By Lara Cain Gray
Educating and nurturing young children is one of the most important responsibilities in any society. Research shows that quality education and care from birth to 6 years leads to better health, education and employment prospects later in life. Early childhood educators really can make a difference in someone else’s future.
Getting qualified in the Early Childhood field can be the start of a rewarding and challenging career educating young children. But did you know it can also be a launch pad into a range of other career options? Let’s take a closer look at some of the amazing places you can go with an Early Childhood diploma.
Lead the way in children’s services
Australia has a National Quality Framework in place for the children’s services sector, which has raised standards across the country for caregiver education. A diploma level qualification lets you take the lead in a centre-based care position. In most states, this is the highest qualification required for centre director or service management roles. Early Childhood diploma graduates enter the workforce with real industry experience through work placements and a solid understanding of Australia’s approved learning frameworks, making them an asset to any childcare environment.
You can complete a diploma in around 18 months of full time study and immediately start growing your childcare centre career. On the other hand, if you’re keen to take some time out to travel, or you’re looking for flexible employment around family commitments, an Early Childhood diploma sets you up for relief teaching or even working overseas as a nanny. Education is a career you can customise to suit you, no matter what your stage of life.
Careers inside and outside the classroom
Completing a diploma in Early Childhood studies will teach you about much more than curriculum and care duties. You’ll also be brushing up on skills in written and verbal communication, health and safety regulations, and time management. As you gain practical experience working with children, you’ll develop your gifts for patience, creativity and adaptability. These are all excellent, transferable skills that make you an asset in any office - especially public service roles, like education policy or curriculum development.
Early Childhood educators work in many places other than classrooms. They are crucial to the running of the imaginative, interactive programs kids love when they’re out and about: at museums, art galleries, zoos and conservation centres, for example. Qualified educators are behind the scenes of all the best children’s televisions programs, websites and apps. They make knowledgeable salespeople for educational books and classroom resources. Some people even combine their diploma with another skill, like sports coaching, to take a lead role in specialist associations or training facilities. Caring, enthusiastic educators are needed and appreciated wherever young children go to learn, play, socialise and grow.
Lastly, there are many opportunities for continued education, if you find you have a passion for study whilst completing your diploma. Consider moving on to a Bachelor of Education if you wish to work in primary schools, or challenge yourself with a higher degree that puts you at the cutting edge of research into childhood health and welfare.
Contact Swinburne today to find out how you can study a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care at their Hawthorn or Wantrina campuses.
VET/FEE Help is available for eligible students.