As a childcare professional, you will spend your days teaching children how to sit, crawl, walk, talk, draw and count. Childcare professionals have a huge impact on a child’s life as they shape young minds in the foundation phase. If you are a patient and nurturing person who loves kids, this might be the perfect career for you.
Working with children can be a joyful and rewarding experience. If you’re starting your childcare career, there are various routes you can take. We’ve outlined three main career areas in the childcare field to help clarify your options:
1 – The administrative path in childcare
If you’re quite an organised person who can take on many administrative responsibilities such as filing, scheduling, and co-ordinating, you might enjoy managing the day-to-day tasks at a daycare facility. Some job options in this line of work include becoming an aftercare assistant or a crèche assistant. In this career path, you can also work your way up to becoming a daycare centre administrator or manager. With enough experience and upskilling (for example, through a business management course), you could even start your very own daycare centre!
2 – The babysitting/au pairing career path
Babysitters and au pairs care for children when their parents are not around, generally in those families’ homes. Depending on your arrangement with the parents, your duties may include cooking, shopping, or fetching the kids from school too, but the main role is to mind the children, feed them, clean up after them, and entertain them.
Au pairs usually live in the family homes, where babysitters or nannies might not. A childminder, on the other hand, will look after children in their own home, and not go to the parents’ homes.
3 – The teaching career path in childcare
If you think you have the right kind of personality to manage a larger group of children, you might enjoy working in a classroom environment. Specific childcare career options in this area include becoming a playschool teacher or an assistant Grade R teacher. Duties may include teaching your class basic skills like drawing and counting through various games and activities, as well as preparing study material and supervising the children. With this career path, you always have the option of studying further in the education field and teaching at higher levels (primary school and high school) if you so choose.
The one thing all of these career paths have in common is that you must be able to work with children on a day-to-day basis. Is that something you could see yourself doing? If the answer is yes, then you’re in luck.
If you are starting your career in childcare, consider enrolling in one of these childhood development courses via distance learning, where you can study at your own pace from home, or while you work. Consider your options, further your education hassle-free and start flourishing in your childcare career.
Note: This article was originally posted on 22 February 2017, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Updated by: Lungiswa Nyatyowa