what is an early childhood teacher?

As an early childhood teacher, you work with children in their formative years to help them develop literacy and numeracy skills. Your job is to introduce children between the ages of two and five to the school environment and familiarise them with learning routines. Aside from teaching them basic counting skills, you also help them develop language and vocabulary. You take a holistic approach to learning and pay attention to the children's physical and social skills. By improving children's emotional and psychological well-being, you inspire curiosity and create an environment for them to explore.

The learning methods usually depend on the children's needs. Learning activities are typically done in groups, but you can help children with learning difficulties one-to-one to help them catch up. You also foster a sense of individuality and promote self-expression in children. Sometimes, you collaborate with external professionals like speech therapists and children's psychologists to improve learning options for children. The role requires organisation skills since you juggle numerous tasks. You supervise children in classrooms and playground settings and attend to administrative duties.

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average early childhood teacher salary

Early childhood educators take home an average salary of $52,000 annually. The remuneration package usually depends on work experience and educational qualifications. When you are new in the role, your earnings start at $46,000 annually but can increase to over $95,000 with managerial expertise.The remuneration package increases as you improve your skills and experience level. Most early childhood teachers work for the government, and the remuneration package may include benefits like annual leave days and car allowances.

what factors affect the salary of an early childhood teacher?

Your remuneration package depends on your work experience and qualifications. The type of employer and location also affects the salary prospects of early childhood teachers. If you complete a degree in education, you are likely to earn more compared to a teacher with a diploma. Improving your qualifications with a postgraduate degree increases your salary prospects significantly. Your earnings also increase with work experience. That's why entry-level early childhood teachers take home lower remuneration packages than experienced educators.

Working for the private sector is likely to increase your remuneration package since private schools pay higher salaries compared to working for the government. Working in metro areas also improves your salary prospects due to the high demand for early childhood teachers and the high cost of living.


types of early childhood teachers

The types of early childhood teachers depend on the ages of the children they educate and the scope of the roles. Some of the common early childhood teachers include:

  • early childhood educators: as an early childhood educator, you care for infants and young children in schools or childcare settings. Your job is to assist the children in their physical, social and emotional development. You also teach them basic numeracy skills and care for their educational needs.
  • kindergarten teachers: as a kindergarten teacher, you work with young children before they begin their formal education or pre-primary school. You work in schools, daycare settings or special education settings. You help the children improve their social, emotional and physical skills.
Smiling female helping two kids draw at a dining table.
Smiling female helping two kids draw at a dining table.

working as an early childhood teacher

Working as an early childhood teacher involves relating to young children and helping them grow socially, educationally and physically. Here are some of the work environments of early childhood teachers and their specific duties and responsibilities.


education and skills

Some of the academic qualifications of an early childhood teacher include:

  • bachelor's degree: to become an early childhood teacher, you should complete a relevant bachelor's degree like a bachelor of education in early childhood. If you already have a bachelor's degree in a different subject, pursue a two-year master of teaching with an early childhood major.
  • work experience: you require work experience to become an early childhood teacher. Work placements and internships help you gain the relevant work experience necessary for the role. You should also register with the appropriate Teacher Regulation Authority in New Zealand.

early childhood teacher skills and competencies

Some of the skills of an early childhood teacher include:

  • communication skills: as an early childhood teacher, communication skills are essential since you communicate with children. Communication abilities help you talk to the parents about children's achievements and problems in school. The skills also help you provide the best learning experiences for children.
  • creative and energetic: to deliver excellent learning outcomes, you should be creative and think outside the box when developing learning materials. Creativity helps you engage children and their families. When you are energetic, you help children stay positive by making learning fun and exciting.
  • organisational skills: as an early childhood teacher, it is essential to stay organised and plan your work schedule well. Children like routines, and managing their schedules is crucial to promoting a positive learning environment. Organisational skills also help you keep up with the administrative duties associated with your role.

FAQs about working as an early childhood teacher

Here are the most asked questions about working as an early childhood teacher:

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