How to become an assistant teacher or child minder

There are so many schools and childcare facilities all over South Africa. If children are your passion, then an assistant teacher job or child minder job could be for you. Read on to find out what you need to start your career in this field.

What is an assistant teacher? 

Assistant teachers help teachers in a classroom environment. Teacher’s assistants in the Early Learning Development Centres work with children between the ages of 2 and 6 years. They are responsible for taking care of the children in the class and ensuring that they are safe at all times. Teacher’s assistants help the teacher with whatever is required of them. This could be anything from setting up play areas, cleaning up, changing the children, taking them to the bathroom, helping them eat, singing, colouring, painting and supervising them when they play.

Assistant teachers help teachers with their daily work.
Assistant teachers help teachers with their daily work.

What skills and traits do assistant teachers need?

Assistant teachers must have a passion for children. As they spend every day with young children, it is important that they’re patient, kind, gentle, caring and understanding. Assistant teachers must be able to work in a team with the teacher and have good communication skills.

A good grasp of healthy eating and living is also part of the skills that an assistant must have.

Where do assistant teachers work?

Assistant teachers can find work in nursery schools, play schools, Early Learning Development Centres, play groups and creches.

What qualifications must an assistant teacher have? 

Although no formal qualification is required for assistants up to Grade 00, it is advisable that those who wish to pursue a career in this field complete a childminding course as well as a CPR course.

If you wish to become an assistant in the higher grades, you will require a qualification.

What is a child minder?

A childminder’s primary job is to look after the children under their care. They are responsible for ensuring that the children are always safe, no matter the circumstances. These individuals can also provide children with robust early childhood development regimens. This could include activities that stimulate and support children’s intellectual, physical, social, emotional and language development.

Childminders are also responsible for feeding the children in their care by providing refreshments and encouraging healthy eating. They will become role models for many of the children they care for and so should do as much as they possibly can to promote healthy lifestyles.

Child minders look after young children.
Child minders look after young children.

What skills and traits do child minders need?

Child minders need to be skilled caretakers for babies, toddlers and children. They need to have the right skills and necessary caretaking experience. As they spend their days with very young children, they need to be kind, compassionate, caring and understanding. Patience and the ability to listen to the needs of the kids in their care is very important.

These people must have good communication skills, an excellent grasp of healthy eating and healthy living as well as good teaching skills.

Where do child minders work?

Child minder jobs are available in nursery schools, play school, play groups and creches. They can also work in private homes.

What qualifications must a child minder have? 

Although no formal qualification is required, it is advisable to do a childminding course as well as a CPR course. These are available at institutions across the country.

If you’ve already got some experience or are looking to start your career, take a look at some job opportunities here.