Parent-friendly TAFE courses

While combining child rearing and study is never going to be straightforward, it can certainly be made more feasible

Those who undertake study later in life often face the challenge of having to attend classes, complete assignments and study for exams while meeting all the usual demands that come along with parenthood, such as ferrying children off to sporting events, looking after them when they're sick and helping them with their own schoolwork. These are some of the resources parents can draw on while undertaking a TAFE course:

Child care

Used up all your babysitting favours with friends, family and your partner? Many TAFE campuses, especially the larger ones, offer subsidised full or half-day child care during business hours on weekdays. (There is often a high demand for TAFE child care places, so it's wise to get children enrolled at the earliest opportunity.) Granville College, in South Western Sydney Institute, was the first campus to incorporate a child care centre, back in 1985. For more information visit TAFE NSW's Childcare Services.

Parent-friendly classes and timetables

To meet the needs of students looking after children, TAFE NSW has specially-designed courses, women-only courses and flexible delivery of classes and timetabling. Of course, you will still need to devote a significant amount of time and effort to completing your course, but TAFE will do everything possible to allow you to work around your child care responsibilities.

Tutorial support

TAFE is known for its small class sizes and the personal attention each student receives. This can be a valuable resource for those students who may, for example, have to miss a class to nurse a sick child. At the start of your course let your TAFE teacher know that you have family responsibilities and don't hesitate to ask if they can assist you in any way if those responsibilities are impacting on your ability to fulfil the course requirements.

Recognition of prior life experience

Unlike most educational institutions, TAFE recognises the valuable skills you may have acquired in the course of managing a household and will, in certain circumstances, allow you to apply for credits based on these kinds of skills.

While combining child rearing and study is never going to be straightforward, it can certainly be made more feasible. TAFE NSW is doing everything possible to cater to students with family responsibilities.