2019-03-20 by NAHB
Early childcare assistants (ECA) can be found in a variety of different work environments. They can launch their career at a daycare centre, nursery school, or kindergarten. They may even choose to work in a client’s home after graduation. Yet while each of these different career trajectories offers distinct opportunities and rewards, they also share some things in common.
What is the role of an ECA, and what can you look forward to with this career path? Keep reading to find out!
Helping Young Kids Develop Important Skills
Part of what makes working as an early childcare assistant so rewarding is that you get to help inspire and support young minds at the very beginning of their education. Early childcare assistants use stimulating activities and games to help get kids excited about learning. Cooperative games and dramatic play help young learners develop important social skills, while storytime can spark an early love of language and help expand vocabularies. ECAs can also help to promote physical activity through sports and outdoor play. Today’s early childcare assistants even learn about children and technology, so that they can help their charges develop important 21st century skills!
Early childcare assistants help young kids develop important skills
For young kids, these activities help to lay a solid foundation for social, intellectual, physical, and emotional growth. For early childcare assistants, it offers the opportunity to support the development of the next generation, and have a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of others. It’s one aspect of this career path that can be a true joy, as professionals see their young charges learn and grow.
Observation Skills Will Be Essential to You Once You Become an Early Childcare Assistant
Another important aspect of pursuing an early childcare assistant career is developing your observation skills. In fact, observation skills are included as part of your training. This can help you catch an instant where a child is behaving inappropriately, and help you address the issue quickly. More than that, though, you’ll also be writing down your observations and communicating them to colleagues and supervisors. This can help your team identify any potential behavioural or developmental problems early on, so that they can be addressed and so that any child who needs additional support can receive the care they need.
Teamwork Is an Important Part of an Early Childcare Assistant Career
Early childcare assistants often work within a team environment, assisting early childhood educators and teachers. As a result, teamwork is an important part of this career path, and something that you can expect once you become an early childcare assistant. Even those who work in a home care setting still approach childcare as a team effort, carefully listening to and communicating with parents.
Early Childcare Assistant Careers Are Also Concerned with Health and Safety
Working in a childcare setting comes with plenty of responsibility, including ensuring the health and safety of all kids under your care. This is why your training covers topics such as first aid and CPR, nutrition, and health and safety. By completing a thorough training program, you can feel ready for the many different responsibilities that this career brings.
Early childcare assistants make sure kids have a clean and safe environment to learn in
Would you like to attend an early childcare college?
Learn more about how the National Academy of Health and Business can help you prepare for the career you’ve always wanted.
2019-01-16 by NAHB
The increased adoption of technology in modern society has brought numerous changes, but it can also have far-reaching consequences—both positive and negative, especially when it comes to childhood development. There is still debate over whether exposing children early to technology like tablets, computers, and digital entertainment can help or hinder their personal development, and popular advice can vary from enthusiastic support to staunch condemnation.
As with many things, however, there are both good and bad aspects that you should take into consideration, especially if you’re considering a career in early childcare. Technology has the ability to open children to new modes and styles of learning, but it also can affect their development and how they learn. If you’re interested in getting involved in early childcare, read on to find out what you should know about how technology can impact your future career.
1. Technology Can Affect Children’s Attention Levels
A good attention span helps our thinking process, perception, memory, and decision-making, among other areas. Our development of attention is influenced by our environment during and after childhood, and that includes the use of technology.
Technology primarily uses visual stimuli, which makes our brains pay attention to information in a more segmented way than reading or manual tasks. This means that children who are consistently exposed to technology are more capable of drawing information quickly, but it also means that they may fall behind in other areas, such as their attention span and ability to engage in critical thinking.
2. Early Childcare Assistants Should Keep Kids Active Indoors and Outdoors
The increased focus on technology has led to a reduction in how frequently children participate in regular physical activity. A recent Kaiser Foundation study found that children spent a daily average of 7.5 hours using entertainment technology, and this can affect how they build and apply their creativity and imagination.
