How to become a kindergarten teacher

Want to help 3- and 4-year-olds develop their learning, physical and social skills? Become a kindergarten teacher. Here’s how.

Begin your career in kindergarten teaching

Kindergarten teaching is a booming sector with a wealth of future job opportunities. Between 2021—2026, demand for teachers is expected to grow a whopping 21.6%, equivalent to an additional 10,600 jobs nationwide. 

Part of this expansion can be credited to the Victorian government’s $5 billion investment into providing free 3-year-old kinder from 2023, as well as New South Wales’ Start Strong for Community Preschools program. 

Here’s how you can become a kindergarten teacher (a.k.a. early childhood teacher) in Australia! 

1. Complete a bachelor degree in early childhood education. Should you wish to do this online, you could consider one of these degrees. 
2. Try an undergraduate certificate or diploma for a taste of the field before signing up for a longer-term course, both of which could help you gain access into a degree. Alternatively, go even less-committal with a short course or single subject. 
3. Take up a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) instead. As always, you can dip your toe in with a graduate certificate or graduate diploma. See our full range of online postgraduate kindergarten teacher courses here. 
4. Once you graduate, register with your local teaching regulatory authority. 
5. See how a Master of Education could help you move into management, innovation or policy-related roles later in your career.

What is a kindergarten teacher?

We get the word ‘kindergarten’ from German, which translates into ‘garden of children’, an allegory for what happens to children when they attend one—they grow, like plants, when provided with the right environment and caring gardener…a kindergarten teacher!

What does a kindergarten teacher do?

Unlike a teacher of older students, a kindergarten teacher is so much more than a conduit of knowledge. For children aged three and four, their teacher serves as social guide, role model and emotional support as well. 

Duties and tasks

  • Developing activities to promote creativity, interest in learning, physical skills, social skills and self-confidence 
  • Documenting observations of children’s behaviour and development 
  • Implementing a planned program, considering individual and group needs
  • Building relationships with children, families, other educators and health and wellbeing professionals 
  • Listening to each individual and interpreting words and actions to determine their needs 
  • Promoting awareness and appreciation of multicultural diversity • Assisting children with toileting and personal hygiene 
  • Attending to hurt, distressed or sick children

Must-have skills for kindergarten teachers

  • Child development knowledge 
  • Child care knowledge 
  • Passion 
  • Patience 
  • Creativity 
  • Flexibility 
  • High energy/enthusiasm 
  • Organisation and planning 
  • Communication 
  • Respect and collaboration

A kindergarten teacher's salary

In Australia, kindergarten teachers earn, on average, between $70,000/year to $90,000/year, according to Seek. This range reflects level of experience, with salaries increasing the longer you’ve been a teacher. 

You might be interested to know that senior kindergarten teachers in Victoria could earn as much as $116,906 by 2024, thanks to the Victorian Early Childhood Teachers and Educators Agreement set in 2020.

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