At Petit Early Learning Journey, we’re interested in knowing why our centre teams enjoy working in early childhood education and care (ECEC). The reasons why they come to work each day help us to support and guide their development.
We’re proud of our centre teams and their commitment to delivering quality early childhood education and care services. No matter where you work, it’s vital that you feel a sense of belonging, that you’re valued and appreciated for all that you do.
Working in an ECEC service provides an opportunity to make a real difference in the way a child approaches learning for life. You also get to encourage, nurture and support positive outcomes in children’s health, wellbeing and learning.
Aside from endless career opportunities and working with like-minded people, when working in ECEC services, you share in children’s experiences, see them grow, learn and develop under your care. It’s important to reflect on your practices and develop an understanding of children’s behaviour, learning styles and needs.
This month, we invited our centre teams at Port Douglas and Forest Hill to tell us why they chose to work in early childhood education and care. In particular, we wanted to discover what prompted their decision and their reasons for working in child care.
Why our Educators love working in child care
There are many valid reasons for wanting to work in child care. Several of those stood out in our discussion with the team from Petit ELJ Port Douglas. While early childhood education and care (ECEC) workers observe and interact with children during their play, Educators and Early Childhood Teachers have many other responsibilities.
To encourage children to grow strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.
“My interest in a career in ECEC grew from seeing children’s learning and development and wanting to be a part of that journey,” says Janaya from Petit ELJ Port Douglas.
“I wanted to make children feel safe, secure and supported, and I wanted to encourage them to become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing. I enjoy being there to provide comfort and to help them settle into a new environment and bond with their Educators and peers.”
“It’s also about encouraging children to develop dispositions for learning, such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination, and reflexivity. It’s a real privilege to observe a child’s confidence grow. Recently, I witnessed a child navigate an obstacle course and its challenges independently.”
To promote kindness, fairness and being respectful of others.
“I thought working in early childhood education would suit my personality,” says Samantha.
“I enjoy teaching children during group times and engaging them in spontaneous conversation about how and why we need to ‘take care of each other’s feelings and bodies’. It’s about nurturing kindness, fairness, being respectful and knowing how we feel, and make others feel.”
To work with other like-minded people who are passionate about working in ECEC.
“I did work experience at a pre-school, and it made me realise that I wanted this career path,” says Ashleigh. “I wanted to help young children learn and grow. I particularly enjoy creating inviting play spaces around children’s interests and observing them explore and discover meaningful experiences.”
Ashleigh also enjoys working alongside others who share her passion for working with children. “You can truly see when someone cares about the learning that’s unfolding and how there is so much to gain from teaching little people. It’s about the love of learning, the curiosity and the joy that comes from the children, and you get to be a part of that experience.”
“Being part of that learning is rewarding. Just the other day, I watched the children developing a new skill and one child succeeded in making it down the fireman’s pole. Later, I saw the child’s family at the shops. He was excited to tell his mum how he went down the pole with my help. It made me happy to see how proud he was to have achieved it.”
To be part of a child’s development and watch them grow.
“I like working with children, and I wanted to enhance their quality of life, so I chose to study to become an Educator,” says Anatchaya. “It’s about being part of the child’s development, seeing them grow and learn new things, and developing a trusting and strong relationship with the child and their family.”
To transfer essential knowledge, values and skills.
Daniel started working as a chef in child care. “I always had a passion for working with children and seeing them grow. Cooking in a child care setting made me realise that I had a good connection with the children and that I might enjoy working directly with them in the studios.”
“It is enriching to see the children developing skills and growing up,” says Daniel. “I can transfer important values, traditions and culture to the children.”
To work with children and scaffold on their interests.
“I wanted to work in an atmosphere where I could empower and help children grow while making a real difference to our community and the next generation,” says Summer. “I find it rewarding to be working in early childhood education and care, and to listen to children talking during their learning experiences and to scaffold on their interests.”
“It’s important to listen and provide comfort to children who feel misunderstood and help them to be more communicative and social. I also like to explore my inner child and join in children’s playing, singing and laughing.”
To provoke children’s learning or achieve something new.
Margaret chose to work in child care because it makes her happy. “We get rewarded every day by children’s smiles and the excitement on their faces when they have learnt or achieved something new.”
“You can also learn things about yourself from the children,” says Margaret.
“A four-year-old recently asked me about my favourite colour, and why? I couldn’t answer it. I just knew it was blue. But he could tell me exactly why he liked green. It got me thinking, and I told him ‘I guess, it’s because I love the ocean’. He replied, ‘Well, the sea is clear. It only looks blue when the sky is blue because it’s a reflection.’ He was a very smart child.”
To care for children and have lots of conversations about their interests.
