6 Childcare Educator Responsibilities: With Skills
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 24 October 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Childcare educators perform an important role in providing care to infants and young children, providing vital activities that are central to their development. Candidates interested in becoming childcare educators may wish to understand these professionals' primary responsibilities before they apply for a role. Understanding these responsibilities can help candidates decide whether they have the right skills and industry knowledge to provide these vital services. In this article, we discuss the responsibilities of a child care educator and provide six examples, with a guide to how these professionals use their skills in the workplace.
What are childcare educator responsibilities?
Child care educator responsibilities refer to the primary duties that child care educators fulfil to take care of children and contribute toward their social, emotional and physical development. These professionals typically work in nurseries, pre-schools and other early childcare settings to provide activities and support to children and infants. Typically, childcare educators perform similar roles to teachers, such as by preparing learning materials to support development, tracking progress and monitoring children's behaviour and ensuring that children are meeting all the appropriate milestones.
These professionals also provide care by ensuring that children receive the correct nutrition, hygiene requirements and care, such as by allocating sleeping times and ensuring each child gets enough rest throughout the day. Usually, these professionals work in small teams and can specialise in providing care and education to a particular age group, such as toddlers or infants.
6 childcare educator duties
Here are six child care educator duties that professionals fulfil in the workplace:
1. Building trust between the educator and child
One of the most significant responsibilities that childcare educators face is building a trusting relationship with children. Building positive relationships between children and educators allows educators to better meet children's needs, ensuring they can support their emotional development by encouraging more open discussions and building trust. Building a strong relationship with educators may also encourage better communication, allowing children to develop important skills that are central to their future success.
To do this, educators may encourage children to talk more openly about their feelings, design play activities to establish positive bonds and take an active interest in children's life by learning about their cultures or family backgrounds. This ongoing task allows educators to facilitate more positive and productive learning environments.
2. Preparing the learning environment
Hiring managers typically expect childcare educator candidates to know how to prepare safe and productive learning environments. This includes ensuring that there are no hazards for children to hurt themselves and ensuring that they fully equipped the environment with all the necessary materials to teach lessons and conduct activities. Preparing the learning environment also refers to ensuring that educators have prepared the necessary materials such as worksheets, paints, pencils and paper. It's also a childcare educator's responsibility to provide a learning environment that facilitates development.
Educators do this by placing materials such as numeracy and literacy resources on the walls and creating engaging visual displays to entice children's attention and contribute to their learning. This task also requires that childcare educators clean up after a day of activities, providing a safe and clean environment for future sessions and other lessons that take place in classrooms.
3. Assessing whether materials support childhood development
Childcare educators typically analyse whether learning materials are conducive to individual child development. This means that educators ensure that materials are suited to the ways each child learns. This means these professionals continually observe children's responses to certain activities to determine their ideal learning techniques. From this, educators can tailor activities and lessons to optimise learning and development, ensuring that each child responds in the desired way.
This responsibility typically requires regular reviews of child progress and may require educators to find more resources to cater to each child. The method that educators typically use to do this is by setting objectives for each child. If educators notice that children fail to meet these learning or development objectives, they may try another learning approach to determine their learning style.
4. Supporting holistic learning
Supporting holistic learning refers to the process of meeting all stages of childhood development. These include physical, emotional, cognitive, communication and social. To meet this requirement, candidates require a comprehensive understanding of each of these developmental stages and how to generate activities that target these developmental areas.
Supporting holistic learning can mean that educators supply a mix of activities within a single day that's designed to support active communication, for example. Educators may use a variety of materials and subjects to contribute toward normal development, such as by using arts or theatre to encourage communication, creativity and emotional skills. Again, it's important for childcare to monitor children's needs and determine which area they require the most help to devise the correct activities to support their learning.
5. Communicating with parents
Communicating with parents is a very important task that ensures childcare educators stay abreast of any changes to children's routines and anything that may affect their behaviour or learning capacity. Educators may do this by organising regular reviews with parents or by communicating with them at the end of a session.
This responsibility is also important as this allows educators to update parents on their child's developments or potential needs. This is particularly important from a safeguarding perspective, such as noticing that a child isn't meeting their nutritional needs and requires special attention.
6. Record progress
Similar to teachers, childcare educators are also responsible for making a record of progress. This is important for monitoring whether children meet their expected milestones over time and can help parents decide whether their child is prepared to begin early years of education. Recording progress is an important part of deciding whether current lessons and development activities are effective for children's learning styles and can help educators communicate with parents on children's needs more effectively.
How childcare educators use their skills
To successfully complete their responsibilities, candidates typically require a comprehensive set of skills to work with children. Typically, candidates develop these skills during their formal training which includes gaining a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care or a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. Candidates also develop some of these skills during other types of formal training, such as by becoming first aid certified. Hiring managers usually expect candidates to have an in-depth understanding of these skills before applying for a role. Here's a guide to the skills candidates require to be a childcare educator:
Interpersonal skills: Interacting with others is a central element of child care education and candidates require strong interpersonal skills to interact with both children and other staff. This skill allows educators to appear more personable and approachable, facilitating a more trusting relationship with children and working effectively with other educators.
First aid: Candidates typically require first aid skills from a first aid certification course to become a child care educator. Candidates may require an understanding of how to use medical tools such as EpiPens, administer basic first aid such as wound care, and perform resuscitation.
Communication skills: Professionals require strong communication skills to communicate instructions to children, observe children's behaviour and work with other educators. This skill enables more efficient working and improves the learning environment, ensuring that children understand their tasks and that professionals relay information in a clear and concise manner.
Conflict management: In some cases, educators may be required to mitigate conflict between children. In this case, candidates use their conflict management skills to help children rationalise their feelings and encourage children to reach a healthy resolution which contributes to important emotional development.
Empathy: It's important for child care educators to have a strong sense of empathy to interact with children. This is useful as this allows educators to connect with children and there may be scenarios when children require emotional support, such as during conflict with another child.
Patience: Working with children and managing behaviour takes a lot of patience to ensure educators manage stress and challenging behaviour. Patience also helps educators build better bonds with children, enabling educators to appear more personable and approachable.
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