Image by Philip Bohle
Jayden works in education and care (childcare) sector in Outside School Hours Care. He spends his days hanging out with children, from early years to high school students.
His experience within the sector has taught him how to enjoy work life while making a meaningful contribution to the lives of the young people he works with by providing support and creating fun learning opportunities.
Mum Paved the Way
Jayden followed in the footsteps of his mother, who is also an educator and team leader in the education and care (childcare) sector. She encouraged him to consider a role, recognising that his natural attributes would suit the sector. He brings highly developed interpersonal skills and a caring nature to his work in Outside School Hours Care programs. With long-term experience, he has deepened his knowledge and his understanding of the sector which has allowed him to explore career growth in his areas of interest.
Jayden encourages anyone looking for flexible work with an interest in working with children to consider a role in Outside School Hours Care, suggesting that university students would be ideal candidates while they look for part-time work during their studies.
“It just works so well with the hours… You do a couple of hours in the afternoon, or you do a couple of hours in the morning, or you could do both, and then you have all of that other time to be able to do your university degrees, and it’s very flexible.”
Engaged While Learning
Alongside flexible time options for work throughout the day, another one of the benefits of working with children is the interactive nature of the job.
“One of the coolest aspects of this job is you get to go and interact and be a child again. You know that when you’re having fun, the children are also having fun, and you’re modelling that behavior. And I guess that makes me super happy when everyone else is happy around me and I’m enjoying myself. “
Jayden gets to engage with children in play daily and says he is a big kid at heart. He recommends work in the education and care (childcare) sector for people who are creative and who are looking for a more dynamic style of working.
“If you love just getting out, kicking the footy, playing, or even chilling inside, doing drawings, folding, making origami, dressing up, listening to music, dancing. It’s a very interactive, super fun job.”
Jayden has been doing this type of work for seven years now, and over this time, has learnt a lot about clear communication. He has developed excellent interpersonal skills which means he can communicate and socialise with children and their families, addressing any issues that arise in a clear and calm manner. He knows the signs to look for supporting children and families that are experiencing challenging times. Jayden and his colleagues provide a safe space and are sensitive to the needs of the child, by understanding the motivations behind the behaviour and working with them to overcome challenges.
“If a family’s going through a tough time, then they’re probably going to be feeling that impact, and they [the child] might be acting out a bit and need a bit more support. Developing that relationship with the families as well, makes that conversation a little bit easier.”
Image by Philip Bohle
Backing Each other to be the Best
He also enjoys working in a tight knit team of people who learn from and support each other. This gives Jayden a sense of belonging in the workplace.
“Building and developing relationships with the other staff, as well as the children that I work with, it’s integral. It helps so much having that backing of all the other staff, and especially when they just know what they’re doing. “
Modelling good behaviour and life enjoyment is one of Jayden’s core work values and he also experiences a sense of wonder as he watches a child’s growth. Jayden gets a real sense of achievement from supporting children’s interests and watching them develop as they learn about the world.
“Seeing where they start off, being able to sing their alphabets to them and then they are reading full chapter books, it’s incredible watching that development.”
Jayden balances this focus on child development with his own personal and professional growth, completing regular training to support best practice. Jayden feels comfortable asking management for different education options as needed, and has completed short courses in Trauma Informed Practice, child protection, food handling, workplace health and safety and first aid, all of which were offered free through his workplace.
Jayden has learnt on the job and as he has done so, more opportunities have opened to develop his skills and abilities, working closely with families over many years, and even stepping into a (relief) team leader position, just like his mum! Jayden says it’s cool to work with children in such a supportive way and he can’t imagine doing anything else.
“If I was very wealthy, I’d probably still work here. Love getting out and joining in the activities. It’s very enjoyable. It’s heaps of fun. “
Our sincere thanks to Jayden for his contribution to Work with Purpose. To find out more about working in education and care access an information guide here.
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