When you work in early education, you get to enjoy the privilege of helping young children to develop their cognitive skills within a nurturing environment. The first years of a child’s life are packed with developmental milestones, providing the foundation for a lifetime of learning and discovery.
This article will outline some of the different career opportunities in early childhood education, so you can explore your potential within this extraordinary industry. We’ll also provide information about some of the higher positions you can aim for as your career progresses, including average salary expectations.
What are early childhood education career pathways?
There are a number of exciting career pathways available for those with a passion for working with children. Here, we’ll look at some of the most popular early education roles, so you can decide which is most suitable for you:
- Nanny: For many, a career path in early childhood education begins with nannying. A Nanny provides supervision and care for children within their homes, which can involve giving them baths, helping them to get dressed, and assisting with homework. Nannies are also sometimes responsible for household tasks such as cooking and cleaning.
- Childcare Assistant: Also known as an Early Childhood Educator, a Childcare Assistant provides structured learning and care to young children within an early education centre. They supervise children as they play, prepare learning activities, and help to keep kids safe, clean, nourished and engaged.
- Childcare Worker: This role is similar to the role of Childcare Assistant, except Childcare Workers can be employed across a broader variety of settings including in people’s homes, kindergartens, crèches, hospitals and women’s shelters.
- Early Childhood Educator: Working across a range of settings including early education centres, kindergartens and preschools, Early Childhood Educators provide care for young children and help them to meet their educational, social, physical and emotional needs.
- Early Childhood Teacher: These professionals work with young children to help them learn and develop important skills. Early Childhood Teachers work in early education facilities, kindergartens, primary schools and special education settings, to plan and implement learning activities for children.
- Kindergarten Teacher: Providing a welcoming and nurturing introduction to formal schooling, Kindergarten Teachers plan and implement learning activities for pre-primary aged children. They also assist with children’s emotional and social development at this crucial stage in their lives.
- Educational Leader: Also known as an Early Childhood Teaching Director, Educational Leaders train, support and mentor educators and administrators of early education services. They promote positive educational philosophies and develop policy and course curricula, drawing upon their deep understanding of educational practice and theory.
What are career goals for an early childhood educator?
When you first begin your professional life, you might not have any clearly defined career goals in early childhood education. However, once you’ve worked in the field of early learning for a few years, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s possible within this industry.
Here are some of the more senior roles within early childhood education that you might like to set for yourself as a career goal:
- Childcare Centre Manager: Also known as an Early Years Manager, a Childcare Centre Manager is responsible for planning and implementing educational programs and activities to help young children develop. These professionals supervise teams of workers and educators, and they’re usually the main point of contact for parents and caregivers. They’re also responsible for strategic planning, applying regulatory requirements and managing the centre’s finances.
- Children’s Services Manager: As a Children’s Services Manager, you’ll be responsible for developing early education programs and directing educators. These professionals work across a variety of settings – including childcare centres and kindergartens – to ensure that the facilities are safe, and that they comply with government standards.
- Executive Officer: Senior leaders within the field of early education provide strategic management to government and/or private organisations. Executive Officers strive to continuously improve early education services, and work in collaboration with the community, clients, the workforce and funding bodies.
For more information about career opportunities in early childhood education, head over to our article: Where is the future of early childhood education heading?
What is the highest position in early childhood education?
If your career objective as an early childhood educator is to reach the top, you should aim for a senior executive role. If you have considerable experience within the field of early education and you want to work towards this type of position, you should look into acquiring an advanced degree such as a Master of Business Administration.
What is the highest degree in early childhood education?
Swinburne Online offers the following courses for those interested in advancing their career in early education:
By gaining an accredited qualification, you’ll expand your career options for early childhood education. Plus, you’ll get to connect with an entire network of students and educators who share your passion for early learning.
What is the average early childhood education career salary?
Here, we’ve provided average annual salary estimates for popular early education jobs in Australia (based on data from Seek). Please bear in mind that your salary will depend on your experience and qualifications, so if you’re just starting out in your career, you might need to wait a few years before you can get closer to your ideal salary.
What is the highest paying early childhood education job?
The role of Childcare Centre Manager is one of the highest-paying jobs in early education, with an average annual salary of $75,000 to $90,000.
If you have questions about the educational requirements for careers in early childhood education, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team.