Schools Training

Careers in Education: Early Childhood Assistant

30 MAY 2012
Career Path : Healthcare


Working as an early childcare assistant is an extremely rewarding career to pursue. It allows you to help children adopt the most crucial qualities that will lead them to become healthy and intelligent individuals. But such professionals are required to have more than a great attitude and a love for children. What is needed from them is a level of expertise that ensures that they will provide children with the utmost care. Their skills need to feed into several different areas, including:


Health and Safety


First and foremost, an early childcare assistant shares the responsibility of ensuring that the health and safety of each child is always preserved. Part of this responsibility involves implementing exemplary nutrition practices on a daily basis. Often times, children are put into the care of early childhood care centres for the better part of the day, and will thus develop eating habits based on what they are exposed to regularly. Ideal meal plans will include regular snacks and healthy food choices, ones that a child can adopt and carry through to their adult years.


Proper health and safety practices will also include dynamic activities that take place both indoors and outdoors. People thrive on adrenaline, and children are no exception to this. And while running around outside is heaven to most kids, the activities do need to involve a mix of mental and physical stimulation in order for the children to engage in educational activities through the day. Early childcare assistants play a big part in designing daily activities to keep the children on their toes.




By all counts, an early childhood professional is an educator. Children, as we know, can have quite short attention spans, and their interests can change in an instant. For this reason, professionals working in an early childcare setting need to be able to customize their lesson plans to cater to each child’s needs and interests, while also keeping in mind that a plan may need to be changed after just a few weeks of being implemented. Most importantly, the lesson plans need to be fun and engaging in order for children to really reap the benefits of early childhood education.



Observation Skills


One of the responsibilities that an early childhood assistant takes on requires them to assess a child’s behaviour. Needless to say, these types of observation skills come with both trade certification and experience. The challenge with observing children lies in the fact that children are still very much in their development phases, so erratic or strange behaviour is not all that unusual to see. One child’s tantrum is another’s calmness, so it can be quite difficult to identify serious issues. Luckily, an early childhood assistant does not work alone, meaning they are in constant contact and communication with colleagues and parents. That said, while it is important to remain sensitive to a child’s behavourial patterns, it is just as (if not more) important to discuss these patterns with the child’s parents, and address them with any concerns regarding a child’s health and safety.


There are many different career settings for an early childhood assistant, including daycare centres, nursery schools, pre-schools, kindergartens and private homes. If you do your homework, you will find an early childhood college that intertwines hands-on training into the program of study.