Early Childhood Assistants (ECAs) play an essential and varied role in daycares and preschools. During any given shift, they might be expected to help lead group activities for the kids, teach them songs or help run crafting exercises. They might prepare and serve snacks, or help maintain and clean equipment or play areas. They often monitor children, assisting them as necessary, helping them perform routine tasks like tying shoes, finding lost items or putting straws in juice boxes. They’re also often expected to keep notes for supervisors and discuss children’s behaviour and development with staff and parents.
Like many careers working with small children, the role can have its challenges at times, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding, fulfilling and satisfying career for those who have the personal qualities needed to thrive in it.
If you’re considering a new career direction and are wondering if you might be suited for life as an early childhood assistant, here are 3 character traits that would make you perfect for the job.
1. Being a Good Communicator is Important When Working with Children
Communicating with children can be a lot different than communicating with other adults and it involves its own particular set of skills. The ability to break down complex topics into small and easily understood pieces, for example, is incredibly useful when working with young children, who might need to be walked through new ideas or processes in a slow and methodical way. ECAs will also need to be able to give instructions and redirect behaviour in a gentle way, and sometimes engage in sensitive discussions with parents with other childcare staff.
Students will have the opportunity to develop their communication skills further in Early Childhood Assistant training, but knowing how to speak with clarity and sensitivity will be a big advantage for anyone pursuing a career as an ECA.
2. Early Childhood Assistants Should be Patient
Working with children will sometimes require repetition – whether that means reminding them of classroom rules, or repeatedly explaining difficult concepts or instructions to help them understand. This is one reason why patience is an important quality for those in early childhood assistant careers.
ECAs and the other teaching and supervising staff they work with also play a major role in setting a positive tone for the children in their care. No matter what a given day might bring, it’s important for early childhood assistants to be patient and even-tempered, and to stay positive even when things in the daycare or classroom might get a little hectic or unpredictable, or when their attention is being pulled in different directions.
If you’re able to stay patient and calm when working with young children, then you could be a great fit for early childhood assistant training.
3. Passion is a Key Ingredient for Success in Early Childhood Assistant Careers
One of the most important qualities for anyone working in education or childcare in any capacity is a passion for working with children.
For those who really thrive in the field, helping young children develop, learn new concepts and skills and express themselves creatively is an incredibly rewarding part of the job, and is what truly sets it apart from other career paths. Successful early childhood assistants find inherent value in their work and love knowing that they get to make a lasting, positive impact on the kids in their care.
Contact Canadian Business College for more information about our Early Childhood Assistant program.