An early childhood teacher needs:
- to enjoy working with young children
- a caring and empathetic demeanour
- patience, tolerance and a good temperament
- an interest in educational development
- good communication and social skills
- strong organisational and problem-solving skills.
Early childhood teachers work in pre-school centres such childcare centres, early education classes, kindergartens and schools. They work both indoors and outdoors, and may spend a lot of time standing. Although they usually teach during regular hours, they are also often required to work outside these hours in order to plan teaching activities and attend meetings.
On average, early childhood (pre-primary) school teachers can expect to earn between $1,437 and $1,981 per week ($74,760 and $103,049 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Early childhood teachers use educational resources including books, toys, art materials, musical instruments and outdoor play equipment. They may also use computers, digital cameras and video recorders in their work.
To become an early childhood (pre-primary) school teacher, you usually need to study a degree in education majoring in early childhood education. Alternatively, you can undertake a postgraduate qualification in early childhood education after completing a degree in a relevant study area.
All universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
To work as an early childhood (pre-primary) school teacher in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia (TRBWA). You will need to obtain a Working with Children Check from the Department of Communities and undergo a National Police History Check (NPHC) conducted by the Department of Education Screening Unit.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.