Angela enjoys working in early childhood education and care because she gets to see children learning new skills every day, and not just from the Educators but also their friends. “I love to see the expression on a child’s face the first time that they grasp a new skill or idea.”
“Having lots of conversations with the children, listening and learning about their interests is rewarding,” says Angela.
It’s through a child’s interests and ideas that we consider how best to engage them in the curriculum and learning programs.
To be a positive role model for children.
Teresa’s main reason for becoming a teacher was because she wanted to be a positive role model and make a significant and positive impact on children’s lives.
“When I came to Australia, I had the opportunity to start my career in ECEC as an Educator. After a few months working as an assistant Educator, I realised that children’s education starts the day they are born, and I noticed how important the first years are in a child’s life.”
“This is what keeps me motivated and energised to educate and teach children in the early years. In just a few months, you can observe a child learning and developing a wide range of skills.”
To collaborate with parents and recognise their children’s strengths.
Jodie chose a career in ECEC as she saw children as our future. “Working with children is a great gift, especially seeing the children achieve the smallest thing and that proud moment on their faces when they realise what they have achieved.”
“I find it rewarding to collaborate with the parents, to recognise their children’s strengths and to work together to encourage and build on the interests of each child.”
“Working with caring Educators that can mentor and build my knowledge as well as the children’s is a big benefit.”
More reasons for choosing a career in ECEC
We also invited several team members at Petit ELJ Forest Hill in Victoria to share their reasons for working in early childhood education and what they find most rewarding about their roles and working with young children.
To encourage children to overcome obstacles and challenges.
“I chose a career in ECEC to help children overcome obstacles and challenges and to share in their achievements, excitement and interests,” says Gaby. “Watching them grow and develop as they get older, forming their own personalities and identities is personally rewarding.”
“I get great joy out of discovering how children learn and helping them to extend on their interests and knowledge. I want to inspire them to grow into strong, independent individuals providing the support and reassurance they might need to succeed and overcome personal challenges.”
To make a positive difference in the lives of young children.
Kelly wanted to work with children so she could help make a positive difference in the lives of young children. “I’m very proud to be an Educator and working closely with families to have a positive influence on the future of our children as they gain new skills, knowledge and interests.”
“Working in early childhood education and care is very rewarding. I have been working with children for more than ten years, and as time passes, I feel myself getting more creative, patient and knowledgeable about the children and the different ways they learn.”
“For the last three years, I’ve worked with the wonderful team here at Petit ELJ Forest Hill. I love my team, the colleagues, the management, our families and community. Working in early childhood education and care makes me feel happy, proud and rewarded.”
To work with children in their early years and inspire children to reach their full potential.
“From the age of five, I decided I wanted to be a teacher of some kind,” says Karen. “I always liked being with children, and as time went on, I discovered their early years was an exciting time for them to discover, learn and grow. I really enjoy passing on valuable life skills, observing and inspiring children to become the person they are meant to be and reach their full potential.”
“Spending valuable time with children and creating positive experiences with individual children, rewards you with wonderful feedback of their emotional growth, such as children wanting to spend time with you even for short connections.”
“It’s rewarding to watch children’s growth over the months and years as they develop an understanding of their identity and grow in confidence to put into practice their routines and self-help skills.”
To challenge children to take a risk, be brave and master a new skill.
Lisa’s story is a little different to many others. Previously she worked as a research economist for several years and wanted to change into a more exciting and rewarding profession.
“I was very fascinated by watching my own children grow and develop, so I decided to study my Bachelor in Early Childhood to become a kindergarten teacher. I think the early years of a child’s life are fundamental to their development, and there is an opportunity to make a positive difference in a child’s life.”
“Seeing visible progress in a child’s development over the course of the year is rewarding. It’s encouraging to see a child blossom with confidence and start to talk and interact more after a period of shyness, where I gave them lots of support and gentle encouragement.”
“I also enjoy supporting children in their creative endeavours and imaginative ideas. When children want to set up a concert for their friends, it’s important to help them to access resources for making “tickets”, “popcorn” and so on, to bring their play scenario to life.”
For Lisa, being an Early Childhood Teacher and working in early childhood education has its rewards.
“Challenging children to take a risk, be brave and master a new skill, whether it be crossing the monkey bars, writing their name, or doing jumps from a platform onto crash mats, are among the reasons that I love working in early childhood education and care.”
Are you ready to start working in early childhood education with Petit Early Learning Journey?
At Petit ELJ, our primary focus is to always promote children’s growth and development. Our Educators and Early Childhood Teachers love working in early childhood education and care, and it should come as no surprise to learn that we also love seeing them succeed.
We support our centre teams in developing new skills, collaborating on pedagogy and encourage their participation in professional development and career progression. If you’re as passionate as they are about working with children, then we want to hear from you.