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Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher

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Summary of occupation

Early childhood teachers plan and supervise learning activities for young children. They facilitate the learning of young children through structured play and other activities such as music and story, art and creativity, and socialisation. They plan daily learning programs, monitor and assess the development of the children in their care, discuss their progress with parents or caregivers, and undertake other organisational or administrative duties such as writing reports and ordering any necessary educational supplies.

ANZSCO description: Plans, organises and conducts activities to help pre-primary school students to develop a wide variety of skills including speech, reading, writing, motor skills and social interaction. Registration or licensing is required.
Alternative names: Kindergarten Teacher, Pre-Primary School Teacher
Specialisations: Preschool Director
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

An early childhood teacher needs:

  • to enjoy working with young children
  • a caring and empathetic demeanour
  • patience, tolerance and a good temperament
  • an interest in educational development
  • good communication and social skills
  • strong organisational and problem-solving skills.
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Working conditions

Early childhood teachers work in pre-school centres such childcare centres, early education classes, kindergartens and schools. They work both indoors and outdoors, and may spend a lot of time standing. Although they usually teach during regular hours, they are also often required to work outside these hours in order to plan teaching activities and attend meetings.

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Salary details

On average, early childhood (pre-primary) school teachers can expect to earn between $1 368 and $1 886 per week ($71 158 and $98 084 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Early childhood teachers use educational resources including books, toys, art materials, musical instruments and outdoor play equipment. They may also use computers, digital cameras and video recorders in their work.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an early childhood (pre-primary) school teacher you usually need to complete a degree in education majoring in early childhood education. Alternatively, you can undertake a postgraduate qualification in early childhood education after completing a degree in a relevant study area.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To work as an early childhood school teacher in Western Australia, you must be registered with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia (TRBWA). You also need to hold a current Working With Children Check issued by the Department of Child Protection and Family Services, and undergo a National Police History Check conducted by the Department of Education Screening Unit. Contact the Department of Education for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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