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What does an Early Childhood Educator do?

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Answered November 05 2021
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Early Childhood Educators provide the stepping stones for future learning, growth, and cognitive and emotional development. It's a time when children learn critical social and emotional skills, and a partnership is formed between the child, their parents, and the teacher.    
The workday is much the same as a primary-level Teacher. They welcome children into the classroom, prepare and implement activities for the day, demonstrate exceptional supervisory skills and provide complete safety and comfort to their students. There is also considerable time and effort to structure and customize their teaching curriculum, typically developed in advance of monthly and seasonal time frames.  
The objective for any Early Childhood Educator is to stimulate and assist in the integral development of children's skills, demonstrate and model how to develop schedules and routines while promoting good behaviors and habits. To stay on top of individual children's needs, they must track and report their progress, development, and overall health, safety, and well-being. When this is done successfully, it lays the groundwork for it to continue throughout the child's education.     
Observing, tracking, and reporting children's health, safety, and well-being requires a considerable amount of focus and reliance on multitasking skills. Early Childhood Educators will need to work under pressure in a dynamic, fast-paced environment while simultaneously maintaining a caring, inclusive, safe, and hygienic environment. They will also need to meet with parents and other staff members to discuss behavior and learning difficulties as required, which is no easy feat. However, with prioritization and pre-planning of their work activities, they will find a balance to use their time efficiently while handling a high volume, diverse workload.  

Roles and responsibilities of an Early Childhood Educator
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of everyday tasks Early Childhood Educators are required to complete:  
  • Provide a stimulating, caring, inclusive, safe, and clean environment for infants and toddlers.  
  • Ensure children’s safety by identifying and preventing potential risks and health hazards.  
  • Maintain a clean environment, promote good personal hygiene and handwashing, and assist in housekeeping duties (e.g., ensuring toys, furniture, and equipment are appropriately cleaned and sanitized).   
  • Assist in planning, preparing, and implementing high-quality, play-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum to foster physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.   
  • Develop schedules and routines to familiarize students with daily habits and necessities (e.g., washing hands), including feeding them lunch/snacks and ensuring they get proper rest.   
  • Teach children pre-literacy, reading and language skills (e.g., rhymes, alphabets, and numbers), motor skills, and shape and color recognition.   
  • Organize activities that promote and facilitate the development of social, creative, and physical skills.   
  • Individualize the curriculum as required, ensuring that all activities are accessible.   
  • Use different teaching methods to adapt to each child’s individual needs.   
  • Instruct infants and toddlers on conveying their ideas, feelings, and needs by establishing conversations, asking, and responding to their questions.    
  • Improve children’s behavior by explaining and demonstrating good practices.   
  • Identify behavioral or cognitive difficulties children may present to apply the necessary corrections or unique methods.   
  • Identify and adapt to each child’s personality, skills, and necessities.    
  • Devote extra time to tend to the unique needs of some children.   
  • Report any abusive situation to the appropriate authorities, whether the child is experiencing physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse.   
  • Observe, monitor, and track children’s progress and development to ensure they successfully achieve pre-established learning and behavioral goals.   
  • Comply with all recording and reporting requirements outlined by national and provincial policies and procedures (e.g., daily log, incident reports, and medication administration).