LOOK for that gaze of concentration in the eyes of children when something interesting happens in front of them.
Try calling their names when they are engrossed like that and they will likely reply: "Huh?"
It is the look of children learning deeply from what they see and hear.
If seeing children entranced like this brings out some warmth in you, consider pursuing a Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
It might send you on a career path that becomes a labour of love.
Early childhood education equips you to teach and care for children from infancy through age eight years.
Imparting knowledge to our children is both a noble profession, and a rewarding career path.
The report card is still out, but the Government was aiming for 97% enrolment in pre-schools by 2020.
Within this context, private early childhood education is seeing tremendous growth, with 40% of kindergartens catering to five and six-year olds being privately owned and operated.
The vibrancy of the private operators within this sector, which are generally better equipped and employ more staff, is evidence that parents recognise a quality pre-school experience could make all the difference to their child’s future.
Parents now expect qualified staff to care for their children and the Diploma in Early Childhood Education at UOW Malaysia KDU caters for this growing demand.
As part of the University of Wollongong Australia’s global network, UOW Malaysia KDU shares the UOW’s spirit of innovation and focus on producing career-ready graduates with a high-quality educational experience that will help shape graduates and foster their growth in becoming future global leaders.
This diploma represents a journey of enlightenment into the minds of children, said UOW Malaysia KDU deputy vice-chancellor (Academic) Prof Dr Hon Wei Min.
In the first year of the programme you will dive into how children learn language, mathematics, music, information and communications technology, and science.
"Be ready to be surprised by how fast and how much young children can learn, without even seeming to be learning. It is different to how adults think of learning," said Prof Hon.
Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world. – Maria Montessori
She said those pursuing this diploma will delve into subjects a little differently from those of yesteryear because on top of the astronomical climb in the importance of IT, even for the very young, there is a need for toddlers to build an appreciation and connectedness with the natural environment.
"There is, today, a need for the young to relate to the rain, the sun and the trees," she stressed.
In the second year of the diploma, the syllabus gets more technical. These subjects include child growth and development; health, safety and nutrition; arts and craft in early childhood education; philosophy, theory and policy; spiritual and moral studies.
There is also a focus in the second year on the entrepreneurial aspects of early childhood education so that those pursuing this diploma will appreciate the business challenges of running a kindergarten, pre-school centre or nursery.
At UOW Malaysia KDU, Graduate Early Childhood Education students move on to rewarding careers.
As a career enabler, Prof Hon said those armed with UOW Malaysia KDU's Diploma in Early Childhood Education will find opportunities in the market as educators.
She also said the diploma programme has been designed to attract adults, and in particular mothers, to the child education sector.
"Many career women with a wealth of skill and abilities put aside their career potential to devote all their love to their children.
"It is a sacrifice only mothers will empathise with and it is a sound way to give their children the best.
"As their children learn to walk and talk and get ready for their first years of education, such mothers – who are already capable of being efficient multi-taskers, find a lot of free time.
"And because they have first-hand experience in raising children, they readily absorb what our lecturers have to share and able to apply it so effectively," Prof Hon pointed out.
She said the flexible delivery of the syllabus, comprising both on-campus and online classes with the full might of campus resources available makes it possible for mothers to pursue this diploma.
She said school leavers with an innate love for kids and a patience for working with them are also known to find this diploma programme rewarding and move on to rewarding careers.
"It is a fulfilling path. Every child we meet has what it takes to become a world leader. They just need us to show them the way," she said.
To learn more, visit www.uowmkdu.edu.my or call 03-5565 0538.