Professionals with early childcare training should remember to keep kids active with classroom activities that engage different areas of their brains than the ones they use when interacting with technology. This can be as simple as gathering the class to read a book out loud, playing a game at recess, or incorporating hands-on toys and crafts that stimulate creativity.
Students can use their training to start their early childcare career with confidence
3. Early Childcare Assistants Should Balance Screen Time Use in the Classroom
If you’re interested in an early childcare assistant career, technology can be a useful resource to use. It’s important, however, to remember moderation.
Childhood development is comprehensive, and incorporates many different areas. Overwhelming kids with too much technology can make them fall behind in other crucial areas, which is why you should try to reach a healthy balance between using technology and engaging students in other activities that encourage growth. Having students participate in real-world social activities teaches them different lessons than what they learn from an online activity, and a great daycare includes a healthy mix of both.
Are you interested in learning more about where your early childcare assistant diploma can take you?
Contact NAHB for more information about our programs.
2018-10-24 by NAHB
You spend a lot of time at your job, so it’s important to find something that not only pays the bills, but also provides you with long-term growth, satisfaction, and fulfillment. Instead of quietly counting down the years to retirement, you want to be able to head to work every day knowing that you’re making a difference, developing new skills, and hopefully finding some moments of genuine joy and positivity.
For caring individuals who are interested in fostering the emotional and intellectual growth of young children, a career as an early childcare assistant can provide many of these benefits.
2018-05-23 by NAHB
Personal development during the early years of childhood can be challenging for youngsters. Boys and girls are meeting new people all the time, learning new games, and taking in lots of new information in pre-schools. Hearing loss can make such social development a little more challenging.
Fortunately, early childcare assistants can apply slightly adapted techniques to cater to such needs and help all children feel welcomed in the classroom. Hearing loss is a broad term, which is why open communication and understanding with parents is so important. Once that has been achieved, there are a range of teaching tips and activities which can be integrated into a childcare assistant’s daily routine.
Different Types of Hearing Loss Which may Be Encountered
Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily mean a complete loss of this sense. There are three types of impairment which can hinder a person’s ability to hear properly. Conductive hearing loss refers to blockages which prevent sound from efficiently reaching the inner ear. This could be caused by infections or fluid/wax build-up in the ear canal or ear drum, as well as damage to bones in the middle ear. Medical products can be effective for such conditions, but hearing aids may also be necessary in certain circumstances.
Sensorineural hearing loss refers to damage of hearing nerves or the inner ear. Hearing aids are a much more common solution this time around, because these problems are often permanent. It’s also possible for people to suffer from mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural. Medical professionals conduct the necessary tests to detect possible hearing loss, and anybody in an early childcare assistant career should be kept informed about such diagnoses.
How Childcare Assistants and Children with Hearing Loss Communicate Effectively
The most common piece of advice offered when working with children with hearing loss is to keep on talking. This helps kids with hearing loss develop their language skills and feel included in the classroom. Top childcare assistants don’t become demoralized when a message isn’t getting through. When first trying to catch the child’s attention, gently tap them on the shoulder. Then stand or kneel close to the child when having a conversation.
Eye contact is especially important when speaking to a child with hearing loss
Eye contact is also essential to allow the child to read your lips during a conversation. Resist the temptation to excessively raise your voice when speaking, because this isn’t guaranteed to help them hear what you’re saying. It may also make them feel self-conscious, and embarrass them among classmates.
Creating Inclusive Group Activities After Childcare Training
A child’s hearing loss is a good opportunity to educate their peers about the condition. This helps to prevent misinformation spreading around the classroom, where the affected child could become isolated. Activities that promote the development of verbal communication and listening skills should be encouraged, because this allows children with hearing loss to experience language in a natural setting. This should be balanced with non-verbal activities, such as art or puzzles, which can also develop other important skills and help build self-confidence.
