhood!

You will need to be enrolled in a cert 3 qualification course minimum before you can begin working in a centre... so you also need to consider that you will have to study as well...

It's a hard decision to make!

:geek:,
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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by Butterflyblue » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:57 pm

Fair enough, there’s a lot to think about and take in!
In the mean time you may find the following helpful:

Childcare as an industry:
https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/careers ... are-worker

Full employment projections:
http://lmip.gov.au/default.aspx?LMIP/Ga ... rojections

Education and training occupations:
https://joboutlook.gov.au/IndustrySpeci ... Industry=P

Childcare occupations:
https://joboutlook.gov.au/occupation.as ... 1&graph=EG

The Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
https://www.acecqa.gov.au/

Course information:
https://www.myskills.gov.au/
https://www.australia.gov.au/informatio ... d-training

You can also try volunteering as well to see what its all about and if you like it! :)

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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by miss_sarah » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:00 pm

Hi! I have recently changed careers to early childhood and have been in the industry for about 4 months. I am studying cert 3 whilst working full time, I'm in my 30s and I have two preschoolers. I really do enjoy it, however I could not do it forever and am already thinking about my next move, although it will still be working with children.
My wage has dropped about $20-25k/yr which has definitely been an adjustment, however less earnings means less tax and cheaper childcare!! If you have your children at your centre you will more than likely get a staff discount too which helps. I am lucky to not be on a traineeship but am paid as an 'unqualified assistant educator' which is a bit more/hour. I am fortunate that my husband earns enough that we were able to have my wage drop so much and still be ok.
There is a lot involved in the role - I currently work as the assistant educator in the nursery which I love, but it literally doesn't stop all day. We are constantly run off our feet and there is no down time. You don't go into childcare for the money, but if you can live with that, the work is very rewarding. I love that I get more time with my children now and have a better work/life balance, and to me that is worth more than my salary.

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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by Questionable » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:45 pm

Thanks MissSarah for sharing your experience!
May I ask what are the main reasons for you not seeing it as a long term job?
I think its great that you did give it a go though! What sort of options are you looking at?
I think my biggest fear is that I always worked in roles that were constantly changing, taking on new programs/projects so it wasn't monotonous. I worry about doing all the training to only find that I don't enjoy it in the long run but if there are other types of opportunities (with a diploma qualification) then I'm leaning towards giving it a go. So hard to know what to do!

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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by leenie » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:44 pm

I'm doing a BA social science to get me out of oshc!
I'm doing a major in children and family and found the child development, current research in brain development and attachment etc really interesting. Whether I end trying out LDC I don't know. My degree allows me to work as an ECT when finished.
I'm hoping through third year i'll see what is out there apart from childcare.

Working in oshc 14yrs you get burnt out. In NSW oshc carries a high load of unqualified people-a lot of uni students so it feels 20% of the people do 80% of the real childcare work-working with children ie everything outside of preparing avo tea, cleaning-tidying up, basic supervision and basic child behaviour management. I don't know what it is like in other states where there is a qualification requirement?

Doing cert 3 gives you a good introduction into the childcare industry. You probably need to do at least 1-2 years doing the practical work to see if it is really for you, with different ages.

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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by miss_sarah » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:39 pm

It is a very demanding job - physically, emotionally, mentally, however the pay does not reflect the actual work that goes into each day. In the nursery it is particularly demanding as we go off the children's individual routines so there is no downtime. It is a very undervalued profession. To put it into perspective - you earn more per hour working at a supermarket than once you're a qualified early childhood educator! However as I said, the work is very rewarding and it's the children that keep me coming back each day.

I am looking into education support and working as a teacher aide as I had been tossing up between the two for quite a while, however I didn't have a lot of spare time to study in my previous job so thought the best option was to go into childcare as I could work whilst studying. The only thing about education support is there's not very much full time work, so I would probably stay on with my current employer as a casual and do both.

My dream has always been to teach - I actually studied 2 years of my Primary Ed degree many years ago when I left school, so I'm hoping to do my education support certificate next and when both of my children are at school, go back to uni and study my B.Ed. If you do your Diploma and decide you want to teach, you can get a year off your B.Ed (Early Childhood) plus you may get more from what you have studied in your previous degree. This degree allows you to teach up to year 3 too so if you decide early childhood is not for you, you can use it for schools. There's also going into management/director roles which only require either cert 3 or diploma if that's more your field. It really is such a hard decision!!

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Re: Career change to childcare

Post by mirrorreflex » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:22 pm

I swapped over from being a highschool teacher to work in early childhood, as an early childhood teacher.

One of the things that I noted is that in comparison to when I was a new graduate secondary school teacher is that there is significantly less support.

I think the reason I feel that way is because I did not work my way up from a certificate, then to a diploma and then to a degree. The majority of people who enter the industry do take that route. Which means that they have had many years as a diploma or certificate level before being a teacher and taking on that responsibility. Also based on my experience I would not recommend doing the Grad Dip qualification because I felt that the course poorly covered material.

I just graduated so I haven't been the industry long.

But I agree with the other suggestions of starting a home day care.

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