Beyond Borders & Board Games: Early Childhood Teachers

Do International schools employ early childhood teachers? Search Associates Australia/New Zealand. Picture of 4 year old boy drawing

Thinking about taking your early childhood education skills overseas? International schools are actively seeking qualified nursery and kindergarten teachers, making it a great time to consider an overseas adventure.

High Demand 

International school recruiters generally target key specialist roles within a school.  It could be a counsellor or a physics teacher because these positions are difficult to fill.  Early childhood teachers also fit into this category of hard-to-fill positions.
We know of some early childhood teachers who have had multiple job offers from some of the best international schools in Asia.

Competitive Salary and Benefits

In many countries (possibly where you are presently teaching), early childhood teachers receive a salary and benefits package below that of an elementary/primary or secondary teacher.  In International schools early childhood teachers will receive the same salary and benefits package, such as housing, holidays (far more than the standard 4 weeks annual leave), healthcare, and air flights as any other teacher in the school. Most international school teachers will also have a higher saving potential than working in their home country.

Teaching a Diverse Student Body

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While international schools are often seen as catering solely to expatriate children, this is rarely the case now. While there are often expatriate children from a wide range of nationalities in the school there are often local children from the host nation. In fact, there is an increasing trend in many international schools to include a larger percentage of host nation children.

This diverse student body creates a rich and rewarding teaching experience that benefits all stakeholders within the school.

Structure and Stability

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Unlike many domestic education systems where there is a distinct physical separation of each educational division, many international schools operate kindergarten through secondary education on the same campus. This offers a sense of stability and a unique environment that benefits all age groups.

Teaching positions at international schools are typically offered as fixed-term contracts, often lasting two years. This provides a great opportunity to experience a new culture and the vast majority will have their contracts extended until they are ready for a new experience internationally or for those who wish to return to their home country.

There are many reasons why teachers choose to work abroad. International teaching offers the chance for career advancement, cultural immersion, and the opportunity to travel during breaks. Many families, especially those with dual-income teacher parents, use this as a way to secure a top-class education for their children, usually with tuition benefits included either fully or heavily subsidized

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Qualifications and Requirements

The good news is, your early childhood qualifications from your home country might be exactly what international schools are looking for! However, since international schools maintain high standards, there are often specific requirements in addition to your base qualification. Here’s a breakdown of what you might need:

  • Early Childhood Education Degree or Diploma: A Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in Early Childhood Education is typically the minimum requirement.
  • Teacher Training/Certification: Many schools require additional training or certification specific to teaching young children.
  • Experience: Experience working with young children is highly valued by international schools.

Supportive Learning Environment

In my experience teaching kindergarten (US curriculum) and reception (UK curriculum) at an international school, I found classrooms to be well-resourced with the support of teacher assistants. Additional staff might also be available to help with toileting, preparing materials, and cleaning. Many have been purpose-built with the best approaches to facilitate and nurture young children.
Early childhood educators are a key area of need in international schools around the world. Your unique skillset in nurturing and educating young minds is highly valued. If you’ve also got a thirst for adventure, international schools could be the perfect fit!

Discover a world of opportunity

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