You might conjure the odd fuzzy flashback of it.
Vague memories of painting, colouring and making friends. But chances are you don’t really remember much about preschool or put much stock into how it impacted your life.
But you should!
Because as unimportant as it might seem to us now, studies show early childhood education plays an absolutely vital role in children’s development, promoting independence and learning important life skills. And it’s currently crying out for fun Gen Zs who can make a serious impact on young people’s lives.
It might surprise you to learn that as many as 1 in 5 Australian children are developmentally vulnerable by the time they’re five, meaning they’re at risk of falling behind their classmates. As a result there’s been a need for increased investment in the monitoring of early childhood development.
In response The Department of Education Victoria has rolled out their universal Three-Year-Old Kinder program across the state, focusing on improving child development by adding an extra year of play-based learning and socialisation before school.
This will not only massively help young children’s progress, but it’s also created over 6,000 new jobs in the sector.
Early childhood education is one of the most impactful and rewarding jobs out there, and there’s never been a better time to do it. From the range of incentives and schemes to subsidise gaining qualifications and relocating, to aiding better progress for the next generation, Gen Z can truly reap the benefits.
As a sector that’s committed to growing and honing professional skills, working with young children is one of the best ways to develop the interpersonal skills that a young person can take just about anywhere in their lives. From communication skills to patience and empathy, there’s no shortage of opportunities to learn and grow within this career.
On top of that, new teachers and educators receive professional development support through mentorship and alumni programs, as well as seminars to improve their practice.
Last but certainly not least, early childhood education presents a rare opportunity to make a difference in one of the most important phases in any child’s life. Socialisation and school readiness can have a massive impact on a child’s development and outcomes later in life – meaning it will always be a priority and offer an abundance of job opportunities.
To forge a career in early childhood education means having a positive impact on the lives of many – so if you think you know of a young adult who might want to work in this sector, ask them to check out our new Serious About Play website.
The free course, part of Year13’s Academy, can help them suss out if it’s the right career for them as well as how to get started.
Remember, even though children may not clearly remember those early days in childcare – the impact will stay with them forever.