- Educator Wellbeing
Educator wellbeing is at the heart of caring for children and young people. It also has close links to children and young people's wellbeing and educational outcomes.
Be You, the national initiative led by Beyond Blue to promote mental health within Australian learning communities, commissioned the Monash University to investigate educator wellbeing. Their research findings and a growing body of evidence links educator wellbeing to with educational outcomes for children and young people. As Dr Tamara Cumming, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Macquarie University, and co-lead of the Early Childhood Educators’ Wellbeing Project, states: "educators have to be well in order to provide stable, stimulating and supportive environments."
If the educators caring for the children are well, children have better cognitive and academic outcomes, better self-regulation and display more pro-social behaviours.
Growing respect for our Early Childhood Educators
One aspect of our educator's wellbeing is how their profession is viewed by their family and friends, professionals in other fields and the public at large. A recent survey shared by Dr Cumming, clearly indicated that educators felt the public did not respect them as early childhood professionals.
The complexity of caring and educating children is vast and educators require a tremendous amount of skill, knowledge and care to cater for the children's needs and their cognitive, social and emotional development. The Learning Frameworks, which directs how educators facilitate children's learning, has a strong focus on respect, with an emphasis on nurturing respectful relationships with children and their families. Educator's practice, role model and teach respect daily to improve the outcomes for the children they care for.
The Australian Childcare Alliance states that: "Being an early childhood educator means conquering daily challenges. Working with children requires patience and compassion, but it also means enjoying numerous positive and heartening experiences with the children, their families and your team. It’s an extremely rewarding career path for those with a genuine desire to support children in their early years." Our educators would whole heartedly agree with this statement, but it is now imperative, for our educators wellbeing, for their families and for all the children in their care, that we celebrate the role of their profession in society. Early childhood educators are essential in our communities, they support our children's education and wellbeing and ultimately shape the future of our country.
Quality early learning stems from quality, respected and well educators - join us in acknowledging, celebrating and showing respect to our educators, for the sake of the future.