Looking to do more with your ECEC experience and qualification? Here’s some ideas
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Looking to do more with your ECEC experience and qualification? Here’s some ideas

Looking to do more with your ECEC experience and qualification? Here’s some ideas

by Jason Roberts

February 10, 2023

For many professionals working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, the past three years have certainly been challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic, the pressures of workforce shortages and also the passage of time may lead some to conclude that the time may be right to explore something different. 


Change is good in many ways, and given the growth in opportunities for qualified early learning professionals in and around the ECEC sector, there is less and less need to leave and let hard earned experience and qualifications go to waste. 


In this piece, we explore some of the many different roles that provide opportunities to remain in the sector, build on qualifications, diversify practice and embrace new opportunities. 


Stepping up within your room  


This does seem like the first and most obvious step for many Certificate III or Diploma qualified educators passionate about working with children and remaining in the sector. 


Assuming room leadership responsibilities provides valuable leadership experience and for those with a practice and pedagogy passion, assuming the educational leader role is an excellent way to develop practice, fine tune pedagogy and most importantly earn a little bit more salary. 


Stepping up within your service 


The move from working directly with children to working in the office is not for everyone, but for those educators who are looking for a change of scene, who are keen to progress their career ambitions and who have already earned their qualifications in ECEC, stepping into a 2IC or reception support role is a great start. 


The skills required to ultimately manage an early learning service will be gathered from direct exposure to the current centre leader, which for some aspiring room leaders is where they ultimately would like to end up.


Stepping up into a new role but with a different provider 


If for whatever reason your current provider is unable to meet your needs don’t despair, there are scores of early learning providers across Australia who are looking for passionate, committed, experienced and qualified educators to join their teams. 


Whether you decide to stay at your current employer or move on, the important thing to recognise is that your experience as a qualified educator, room leader or even service manager is incredibly valuable. 


There is no need to leave the sector altogether when there are so many opportunities currently within it. Room leader opportunities, educational leader, service leader opportunities and even area manager opportunities are all out there. You just have to believe in yourself and your qualifications and make that change. 


Opportunities away from approved providers but still in ECEC or working with children 


However, for those looking for a change, who don’t want to reskill and who do want to keep in touch with the sector, opportunities also still abound. They will be quite different, and draw on different skills, but these types of roles place hard earned early learning experience as a very valuable attribute. 


Authorised officers for Assessment and Rating 


Many ECEC professionals are interested in learning more about how they can become an authorised officer, and be in a position to support compliance in services across their state and territory. 


Authorised officers undertake several levels of training to perform their duties, covering: 


  • Assessing legislation and the National Quality Standard 
  • Applying a common, nationally consistent lens when assessing and rating practice
  • Evidence gathering and use of the observe, discuss and sight techniques 
  • Using the Guide to the National Quality Framework
  • Determining and calculating ratings
  • Practice assessments.  


Once accepted as an authorised officer, ECEC professionals are required to complete a series of reliability tests, and receive ongoing support to ensure consistency and reliability of their assessment and rating processes. 


Training professional learning and assessment providers  


Once ECEC professionals have gained some ‘real world’ experience, they may like to consider moving into training and assessment to share some of their knowledge with emerging professionals. 


With rapid growth in the ECEC sector, and with governments providing lots of support in terms of policy supporting the value of early learning, there’s never been a better time to explore sharing knowledge with others. 


Trainers and assessors can work in house for major ECEC providers, with TAFE, or with private RTOs. Typically these roles require experience in the ECEC sector and an ECEC qualification along with a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.


Support services, CCMS providers and resource manufacturers 


Many educators may conclude that after allied services there may be no other employers interested in their skills and experience. That would be very wrong. There is a whole ecosystem of organisations that support early learning services. 


Whether they be consultancies like Enrolment Hub, or child care management system providers like QikKids, Xap, Smart Central or Owna or resource companies like MTA or Educating Kids many employers are very much interested in early learning professionals that have done the hard yards in services. 


It’s easy to see why. These organisations are on the phone to services day in day out as they provide their support, and who better to be able to guide a room leader, centre leader or even area manager through a problem than someone that has been there too. 


Allied health fields 


Interested in working with children, but wanting to move out of ECEC altogether? There are many allied fields where the transferable skills from ECEC may come in handy. With additional training and qualifications, the skillset built in an ECEC role can be enhanced and morph into a new career path. 


Speech therapists, occupational therapists, and disability support workers all work directly with children and help them achieve their physical, social and emotional goals. 


Social workers help vulnerable children and families to manage the complexities of their lives, and navigate solutions which bring about strong and safe outcomes for all. 


For more creative people, a program which visits services and playgroups to work with music and movement or art, could be a good career direction. People who enjoy being physically active might like to look into yoga, dance or sport skills programs for children. 


Whatever path you choose, there are many opportunities to remain connected to the joys of working with children, families and services both inside and outside formal ECEC settings. 


Never underestimate the value of your experience. ECEC is an essential service, and an important part of Australian life. If you are thinking twice about making a complete change, be sure to check out the above options. There is much on offer in ECEC for those who want it. 

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button