Hearing Aids Require Special Attention to Prevent Damage
Those in childcare training should also develop some degree of familiarity with hearing aids. It’s useful for professionals to know how to put the devices on effectively, how to switch it on, and when to switch batteries. It’s also important to remember that these are electrical items, so try to prevent the possibility of water damage. If the child is hearing a whistling from the hearing aid, it’s also a good indicator that they have outgrown it. Open communication with parents will also help to ensure that special considerations are known and followed.
Make sure to avoid water damage with hearing aids
Do you want to learn how to become an early childcare assistant?
Start a fulfilling and long-lasting career by studying the diploma program at NAHB.
2016-10-19 by NAHB
Sensory awareness, or the act of noticing a particular sensation, can be interesting and surprising. Whether becoming aware of the blueness of a clear sky or the softness of a new shirt, these moments of awareness are often pleasant, and can let people experience familiar things in new ways.
For young children, developing senses lead to many of these kinds of moments, and this presents both opportunities and challenges for early childcare assistants.
If you’re curious about how sensory awareness can affect the way you interact with children in your workplace, here are a couple of points you might consider.
1. Considering an Early Childcare Assistant Career? Sensory Play Is Great Stimulation for Kids
Play time doesn’t need to be about “doing,” necessarily. Kids spend a lot of time in a state of sensory awareness, and can get lots of value out of simply experiencing their different senses.
PBS points out that “Children… learn best and retain the most information when they engage their senses,” and states that investigative play time—time during which kids can touch, play with, and explore an object—helps “develop and refine cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative, and linguistic skill sets.”
Guiding children to play in ways that engage different senses is a great way to help them develop their minds. Consider playing music together, introducing different play materials like “oobleck,” or playing with shadow puppets to get kids to engage with their senses.
2. Future Early Childhood Assistants: Sensory Awareness Can Be Embarrassing for Some Kids
It might not seem like a big deal, but “getting caught” enjoying sensory stimulation like listening to a favourite song or touching a soft fabric can be embarrassing for some people. If you’re thinking about pursuing an early childcare assistant career, this is a good thing to keep in mind.
In a paper entitled “Sensory Awareness,” written for the University of Nevada’s Department of Psychology, researchers speculate that the reason for this potential embarrassment is that sensory awareness is typically a reaction to “what feels good… in a very sensual way,” and “sensual interests are intensely personal.”
The best approach to deal with this embarrassment will be different from child to child, but knowing the potential for this phenomenon will be helpful when going into the classroom.
3. Children With Disorders May React Differently to Sensory Awareness
Though sensory awareness can often be a pleasant experience, for some children—particularly those with developmental disabilities that have affected their sensory system—they can present a challenge.
According to Autism.com, for some children, “Sometimes one or more senses are either over- or under-reactive to stimulation.” which can lead to “behaviors like rocking, spinning, and hand-flapping.”
For example, once you become an early childcare assistant, if you see a child cover their ears when music plays, then they might be oversensitive to sound. Children who are under sensitive, on the other hand, might seek out loud noises or other sensory experiences. By being aware of these reactions to sensory awareness, you can adapt your lessons accordingly.
Some kids may have a difficult time reacting to sensory awareness
Sensory awareness can be great fun, and is an essential part of childhood cognitive development. It also poses a few challenges that future childcare assistants might want to keep in mind while working alongside kids.
Are you considering an early childcare assistant diploma to put yourself on the path to a rewarding career?
Contact an advisor at the National Academy of Health and Business today to discover more!
2016-08-10 by NAHB
An early childcare assistant career lets you teach kids fundamental skills
Working with children is one of the most important and enriching jobs anyone could have. The ability to teach children values, manners, and the fundamentals of what they’ll learn in school is a precious job that should not be taken lightly.
Due to the level of influence in this position, it is not a job that anyone can just jump into. Luckily, there are short-term programs that teach students the different skills they will need to successfully become early childcare assistants. On top of that, some of these programs offer placements as part of the process, in order to make sure graduates are ready for this important position when they finish school.
Interested in a career in early childcare? Read on to find out three benefits of doing a hands-on placement.
1. Early Childcare Training Teaches Students How to Create a Positive, Safe Atmosphere
There are a couple of things that children need in their early years in order to thrive as they grow older. Primarily, they need to feel safe, they need to be engaged, and they need people to pay attention to them. Doing these three things will create an atmosphere in which children can explore their creativity, learn from their peers and elders, and develop into attentive, curious students. Professionals who have gone through early childcare training understand this and have taken many different classes to ensure that all children under their care have the attention and direction they need to thrive. For example, they learn the fundamentals of health and safety, first aid, and child development, among many other topics.
Completing a placement after learning all of these skills in the classroom will allow you to put those skills into practice, and develop the hands-on methods with which you will interact and engage with students throughout your career.
Early childcare training teaches you the value of creating a safe, positive environment
2. A Hands-On Placement in Early Childcare Training Allows You to Observe Pros at Work
The early years for a child are crucial to their development and offer insight into the kind of people that they’ll grow up to be. An early childcare assistant career puts you in a position to guide these children as they begin to make sense of and explore the world around them.
The easiest way to ease into this role is to see others in action and learn from them. Hands-on placements generally involve both observation and active participation, but because you can do both, you’ll never feel unprepared or overwhelmed. Watching professionals at work allows you to appreciate the value of everything you’ve been learning and see how it translates to the real world.
3. A Placement Lets You Confirm an Early Childcare Assistant Career is Right for You
A career as an early childcare assistant gives you the flexibility to work in such varied places as daycares, preschools, and not-for-profits. It is a growing field with tons of opportunities for career stability and growth. It relies on the development of interpersonal relationships between childcare workers and children, which means that it will never be phased out by technological advances. There will always be children and those children will always need to be taken care of, so working as an early childcare assistant will always be in demand. That kind of stability and the emotional satisfaction of helping a young child begin to grow are incredibly valuable.
A hands-on placement lets you experience working in this rewarding profession so that you can confirm this is the right career and right path for you.
An early childcare assistant diploma lets you work in multiple fields
Careers that offer stability and a strong future outlook are hard to come by, not to mention ones that offer an immense sense of emotional satisfaction. Early childcare assistants help shape the future generations; why not take part in that?
Are you interested in obtaining an early childcare assistant diploma?
Contact NAHB for more information or to speak with an advisor!
2016-06-06 by NAHB
- Amazing placements! National Academy students are required to complete mandatory job placements in order to gain valuable experience for their future careers. Use this opportunity to learn from experienced mentors. Observe how Early Childcare Educators handle disruptive situations and watch how they diffuse tense situations.
- Great things happen often! Like our Instructors, Early Childcare Assistants are a happy bunch. They are excited about their work each day and this directly impacts how they will excel in the workplace. Remember, a child’s first teacher is often the one he or she remembers the most which means you could be that person in the life of the children you teach.
- You will become more flexible. Although young children need a consistent schedule, you will learn to always allow for the unexpected. Children are inquisitive and spontaneous by nature. This also makes them quite fun to be around! What if snow starts falling or a school bus arrives outside? You will learn to make use of these simple, teachable moments and bring them into everyday life!
- You will start the day with a smile. There is something about working with children that makes it possible to smile, even when you don’t feel like it. Not only does smiling make you feel good, it will reassure parents that you will care for their child and the children feel more comfortable as well!
- Your cleaning skills will be top-notch! Kids make a mess! Make sure your classroom is tidy and safe at all times. Making lists of potential hazards and keeping things orderly will prevent accidents from happening. A bonus of working in a clean environment is that it also directly affects your health in positive ways!
- Respect for others. Working as an Early Childcare Assistant will help you to realize that each child has a different learning style. Some children learn best in visual mode, others in auditory mode and some learn best in a kinesthetic style including using their hands to feel, touch, and explore. By evaluating each child and finding his or her best learning style you will help in their educational process.
- Making a difference. Different children come from different family environments. Sadly, some of the children you are working with may even be living in homeless shelters or dysfunctional families. They may exhibit aggressive behavior, signs of withdrawal, or disruptive conduct. Realize that a structured environment, consistent daily routine, compassion and shared control between adult and child are critical for a distressed child. You can help to be a consistent rock in a child’s life.
- You don’t ever have to stop learning. If you love learning, this is the right job for you! Always keep an open mind. Read recent reports on child care. Consider upgrading your diploma or take refresher course at National Academy – All NAHB graduates are welcome to take a refresher course at any time.
- Be social and have fun! Being an active member of a professional organization provides you with a network of like-minded individuals! These events can actually be quite fun with the right bunch of people! You can learn from others, meet new people in your field and have a wider network for future job opportunities. It also proves your serious about the career you chose.
- You get to be a professional. Having a good working relationship with others is always important. Keep relationships professional at all times and focus on the children. Sure, working with kids is fun but always remember that you are one of the highest ranked employees within a childcare centre. Learn from this opportunity and it will take you far in life. Being friendly and courteous to teachers and parents ensures all will be confident leaving their children in your good hands.
For more information about National Academy of Health & Business and our Early Childcare Assistant program, please visit us online www.nahb.ca for more contact information.
2016-02-17 by NAHB
Technology provides today’s children with easy access to more information than ever before. Through television, computers, tablets and more, children are exposed to so much at such an early age. While there are many advantages associated with the rise of technology, there are also a few disadvantages. One such disadvantage is that most tech items tend to keep children indoors. Studies have shown that this can leave children feeling disconnected from the outside world.
On the other hand, nature offers endless opportunities for hands-on learning and play. Nature Education is a growing trend in schools and other educational institutions, because it benefits the physical and intellectual development of children, as well as their overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn a few of the reasons why nature education should be a part of your early childcare assistant career.
A Good Early Childcare Assistant Knows the Outdoors Promotes Exercise
Once you begin your career, you’ll notice that most daycares and preschools don’t have gymnasiums. As a result, you might find that the outdoors is a great alternative to having children run around inside the classroom.
Nature is a great place for young children to develop their motor skills. For instance, throwing a ball will help them develop their strength as well as their reflexes. An experienced early childcare assistant knows that the there are many other outdoor activities which help children develop their motor skills, such as pushing a swing or pulling a wagon. Additionally, the outdoors provides children with a lot of space to move and play, so they can get the exercise they need to stay healthy.
Early Childcare Training Teaches Students the Educational Benefits of Nature
Being outdoors also helps young minds develop in a variety of ways. During your early childcare assistant career, you can help educators develop activities that allow children to learn new things, which they otherwise wouldn’t indoors. For example, children can explore the natural habitats of plants and insects, or they can learn more about the textures of earth’s materials like soil, water and rocks. These are great ways to introduce kids to topics like science and ecology.
Being in nature also helps with language development. This is because children will begin looking for new words to describe things like birds, animals, and the environment around them.
Nature education is a great way to engage a child’s natural sense of curiosity.
An Early Childcare Assistant Knows Nature Boosts Creativity & Problem Solving Skills
Nature helps children to be much more creative and observant. Being outside and experiencing nature with all of their senses can help develop a child’s observational skills much more effectively than if they were to watch an educational program about nature. This type of learning makes children feel more connected with their environment.
Studies have shown that when they are outdoors, children tend to engage in much more creative activities, and they are also more cooperative with others during outdoor play. Additionally, certain activities can also help children develop their problem-solving skills. By asking children to collect all of the outdoor equipment and put it away, for example, an early childcare assistant is actually helping children work together to solve a problem—cleaning up.
Nature education in early childhood years encourages children to adopt healthy emotional, behavioral, and lifestyle patterns that can last a lifetime!
Are you interested in pursuing early childcare training?
Visit NAHB to learn how you can get started!