At Affinity we know how critical early childhood education is for children, and there’s a huge body of research that demonstrates the difference early education makes to children’s performance at primary school, as well as setting them up for success throughout their lives.
At the heart of this is the profound role of our Early Childhood Educators, who spend their days planning lessons and teaching children Affinity’s unique Lifelong Learning Curriculum.
To help parents and potential educators of the future better understand what being an Affinity Early Childhood Educator is all about, we asked Dr Lesley Jones, Affinity’s Head of Pedagogy and Practice, and Sarah Yates, Lead Educator at Kids Academy Warnervale to tell us five things that you might not know about being an Early Childhood Educator.
1. Play-based learning is a complex form of teaching that helps children develop
“Play is such an important part of what we do every day at Affinity Education Group centres. Although it seems like children are just having fun and getting dirty in our sandpits, it’s actually a complex form of teaching that helps children develop all sorts of critical skills,” Lesley explained.
2. Early childhood educators are given specialised training to teach young children
“Despite what people may think, Early Childhood Educators are not full-time babysitters, but highly trained professionals, and we take our responsibility to support the learning and development of our children very seriously,” Lesley said.
“To help provide all the skills Early Childhood Educators need, we offer all sorts of on-the job training, including support through a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education, as well as a Diploma in Early Childhood Education. We also have specialised Development Coaches available and paid study time for our employees."
3. Naps are an important part of the learning schedule
“As part of our duty and care, we allow children to rest for 30 minutes on a bed each day. Sleep is so essential for a child’s growth, learning and memory development, and naps make for a better and happier learning day!” Sarah said.
4. Everything we do is to support your child with their transition to ‘Big School’
“Preparing a child to transition from an Early Childhood learning environment to primary school or ‘big school’ is one of the most important things we do. Ensuring that children are prepared and equipped with the right skills and confidence to move into the next stage of their learning is vital,” Lesley said.
“Affinity’s approach to education fosters foundational learning, social connectivity, emotional confidence and physical health and wellbeing. These are crucial to a child’s development before they journey into primary school.”
5. We love our jobs because it makes a real impact to the lives of the children we teach
“Many people assume that our days are filled with nappy changes and trying to get children to go nap, but in fact, a day-to-day life of an ECE is so much more than that,” Sarah said.
“The most satisfying part of my role is that I can see that I’m making a real impact in a child’s development. It’s really rewarding coming home each day knowing that you have directly helped a child learn a new skill, or discover some newfound confidence.
“This is what I love most about my job - watching the children be curious and learn with each other is such a joy.”
Affinity is proud to be part of ELACCA’s Big Roles in Little Lives campaign, which celebrates the momentous role Early Childhood Educators play in children’s learning, and encourages more people to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in early education.
To learn more about a rewarding career as an Early Childhood Educator with Affinity, visit https://affinityeducation.com.au/Career-Paths
This content was originally published as part of the Kidspot article ‘I’m an early childhood educator – here are 6 things you should never say to me’.