Picture it: you’re eager to get into the childcare industry.
You have the perfect temperament to work with young children.
You’re passionate about kids, and the idea of shaping young lives excites you.
There’s just one major thought in your mind: you can’t fathom how you’re going to fit studying childcare into your already-busy life!
If you have dreams to study childcare, they might be hindered by harsh reality. Balancing study and family life can be seriously stressful!
If you struggle to find the perfect balance between the two, not all is lost. Believe us when we say you can have your cake and eat it too when you study childcare!
Many of our students have been mature-age who’ve successfully juggled all three aspects of their lives – current work, family life, and study.
Read on to learn some of the most common tactics our students have used, and how you can get the balance you so desperately crave!
Tip 1: go part-time when you study Certificate 3 in Childcare
Sometimes, you just can’t fit work, study, and family into your routine.
And while you can’t become a part-time family member, you can go part time at the other two!
Our childcare courses, including the Certificate 3 in Childcare, are flexible and can be completed part-time, easing the strain some people might feel they are placing on their family life, or even their current job.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment is also a valuable tool that can help reduce the time it takes to complete your course. Life experience can even be recognised as prior learning.
Tip 2: When you study childcare, time management is key
Making time for your family while simultaneously managing the demands of your childcare course can indeed be challenging.
But it’s not impossible!
Our advice to all students (childcare or otherwise) is to schedule, and to do it properly – it’s not enough to say “I’ll do it in an hour.” Instead, write down everything you need to study from most to least important.
Then, find a time in your day to allocate it.
If it helps, set alarms for when you should begin and switch tasks.
Of course, you can’t forget to allow time for your family when scheduling. There are two major schools of thought you might aim for when it comes to planning family time:
- Schedule your schoolwork so that everything is completed early
- Spread your studies out more evenly, allocating time for your family in-between
We’re not here to tell you which is wrong or right. Choose whichever one works for you when scheduling your time.
Finally, make sure your entire family knows about this schedule so you can plan events and responsibilities out.
Whether it’s Tuesday night’s ballet class or Saturday morning sports, when everyone knows what you’re up to for the next few days, it makes planning that much clearer for those involved.
Tip 3: Tackling the Diploma in Childcare? Delegation is not a dirty word!
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s one a lot of students seem to forget!
The topic of this post is about how you can still support your family throughout your studies… and it also means they can return the favour!
The support that you get from your family and friends can be the difference between a healthy balance and overworking yourself.
If you need to delegate errands, don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand. Why not:
- Ask a relative to do the after-school pick up once a week?
- Switch with another parent the pick-up and drop-off schedule?
- Organise playdates with friends and their kids?
- Get the kids to help out around the house?
When it comes to managing your time, your friends and family members are one of your greatest assets.
Many hands make light work – not to mention, it can also turn chores like gardening into a family activity!
Find out more about the Diploma in Childcare here.
Tip 4: Set goals and stay motivated
One of the biggest challenges with reaching any goal is finding the motivation to see things through, whether it’s work, study or family.
Even with the best scheduling and planning, it’s easy for students to lose the motivation to continue – especially if they’re losing time they would otherwise have been spending with their families.
When it comes to setting goals, we have one major piece of advice: keep it SMART!
- Specific: know exactly what it is you want to achieve down to the smallest detail
- Measurable: happiness isn’t measurable. Grades and hours spent with your family are
- Achievable: be realistic with your goals
- Relevant: your goals need to be something you actually want
- Timely: set a time-frame and stick to it!
Tip 5: Don’t lose sight of what matters most when you study childcare
Finally, the most important piece of advice for anyone studying childcare: don’t forget that you have a family!
It’s easy to inadvertently cut yourself off from your loved ones by focusing too heavily on your studies. While you won’t completely forget about your family, you might find yourself having to skip a couple of dinners or pass on family events.
And over time, these little things can add up.
Staying focused on your study goals for childcare is an important factor for success while maintaining relationships is essential for your healthy well-being. Neglecting relationships over your desire for success leaves you dissatisfied with no one to share it with.
It takes effort on your part for your relationships to grow. The best thing that you can do is to make room for it by including it in your schedule and planning ahead how it best fits your busy study life.
Balance study and family life with Southern Solutions
Before you can help set young children up for the rest of their lives, you’ll first need to get the right childcare qualifications!
At Southern Solutions, our childcare courses do more than just teach you the facts – we prepare our students for every aspect of childcare, from managing one’s time to resume-writing and diffusing toddler arguments.
Unsure whether our courses are right for you? Can’t tell if you’ll have enough time to balance your family and your studies?
Got questions? Talk to one of our career advisors.
Give us a call now on 1300 656 321 and we’ll help you find the answers.