Interview with Angela Bailison, Trainer and Assessor at Open Colleges
What qualifications are needed to work in Early Childhood Education and Care? How does studying Early Childhood Education and Care online prepare you for a job in the industry?
To answer your questions, we didn't need to go far - Open Colleges trainer Angela Bailison has been working in Early Childhood Education and Care for nearly 20 years. She has a wealth of knowledge that could help you on your way and regularly facilitates education workshops for parents with young children. She even has articles published in Australian parenting magazines.
She says that today’s employers are looking for professional, friendly, enthusiastic and positive team workers, with real life experience. While passion for working with children goes a long way, staying up to date with changes in the Industry and the right certification is essential.
Angela holds an Associate Diploma in Social Science, Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and a Parent Education Leadership Training Certificate. Such certification has never been easier, with many courses now available online.
Her advice to aspiring child care workers is to keep up to date with regular professional development opportunities. Studying allows you to have an insight into all areas of working with children and gain theoretical knowledge and proficiencies.
Open Colleges decided to chat to Angela to find out her unique industry angle as a trainer and assessor of various educator roles. It is the commitment, availability and dedication of mentors like her that enable students to gain support, achieve higher grades and build their industry networks in the comfort of their own home.
What qualifications are needed to work in Early Childhood Education and Care?
All Educators working in Early Childhood Services are required to hold or be working towards a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. Depending on the service, age and number of children that the service looks after, there are a range of qualifications in addition to the Certificate III.
This includes a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care as well as a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education or Teaching.
It allows you to have an insight into all areas of working with children including observations, first aid, health, food preparation, child protection, working with families, care routines and many more.
As you study online, you gain all the theoretical knowledge and proficiencies with support from trainers and assessors along the way. The assessments completed for each unit allows you to gain essential knowledge to be able to graduate from the course. Practical skills are gained during the time you are out on your work placement with the support from Open Colleges.
What is the importance of a formal education?
In Australia the minimum requirement for an educator working in an early childhood setting is to hold or be working towards a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
Educators can continue to further their education either before or while working in a service. Having a qualification provides formal recognition for the skills and proficiencies in working this industry.
What's the difference between long day care and family day care?
Long day care services are normally open from early in the morning till early evening (around 10 hours), five days a week for majority of the year (some may close for a few weeks over Christmas and New Year’s).
They can have children from six weeks to six years of age and usually set-up their centre in rooms according to the children’s age. Depending on the facilities at the service, they can cater for very large groups of children with appropriate staff ratios.
Family day care is arranged through a coordination unit where educators can set up a small service in their own home. One educator can have four to five children under the age of six years and they can also have two school age children which includes their own.
It is a mixed age setting with one educator and the days and hours of care are set by the family day care educator. Just like a long day care, parents are able to visit educators’ homes through the coordination unit to choose the family day care to suit their child’s needs.
What would you say is the secret to getting employment in the Early Childhood Education and Care industry?
Being very passionate about working with children is so important. There are many qualities educator employers like to see; professional, friendly, enthusiastic, positive and a team worker just to name a few.
Any experience with children is a real bonus and of course a qualification. Staying up to date with changes in the Industry and being able to put all the theory learnt from studying into a high standard of practice is essential.
What does your role as a trainer and assessor at Open Colleges involve?
I support students to learn about the various roles of an educator covering all the areas I mentioned earlier. Students are able to message trainers and assessors at any time to enquire on the course material and ask questions about their assessments.
Trainers and assessors provide prompt responses using their knowledge and experience from working in this industry. Personally, I like to provide students with constructive feedback within each assessment that I mark. This enables them to follow-up with any further questions and provides encouragement to them to complete the course and achieve a higher grade for future assessments.
Even though the actual course is online, we offer online study groups as well as well as on-line forums so that our students never feel like they are alone.