Struggling as Queensland ECT in Childcare Setting

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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:06 pm

Struggling as Queensland ECT in Childcare Setting

Post by florenceemmett » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:03 pm


I'm an early childhood teacher in a childcare centre, running the kindergarten group three days a week as I have a young son.

I completed a Bachelor of Education (Primary) but never got a job in a school as I decided that early childhood was where I wanted to work and so did the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. I have been working in this rural centre and job for 2 years.

However... I'm considering applying for a job as a Prep teacher through Education Queensland, that should be opening up in the local school as I'm struggling with my role at the centre.

I would like to connect with and get advice on this move from other teachers who are ECTs in childcare centres or ones that have moved onto other jobs

I struggle with:
- An overall lack of consistency, lack of non-contact time to plan and reflect, even unpaid, having 8 hour days with 50 minutes total breaks for eating and pumping breast milk, is effecting how well I'm able to do my job. When I do get non-contact time it's sprung on me, when we have enough staff to cover, and with no consistency.
- The different makeup of kids every day, with some only coming for one day a week, making planning for learning very complicated.
- Different and/or low numbers also mean we have to combine with younger children in a different room, which effects how I can implement learning I've planned for. Also low number make me feel like I'm not helping enough kids in our community.
- This "family grouping" also has me feeling like a baby sitter and that I'm not doing my job as a Kindy teacher. I know babies learn just as much as the Kindy kids and that routines around changing nappies and feeding are great learning opportunities and that cleaning up after kids is just part of the job, but I feel that the time I have to put towards this would be better spent focusing on working with "my" Kindy kids, helping them learn in a play-based manner and preparing them for school.
- Not being seen as a "real" teacher, with parents not listening to my concerns about their children until the "big" school, where things seems to be magically achieved.
- The costs of long daycare, compared to other pre-prep/kindergarten services, meaning that many children in our low socioeconomic status community don't access any form of early childhood education.

I would like to move to Prep for more professional recognition, consistency and the ability to have a positive impact on more kids in my community. Am I idealising Prep teaching because of my current struggles in child care or may I find these things in Prep teaching???

Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated

Kind Regards
An Advice-Seeking Teacher

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Re: Struggling as Queensland ECT in Childcare Setting

Post by Lorina » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:46 am

These are the challenges when working in an early childhood service.

It’s extremely difficult at times as an ECT to teach when you have to consider all other factors like you mentioned.

So you have to consider other ways...

- Have frequent circular times/group times throughout the day . This enables you to interact with the children as a group and you can implement your teaching of concepts, discussions here. It doesn’t have to be long each time... only extend it if the children show interest...

- Even during family grouping you can take your children, sit with them and have a group session with them within the room since you’re still in ratio...

- Always document group discussions on chart paper. Show the children’s learning. If you’re doing a brain storm on a topic. Write the children’s thoughts, ideas, questions, responses on chart paper and use this as a basis to extend it further.

- The experiences you provide throughout the day can be based more on school readiness, more teaching, again with family grouping, set these experiences up in a part of the room for your preschoolers to engage in for example lots of hands on experiences in letters, numbers, shapes, name recognition, self help skills etc.

I understand that as an ECT, that at some services it’s not an ideal situation to be in and you feel like you’re only there to make sure that the pet is filled but grab this opportunity and find ways to use it to your advantage.

Don’t worry about Parents they will start noticing the difference...

Hope this helps give you ideas!


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