There are many skills and qualities a childcare worker needs to have. Some skills you will learn in school but some you should already have. Skills you already have are fine-tuned with practice and experience.
A childcare worker is responsible for planning fun learning based activities. Then, it’s your job to lead those activities. After the activity, you’ll need to monitor and track progress. These activities will take place throughout the day with a wide variety of age groups.
During your schooling, you will learn the fundamentals of childhood development. Also, you will learn how to create safe and supportive environments for the children in your care.
What Skills Will I Learn as a Childcare Worker?
Throughout your schooling, you will learn and enhance your critical thinking skills. Critical thinking includes analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making.
Most people might think analytical skills are not needed in a childcare setting. However, that would be an incorrect assumption.
As a childcare worker, you need to analyse the success of the programming you deliver. Also, you need to be able to identify a child who is struggling. Early intervention is key to a successful academic career.
Problem-solving is another essential skill. Conflict resolution is part of problem-solving. It’s also a valuable social skill. If you’ve ever looked after two or more children at the same time, you know that some conflict is natural. Modelling healthy behaviours, including resolving conflicts, is one of the roles of a childcare worker.
Decision-making is another part of critical thinking. Sometimes emergencies will happen where quick thinking is needed. Strong decision-making skills will help you move forward with confidence in the face of complex situations.
Also, that confidence will give young children a sense of safety and security. Other challenges, like an ill child or one who is sad and homesick, will also present themselves. Problem-solving your way out of these challenges will be part of your day-to-day.
What Skills Should a Childcare Worker Already Have?
Some skills that you need for success, you should already have. Education and experience will enhance those skills, but the basics should be there.
Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential. Each day, you’ll communicate with parents, families, and the children in your care. The ability to tailor your communication level to your audience will be fine-tuned during your schooling. Obviously, you can’t use the same communication style with parents that you do with young kids.
Family Day Care Educators work in home environments. So, they can be more isolated than other childcare workers. Even so, you will work with peers during professional events. You’ll also have a coordinator assigned to work with your Family Day Care. Part of working with your service provider will include written reports. These will become part of your routine, too.
Strong writing skills are also necessary. You’ll need to document the learning progress of each child. Any incidents or injuries need documenting, as well. Regular high-quality parent communications are important, too. Parents are always eager to see progress reports and any highlights from the week.
Planning, Organisation and Time Management
Another essential skill is planning and organisation. As a childcare worker, you will plan and deliver programming in your classroom. Though there are curriculums available to assist you with this, planning is up to you. Assessing the success of your programming will be one of your responsibilities.
Time management is crucial to keeping your business on track. Maintaining your daily routine is important. But, it can be more complicated than you think. It’s true that flexibility is needed but staying on schedule is just as important.
Keeping your space tidy and organised is another skill that will help your days to run smoothly. Making sure that supplies are stocked and everything is ready for the next day will become part of your routine.
What Qualities Do I Need as a Childcare Worker?
Some qualities are innate and part of your personality. Others can be learned and developed. As an Educator, you need excellent physical stamina. The days can be long and demanding. Most of the day will be spent on your feet.
It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, too. That means making sure to drink enough water, healthy meals to fuel you, and enough sleep. Don’t forget to take your lunch break every day.
All children need compassion and empathy. As the only care provider, you will be teacher and guidance counsellor in a Family Day Care. Young children are still learning emotional responses at this age. Modelling thoughtful and kind behaviours will help them develop those qualities.
Patience is a virtue. In the case of a childcare worker, it’s a necessity. As anyone with kids can tell you, limitless patience is necessary. As wonderful as young children are, they can be trying at times.
Other Skills that will Benefit a Childcare Worker and Lead to Success
• Enthusiasm and passion for young childhood development
• Creative thinking
• Sense of play
• Positive attitude
Some skills you should bring with you. However, some skills you will learn with time. You’ll enhance and improve others with experience. The same is true with your personal qualities. After all, experience is the best teacher.
To learn more about Family Day Care business in Australia, visit Family Day Care Australia. And when you feel you’re ready to start your journey as a Family Day Care Educator, check out the course “How To Start a Family Day Care Business” for a step-by-step guide that will teach you everything you need to know before opening the doors of your own business!