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8 Ethical Practices to Consider in Your Childcare Job

As a childcare worker it can often feel as if you are not being noticed within your community. And many parents will not have a good understanding of what happens after they drop their kids at the door. To them it may seem like simple supervision, but the job of a childcare educator is much more. To earn respect it is very important that childcare workers of all levels uphold a sense of professionalism while working at a centre. Here are just a few practice to consider in the workplace.

Dress appropriately

Some centres will provide you with a uniform. However if not it’s important that you dress appropriately. Try casual jeans or track pants, combined with a loose fitting top. You want to be practical and wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. You will be participating in a range of messy activities – i.e. painting and playing in sand. Leave your best outfits for the weekend. It’s also important to consider how parents may perceive you, and should avoid anything provocative.

Less chat

When you're around a whole bunch of women, there’s bound to be a lot of chatter. In childcare throughout the day, there is no time for chit chatter. You should be spending that time engaging with the children. Parents don’t pay you to socialise.

No profanity

It’s pretty simple. Don’t do it. The last thing you want is for the child to go home with a new word in the vocabulary to share with Mum. It is so important not to swear in front of the kids. If you accidentally swear, try to cover it up by turning it into a sentence.  The less you accentuate the word, the less likely they’ll notice.

Don’t take it personally

When  being criticized at work, sometimes it’s easy to take it personally or hold a grudge against your peers. More often than not, your colleague will be giving you sound advice and you should keep an open mind to this feedback. If you are doing something wrong wouldn’t you want to know about it rather than continuing to do it wrong? When we are working in a team environment we should be open to all thoughts, ideas and suggestions.


Don’t bring your personal life into the centre. If you had a fight with your parents or your BFF and you’re upset, don’t come to work and take it out on the children. Put on a happy face, and leave your problems at the door. Children are not oblivious to your emotions and they won’t make it any easier for you. Besides if the kids can’t make you smile, you may be in the wrong profession.

Work efficiently

Working at a childcare centre involves dabbling in a lot of different tasks. There is a lot to get done so it’s essential that you work efficiently. If there are toys on the floor then help the kids tidy it up. If there is paint on the table, clean it up. Don’t just leave it for somebody else. You should always be moving and thinking about what to do next. There is no time for sitting down. Being efficient is a great personal quality to develop.

Common sense

After being in you childcare job for a couple of months, you should have sound knowledge on what needs to be done each day. It’s important to use your common sense when working with children. If you haven’t been told what to do, use your initiative to figure out what needs to be done. Apply common sense when handling a situation or at the very least let your room leader know. Don’t wait to be told what to do.

Health & safety

Working at a childcare centre will mean regular contact with a large number of children. So it’s important that you remain safe and health. If you’re not feeling well, take the day off.  Bugs are easily spread, and what comes around goes around. There is also a lot of lifting and bending in a childcare role so it’s important to take care of your back.. A back injury could leave you out of work for several months and potentially affect the rest of your childcare career. Lastly, keep an eye out for hazards. Accidents occur everyday, so remember to clean up any dangerous scenes before someone hurts themselves.

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