Studying childcare? A day in the life of a childcare educator

You love working with kids – as such, you’ve decided that studying childcare is the essential first step in starting your career.

You’re so keen to start a career in childcare, you can’t get those nursery rhymes out of your head!

Of course, enjoying being around kids is important, as is that passion to see them grow, learn and develop their skills.

However, working in childcare isn’t just fun and games – while it may be fun work, it’s still work!

At Academia, we’re big believers in giving our students all the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. In addition to real-world skills during hands-on placement, that also includes accurate expectations of what they might be doing on a day-to-day basis.

To give you a better idea of what you can expect from your career, we’ve talked to some of our successful graduates about what their typical day looks like.

We strongly recommend giving this a read before enrolling in our childcare course in Melbourne and Brisbane!

A day in the life of a childcare educator

7 am: clock-in and early arrivals

Are you an early riser? Great,  because a childcare educator’s day starts early!

Many of your children will be early arrivals, as parents drop their kids off before they themselves head off to work. You’ll need to be there early to greet them and sign in all the kids, while keeping an eye over early arrivals.

You’ll be in charge of double-checking the attendees, ensuring the centre is prepped for the day, and seeing that every child has safely stored their belongings and is ready to start the day!

Many childcare workers also take this as an opportunity to get everything set up for the day’s activities.

And all of this while presenting a warm and friendly appearance – some of the kids (and parents) may be cranky in the morning!

9 am to 10 am: early morning activities

So all the kids are here now. The first thing you need to do is wake them up!

Early morning activities are great for that. A good idea is to kick the day off with a song. As the kids to stand up to their feet and begin grooving with the music, you’ll no doubt notice their energy levels and moods rising!

Exercise is a great way to start the day.

Jumping, hopping, skipping… physical activity energises children – not to mention, it can also help you shake off the morning blues and stretch out little legs, arms, and muscles in preparation for the day ahead.

Physical development isn’t the only thing childcare workers should encourage – it’s also important that you foster cognitive development as well.

In addition to play, early morning activities can also include storytime and other activities to stimulate young brains.

Of course, early activities aren’t all fun and games – you may also have to supervise and assist some kids with their morning bathroom break.

10am: Snack time

Food, glorious food!

If there are still kids who still haven’t fully woken up after the morning activity, morning tea will surely do it.

Even before the kids complete their morning activity, childcare educators are hard at work, preparing healthy snacks that kids will enjoy as part of morning tea.

Once morning activities are over, it’s time to lead kids to the sink (teaching them about hygiene is important!) and get them washed up and ready for a morning snack.

10:30am – 12pm: free play 

One great way for kids to develop essential communication and social skills is through play.

During your childcare course, you’ll learn about how play develops language, problem-solving, social skills and creativity of children.

Play can take the form of planned activities and games, as well as free, unstructured play both indoors and outdoors.

You’ll find yourself supervising kids as they interact with each other, as well as protecting them from accidents. You’ll be responsible for treating falls and scrapes, and for resolving any conflicts that may arise (kids’ conflict-resolution skills are still yet to develop!)

By doing so, you’ll ensure that play isn’t just fun, but safe too!

12pm to 1pm: Lunchtime

Can you believe it’s lunch already? Where has all the time gone?

Some kids bring their own lunch boxes – others don’t. Either way, childcare centres usually provide meals for lunch.

And childcare educators like you are responsible for preparing these healthy meals for lunchtime!

What many educators do is use this as an opportunity to teach kids about proper nutrition.

While they may not understand “big” words like carbohydrates, it’s important that you drill into them the importance of healthy eating early on.

Good habits start early, after all!

Tell them that:

  • Carrots are good for your eyes and will help you see in the dark!
  • Do your kids love bananas? Tell them that monkeys go bananas for them, too!
  • Watermelon, apples, and oranges give you lots of energy to play all day! 

1pm to 3pm: Afternoon nap

Have you ever felt bloated and tired after a meal? So to do kids – that’s why naptime is usually immediately after lunch.

Naps following (half) a day of action-packed activities give kids an opportunity to recharge, leaving them feeling fresh and re-energised.

Not to mention, it gives you a chance to recharge as well!

Older kids won’t always need a nap (or to nap as long as little ones).

In these cases, you’ll want to move them to a separate area for some low-key, relaxing activities. Story time is a great activity to calm and relax kids.

3pm-3:30pm: afternoon snack and play

Once naptime is over, it’s time for another snack, followed by an afternoon activity.

Afternoon activities can be whatever you want – it can be arts and crafts to assist with their cognitive development, or another physical activity to get them on their feet.

You can even set up stations with both, and cycle kids between them.

Outdoor games may include hide and seek, hopscotch, and jumping rope. This is where childcare education gets creative in finding ways to encourage kids to play together.

4pm – 5pm: daily journal

And now comes one of the most important parts of early childhood education.

As a childcare educator, you’re much more than a babysitter – you’re an important part of a child’s physical and cognitive development. That’s why our childcare courses in Melbourne and Brisbane put such a heavy emphasis on theories of child development!

Before you start wrapping up the day, the childcare worker record all the day’s activities in a journal for parents.

In addition to updating them on what activities their children experienced that day or week, you’ll also give a summary of their:

  • Relationships with other kids
  • Preferred activities
  • Emotional state
  • Response to stories, maths games and art activities
  • Conversations and statements

Once you’re done with your journal, you may be called to substitute for another educator while they fill out their journal.

5pm-6pm: hometime and cleaning

While some parents may pick up their kids earlier, 5pm is when most parents start turning up.

Before ending the day, childcare educators might like to chat with kids to remind them of what is coming up tomorrow, or reflect on an activity from the day.

Of course, this block of time is about more than just farewells – you’ll still be responsible for supervising the remaining kids, and accompanying those whose parents don’t turn up until later.

And once their parents turn up, you may be asked to give a quick summary of what happened during the day.

All the while, you’ll be packing and cleaning up after a long and rewarding day.

Once all that’s done, it’s time to clock off!

Start your career in childcare by enrolling in Academia’s childcare courses in Brisbane!

Turn your passion for teaching children into a rewarding career in childcare.

Academia prepares you to become the best childcare educator that you can be. We offer courses in childcare that make you stand out and which turn you into an attractive job applicant.

You’ll learn all about childhood development, and how the theory translates into practice.

Our focus is on hands-on experience.

In addition to classroom learning, our childcare courses in Melbourne incorporate practical workshops that replicate real world childcare challenges, as well as placements in licensed childcare facilities.

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)

Learn all about childhood care and development by enrolling in the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.

This course will lay the foundation of your career in childcare, teaching you the theory needed for you to start and advance your career in childcare.

You’ll develop essential skills needed to:

  • Communicate with children and parents
  • Create effective learning strategies
  • Handle tantrums and other conflicts
  • Adhere to hygiene and safety standards
  • Provide healthy, nutritious meals
  • Respond to medical emergencies

These are just some of the things you’ll learn when you enrol in the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113).

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113)

Take your childcare career to the next level with Academia’s Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

This childcare course offered in both Melbourne and Brisbane prepares you to own and manage your childcare centre. With a stronger focus on administration and management, you’ll learn all about creating a safe and comfortable environment for all children in your care.

Be a leader in your childcare facility and give the best early childcare services while you’re at it!

Learn more about the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113).

Study childcare in Brisbane and Melbourne with Academia

Are you eager to take your childcare career at the next level?

Whether you’re figuring out your next step once year 12 exams are over, or making a late career change, Academia would love to be a catalyst in this career move!

Want to learn more? Have questions? Get in touch with our friendly course advisors today: