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
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2018-07-11 by NAHB
Ensuring that young children are eating healthy meals that promote physical and cognitive growth is crucial to their overall development. Balanced meals can help children stay healthy and feel energized. In fact, there are helpful guidelines and regulations concerning what children in childcare facilities and daycare centers are permitted to eat, how much, and more.
As an assistant in early childcare, there are a few strategies that you can use to make sure that mealtimes go smoothly and that children enjoy healthy diets. Read on to learn more about them!
Early Childcare Assistants Should Work to Limit Unhealthy Snacks
Unhealthy processed foods, as well as drinks and snacks that are high in sugar, should be strictly limited on all menus. A sweet tooth can’t always be avoided, so it might be a good idea for professionals with early childcare training to try offering more natural alternatives. Apple or pear slices, for example, can be highly nutritious snacks that can satisfy a child’s need for something sweet.
Early childcare workers should also avoid serving meals with a high amount of fat or processed meat. Instead of serving fish and chips, professionals can try grilling a chicken breast with a side of pasta or rice, or make lean tacos that kids are guaranteed to love.
Assistants in Early Childcare Can Help Maintain Proper Nutrition when Scheduling Meals
According to experts, children need to eat healthy snacks and meals, and drink plenty of water, at every three to four hours throughout the day. Professionals trained in early childcare can schedule these meals in a variety of ways, like by printing a universal lunch menu for each day of the week, or by scheduling mealtimes on an excel spreadsheet. Early childcare assistants should be wary of any allergies or dietary requirements a child may have, and be sure to take extra care when scheduling and preparing meals for them.
Graduates of early childcare college should also take into account each child’s preferences, and adapt meals around them as best they can. For example, if a child dislikes celery but prefers cucumbers, they can be substituted. Some children may also have specific nutritional needs, such as a vitamin C or Calcium deficiency, requiring more citrus fruit, milk, or almonds in addition to other foods. When scheduling, early childcare assistants working in Ontario should strive to respect the nutrition guidelines of the government, which designate the amount and type of meals children must receive.
Early Childcare Assistants Must Be Patient and Work at the Child’s Pace
When children sit down to eat their meals, they should be in a relaxed and calming environment. Promoting a positive environment for children while they eat could help them take a more optimistic view of certain healthy foods, making it slightly easier for early childcare workers to encourage a child to try a new food.
When suggesting that children try new healthy snacks, early childcare assistants should do so slowly and at the child’s pace. Resistance to eating healthy, particularly if the child has access to more sugary foods at home, is expected. Exercising patience when working to improve a child’s nutrition is essential for success.
Strive to give children a positive view of healthy food!
Early childcare assistants can also get children to eat healthy foods by introducing them to meals from different cultures. This makes mealtimes fun, stimulating, and educational. It’s a sure-fire way to get kids excited about healthy food!
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2016-06-01 by NAHB
Many of us use our smartphones and computers on a daily basis, which is why knowing how to properly use technology is an important skill in today’s digital age. Getting familiar with technology is now an important part of any education, and that education often starts right at the preschool level. It’s one of the reasons why many of today’s preschools keep tablets and other digital devices on hand, and why your career as an early childhood educator will likely involve introducing kids to new technology.
How can you help kids get tech savvy? If you’re on your way to becoming an early childcare assistant, read on to discover why technology is an important component of early childhood care and how early childcare assistants can effectively introduce kids to technology.
The Technology Debate in Early Childcare Training
It’s no secret that there has been much debate over whether or not technology is playing a positive or negative role in children’s development. Often parents and researchers agree that technology can be extremely beneficial, but only in moderation. The utilization of technology is an important part of any kid’s development, but too much technology time can sometimes encourage kids to develop over-use habits that will likely continue on much later in life. That’s why as an early childhood assistant you’ll have a big responsibility in making sure that the children under your care learn to use new technology without developing bad habits.
1. Early Childcare Assistants Learn When to Introduce Kids to Tech
In early childcare training you will learn that age plays an extremely important part in measuring when and why certain learning activities should be introduced to children. For instance, many experts recommend waiting until the children you’re caring for are in preschool, or over two years of age, before introducing technology into their activities. The reason for this is that children two and under often learn best through experience and using their senses. Once children turn three, educational multimedia content can begin to be incorporated into their routine.
2. Early Childcare Training Teaches Students to Monitor Use of Tablets and Other Devices
As you’ll soon learn during your studies, it’s important to carefully monitor children’s learning activities, especially when they use new technology. Make sure to keep screens and devices in a communal area in order to help monitor the usage of these devices and ensure that children receive balanced exposure. As an early childcare assistant, maintain a close proximity to children who are using tablets or computers in order to point out some aspects of the educational program that they may have missed, or answer questions that children may have.
Stay close to kids on the computer to point out some interesting stuff!
3. An Early Childcare Assistant Knows That Content Matters
As you introduce the children under your care to new technology, you’ll also want to make sure that the content they come across online is age appropriate and educational. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up controls on all devices so that kids can only access age-appropriate content. In addition, you’ll also want to make sure that kids visit educationally focused websites instead of just entertainment based ones.
With numerous games and activities available for smart phones and tablets, there’s no shortage of educational material out there suitable for all early childhood ages. Games like AlphaTots Alphabet, for example, use fun elements like spaceships and robots to make learning the alphabet more enjoyable for kids.
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