Although they may seem untouchable at times, the majority of famous and successful people started their journeys in the humble environment of a preschool or Grade 1 classroom. If you pursue a career in educare, then you may well be raising the next generation of superstars!

Read on to discover the educare practitioner’s role in society, and why this career path may well be perfect for you.


The educare professional’s importance in society

As the name suggests, educare is a more holistic concept than education alone. It involves educating children, while also providing them with a caring environment conducive to learning. Educare therefore includes aspects such as nutrition, basic life skills, health, and sensory and practical skills.

The first seven years of a child’s life offer the greatest window of opportunity for development. Educare professionals operate in this space and therefore hold tremendous responsibility, overseeing the development of:

  • Sensory learning: helping children to identify sights, smells, sounds and textures.
  • Cognitive skills: exposing children to the basics of arithmetic, language, memory, learning, reasoning and listening, normally through play-based activities.
  • Social skills: fostering interaction with peers, good manners and the development of friendships.
  • Motor skills: exposing children to activities that help them to develop basic motor skills such as co-ordination and muscle movements.
  • Health awareness: educating children on proper nutrition, cleanliness and overall health.

Working in day care centres, in preschools, and in private homes, educare practitioners play a vital role in laying the foundations for the rest of a person’s life, so no one can deny that they are amongst the most important people in any society.


Is a career in educare for you?

If you love children and are excited by the idea of helping them reach their full potential, then that’s already a good sign that you would enjoy a career in educare. But before making a decision, you should also know the minimum job requirements. These include:

  • A national qualification in educare. In order to be considered for a job in educare, you need at least an N4 level qualification, such as the National Certificate: N4 Educare. After gaining this qualification, you can decide to pursue N5 and N6 level courses to further your knowledge. If you then gain 18 months of practical experience, you can apply for a National Diploma.
  • A passion for working with children.
  • Soft skills such as patience, a sense of responsibility, enthusiasm, a good work ethic, creativity, trustworthiness, integrity and problem-solving. You’ll also need social and communication skills, since you’ll be required to constantly interact with parents and colleagues, as well as with the children themselves.

The technical skills and knowledge you’ll need to care for and educate young children will be included in your educare courses. The courses encompass areas such as teaching methods, child health, educational psychology, personnel development, day care management and communication.


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