Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Early Childhood Education Allows You To Assist in a Childcare Setting

Many parents today are left with no choice but to put their children in daycare. This can be an unsettling experience as horror stories of unsatisfactory daycare care do exist. However, when a parent goes to check out a daycare, he or she can meet not only the Childhood Educator but also the Early Childhood Assistants who ensure that parents feel comfortable leaving their children at the daycare.

Through their understanding of personal and social development as well as health and safety needs, combined with practical training, early childhood assistants are able to effectively support children as they grow through their early years. In order to be eligible to enter the field, Early Childhood Assistants must obtain an early childhood education. Such an endeavour can be completed at Centennial College in Toronto, Ont.

To apply for the Early Childhood Education Assistant program, you should possess an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. There is also a requirement of compulsory English 12 credit or skills assessment or equivalent. Aside from the academic necessities, students are required to complete a questionnaire, provide references and attend a program admission session as part of the admissions process. Possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to this early childhood program.

Specifically, the program is designed to support students who have learning disabilities, have a workplace destination level high-school diploma, are mature students (over the age of 19), and/ or students who have first languages other than English. This design is facilitated through small classes, a hands-on approach to learning and support from professional faculty members who have been in the industry for years. One year in length, the program features course such as: Communicating with Families, Preschool and School-Age learning, Guiding Children’s Behaviour, Health and Wellbeing, Infant and Toddler Development and more. In addition to the early childhood education courses, students also participate in English Communications, The Learning Environment, Professionalism, and more. Within these courses, there are usually two major assignments, a mid-term and a final test as well as presentations, small group assignments and in-class workshop participation.

To round out training, the early childhood program also sees students participating in a two-day-a-week field placement. This hands-on practice allows students to apply what they have already learned and also gain insight from the field. You should be aware that some field placement agencies require a criminal reference check prior to student placement. Certain criminal convictions may disallow placement in these agencies and program completion may not be possible. You must also have a clear medial report to participate.

This one-year undertaking prepares students for two things: a career as a childhood assistant or entry to the school’s Early Childhood Education program. Should students choose to pursue a career right away, they will be responsible for providing care and skilled support that helps children with personal and social development. They also ensure the safety of the children in childcare centres, licensed childcare agencies, independent childcare centres and in private settings (as nannies). The skills they will leave with include: Planning curriculum and activities that are based on an understanding of child development, creating nutritious meals, maintaining responsive relationships with children, establishing environments that meet requirements of current legislation, and maintaining communication with the children’s parents.

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