Like every profession, child care has its own special terminology, you know, those buzzwords that often leave the ordinary parent a little confused. Let's take a moment to look at what the different child care educator titles actually mean.
Child Care Terminology
* Assistant Teacher, for example, refers to someone who is in the process (hopefully) of completing the basic one year Early Childhood Education (ECE) course. We say hopefully because ECE or child development training is not always a prerequisite for the job and many assistant teachers have no formal related training. Most are under the supervision of a teacher or supervisor.
* A Teacher or Supervisor, also known as an Early Childhood Educator, is the person directly responsible for a group of children. Most often she (98% of all child care staff are female) has completed the basic Early Childhood Education training and has related work experience. Her duties also include staff supervision.
* A Teacher/Director or Head Supervisor refers to an Early Childhood Educator who works with children daily, but also has administrative duties. Her job is often split between teaching and running the facility.
* The Administrative Director, on the other hand, is responsible for the overall management of the centre or home and the staff. Though she may have some Early Childhood Education training, it is not manditory as she rarely spends time with the children. Most of her energy is spent running the facility, fund raising, and general administrative duties.
* There are other more specialized educators, such is the case with a Special Needs Educator, who is trained in Early Childhood Education and has completed post-basic training in care for children with special needs from birth to school-age, or an Infant and Toddler Educator who also the basic ECE training as well as post-basic education in the care children from birth to 36 months.
To learn more about the requirments of the Early Childhood Educators in your area, contact your local child care agency, licensing board, or family dayhome agency.