Early childhood educators play a crucial role in the growth and development of our young people. When we entrust our children to the care of these amazing people, we’re relying on them to provide a safe and nurturing environment where our children can learn and grow.
When we think about the faces that we see at childcare drop-off, the arms we depend on to hold our precious babies throughout the day, the voices we trust to speak kindly to our children in the same way we would, we don’t think about an educator. We think about a friend. Someone we have purposefully chosen to look after, care for and teach our children to develop and thrive as we would do ourselves.
Some say co-parent. Others say aunty or uncle figure. Most say friend. In whichever way you see your early childhood educators, you’ll know you’ve made the right decision when you feel like they’re an extension of your family.
And suddenly your childcare journey begins.
The feeling is mutual
Parents are not the only ones that feel this way. Educators really love being a part of our families.
Hayley from Nino Early Learning Adventures says, “I think it's a very unique job where you can go to work every day and feel loved by the people around you. It's beautiful and it is like a family. They make you feel very special.”
Michael from Genius Childcare adds, “There are a few children who don't have dads, because their parents are separated, and they look up to me as the only male educator at this service. I'm really happy for that. I'm really proud of myself to be able to be that person in their lives. In this industry, there really are fewer males. But I'm being welcomed with open arms by everybody.”
For many parents, childcare is an essential service when it comes to helping them with parenting moments and milestones. Things like sleep training, toilet training, and language development. Early childhood educators can assist parents in these areas by providing guidance and support, sharing their expertise, and working collaboratively to ensure that their child's needs are met.
Getting enough rest with our busy schedules is hard enough but add to that the need to sleep train a newborn or toddler and it adds a whole other layer of complexities.
Early childhood educators can provide parents with advice on establishing a bedtime routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, transitioning to a bed, and dealing with those inevitable childcare illnesses that pop up and disrupt even the best routine.
By working together, parents and early childhood educators can help children develop healthy sleep habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Similarly, toilet training can be a challenging milestone for both parents and children. Early childhood educators can offer direction on when to start toilet training, how to create a positive and supportive environment, and how to handle accidents and setbacks.
Collectively, parents and educators can help children become successful and confident in their toilet training.
Another critical area where early childhood educators can support families is with children’s language development. Young children's brains are primed for language development, and early childhood educators can help facilitate this process by engaging children in conversations, reading to them, and providing opportunities for language-rich play.
There are some days when parents, understandably are doing all they can, just to stick to a routine and get dinner on the table before their toddler is so overtired, bedtime is becoming more difficult and language-rich play at home might fall by the wayside on a work night. Parents can rest assured that their children’s day in their early education setting was full of conversation and exciting moments they will be able to talk about tomorrow.
Tegan from Nino Early Learning Adventures talks to the highlight of her career so far.
“Watching the children achieve their goals, especially when they get that excitement of something they wanted to give up doing, to then being able to see them achieve that and the smile on their face to realise that they've done it – amazing!”
Hayley, also a part of Nino Early Learning Adventures states, “I love how much the babies can change and grow over just even a year. That’s probably my favourite thing about the younger children. And I think the old ones just give you so much love because obviously they're learning and they're able to talk and communicate with you and they make you feel special.”
Champion these Champions
Join us as we champion our incredible ECEC Educators. We’re giving parents, service owners, and fellow sector professionals the opportunity to highlight their appreciation for the educators in their lives who are having the greatest impact on families, their community, and the sector as a whole.
Saying 'Thank You,' won't solve every challenge faced by these indispensable professionals, yet it goes a long way to show that we see them, we hear them, and we value each and every one of them.
Six deserving educators across the country will win a luxury weekend away and anyone who nominates has the chance to win a $500 VISA gift card.
Get the kids involved!
Show these champions that we all care and get the kids involved in thanking their educators with a downloadable colouring sheet which can be uploaded here for your chance to win a $250 FUNDAY Sweets voucher. Don't forget to present your special educator with their certificate!