5 Essential Tips Every ECE Reliever Needs to Know

20 June 2023, by Jitbug

Are you considering becoming an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Reliever? Or perhaps looking at relieving as your next exciting job prospect? 

If you are a registered Early Childhood teacher seeking a flexible part-time job or considering a career in Early Childhood Education (ECE), relieving can open a range of opportunities to you. Working as an early childhood reliever is a great way to explore different philosophies, centres and learn about the ECE sector. This article will explore five crucial tips that every ECE reliever should know, ensuring a successful journey in relieving.

1. Get your name (and face!) out there

Centre Managers often get flooded with emails from relievers seeking work. Including a friendly photo and blurb on your Jitbug profile is a great start. You may also want to visit some centres to introduce yourself. We recommend that you ring the centre to arrange a time that suits the centre manager for you to visit as early childhood settings are busy places and no two days are ever the same.

2. Stay organised

Being organised is a skill that is often overlooked but there is nothing worse than double-booking yourself and leaving a centre without a reliever. If you do this a lot, you will possibly get a reputation for being unreliable. To avoid this, make sure you put all your relieving jobs in your calendar as soon as you get them!

If you have a personal or work commitment, for example, every Monday, remember to update your calendar on the Jitbug app to reflect that you are unavailable. Declining jobs when you are busy or unable to take on a job that has been posted, is the best way to show centres and area managers that you are unavailable or that you are not interested in working the offered job.

3. Be available for all early childhood relief work (and ready for early mornings)

Relievers need to be flexible and ready to go at short notice! Ensuring that the centre have enough kaiako (teachers) to care, nurture and be there to support their tamariki (children) throughout the day is vital. This means relievers are often notified about jobs before the centre opens, with jobs being posted any time during the day and night- from as late as 10pm or as early as 5am. Jobs posted could be asking you if you can be there to for an opening shift. You need to be up and ready to take a job when it comes in – even if that means saying “I’ll be there in half an hour” at 6.30 a.m. Being available and filling these jobs gives the centre a great impression of your commitment and you may will become a Favourite reliever of the centre.

4. Be a reliable early childhood reliever

Being a reliable reliever will ensure that you get favourited by centres, which will see you get more job opportunities. The most important first impression is to ensure that you always arrive early to any centre you are working at. If it is the first time you have been to a centre, it’s important to remember to bring with you the two forms of ID you provided us with when you applied, along with your qualifications and practicing certificate if you’re registered, and your lanyard. Being reliable means being professional in everything you do, including how you dress, the language you use, and how you interact with children, teachers, and parents. This includes not using your phone while on the floor and not taking photos of children and staff while you are at the centre. When you are on the floor remember to interact with the tamariki, get down to their level, actively supervise the tamariki, use your initiative, follow the kaiako direction, be proactive in offering help and assistance, ask questions if you are unsure, and have fun!

The field of ECE has a significant demand for reliable and consistent relievers who can return to centres on a regular basis. By doing so, you can become familiar with the centre’s routines, values, and the tamariki in their unique ECE environment. Embracing every job opportunity that comes your way is crucial! Remember to be reliable, consistent, and flexible, and you’ll start seeing more job offers coming your way.

5. Listen and watch

As a reliever, you have the important role of supporting the permanent kaiako when one of their colleagues is away. ECE kaiako work hard every day to provide a nurturing, loving, and stimulating environment for tamariki to play, learn, and grow. They look after the tamariki like their own! Ask any ECE kaiako and I’m sure they will tell you every single child’s likes, their favourite activity and what they aren’t so keen on.

When you start at a new centre, watch and listen, ask questions, and be an active participant by using your initiative and following directions. By being attentive, you can gain insights into the centre’s dynamics and the individual needs of the tamariki. A reliever who respects and supports the permanent kaiako is especially valued at a centre.

Remember, the relationship between relievers and permanent kaiako is a collaborative one. By embracing this mindset and demonstrating your willingness to contribute, you become an essential part of the team.

So, what are you waiting for? Early childhood relief work is a chance to bring joy and positivity into the lives of our tamariki, making a meaningful impact in their early years. Whether you’re passionate about nurturing young minds, or seeking ways to give back, early childhood relief work can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

Get more information about our current ECE vacancies today!