Do you love getting messy and diving straight into where the party is? As in children’s birthday parties, lots of them, and possibly every other day at your workplace? Then getting into the childcare industry may be the right fit for you!
We interviewed Ms. Salmi (36), an early childhood educator for the past four years, on what it takes to become a successful childcare worker.
We understand you made a big career jump from the corporate world to childcare. Any regrets?
Most people would be surprised when they heard I made this decision, but as soon as I walked into class in my first kindergarten job, I just melted. The children had my heart from the very first time I interacted with them. I was also inspired by many teachers in my life, including my mother who was also a childcare worker. Since then I never looked back.
Why is early childhood education important?
We need both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, that’s for sure. Each developmental area of a child requires different approaches. Each individual learns in different ways, so you can’t approach it like you would in a large university classroom. If you’re not equipped with the knowledge and experience on how to handle children in the best possible way, you’re not helping the child to build a solid foundation for their personal growth.
What is the one thing that drives you and keeps you going?
You definitely need the passion and willingness to be fully present to nurture the child, observe their development, and encourage them to reach their potential in each stage of growth. Seeing children progress from their very first day is definitely something that keeps me going, every day.
Do you have any tips for those interested in venturing into childcare as a career?
It’s important not get too attached, remember boundaries and stay professional. There is always a blurred line because interacting with children involves a lot of feelings and emotions. You need to be present emotionally, yet somewhat distanced to maintain professional boundaries. It’s one of the toughest things to do as a childcare worker, because you will get emotional. But trust me, the rewards you reap are worth it!
If you have been inspired by this article and have a passion for education and working with young children, consider a career as an early childhood educator.
Learn more about earning your qualification in early childhood education from Veritas University College.