By Melanie Burgess – News Corp Australia Network
PARENTS looking for a career change as they re-enter the workforce should consider using their unique perspective to their advantage in the childcare sector.
About 134,000 child carers are employed across Australia including 128,100 women and 5900 men, but this is forecast to reach about 188,600 by the end of 2020, Employment Department figures project.
Charlton Brown early childhood education care trainer and assessor Carmel Harrison says parents have an advantage over the students who have had no experience.
“They have got some insight into how children behave and what to expect from children so they start off on a pretty good foot,” she says.
Harrison says parents in the sector also better understand what the parents of the children they are caring for are going through.
“They know there are sleepless nights and days when the children are uncooperative and days when the parents feel like it’s all too much,” she says.
They understand the joys of parenthood like seeing them grow and develop and see them do something for the first time.
“Even if the first steps are taken at the centre that day they are not going to spoil that.”
The minimum qualification for a child carer is a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, which takes about six months of full-time study but also has flexible study options that are ideal for parents. Diplomas and degrees are also available.
Kirsty Taylor, 23, completed her Certificate III with Charlton Brown and began working casually in child care while looking after her own two children – a daughter, 3, and son, 1.
“The hardest bit is leaving my kids at a centre to go and look after someone else’s kids,” she says.
“If I was to do it before becoming a mum I would have cared but not had the same passion for it that I do now.
“I look after the children the way I would want someone to care for my children if I were not there.”
This article originally appeared in the Courier Mail