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It was a passion to teach, rather than the growing demand for early
child care workers that steered Yemima Christy to what would become a
She left her Indonesian home to live in Australia in 2013. Once she
had settled in Sydney, despite wanting to be a teacher, she enrolled
in Accounting at TAFE NSW Ultimo.
“After a while I decided accounting was not my thing, I wanted to
work with children. I wanted to be a teacher,” Yemima said.
Her decision was well timed, according to national industry research
attendance at child care centres has been increasing over the past
decade, with a further growth expected in this year.
New national regulatory requirements, have also driven up employment
numbers and associated average wages.
Yemima left accounting and enrolled in the Bachelor of Early
Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW Randwick. The Degree would
qualify her to work as a teacher in preschools and long day care.
She said she was surprised to learn the depth of communication and
teaching skills she now has.
“I was taught the theory of child development. Now, when I see a
child’s behavior I understand what’s happening. Part of the Degree
also explored leadership and management,” Yemima said.
As part of the TAFE NSW Degree students undertake two work-placements
each year. TAFE NSW teachers call on their industry networks to
connect students with employers.
It was through her work-placement with Explore & Develop, a
childcare centre in Leichhardt, that Yemima caught the attention of
owners Belinda Barnes and Alison Evans.
They see work placement as a way to get to know a student, and
potential employee, and for the student, to get to know them and their
“Our style and culture won’t be the right fit for everyone but Yemima
shone,” Belinda said.
“Yemima is extremely knowledgeable, she is right across the
curriculum, she was well and truly trained when she came from TAFE
NSW. We’re just really mentoring her.”
Testament to the industry research Belinda said “There is a massive
demand for Early Childhood Teachers (ECT) because centres the size of
ours are required by regulation to have four ECTs on staff.”
Yemima is now enjoying her fulfilling career with a future filled
“I love teaching and there are lots of pathways after the Degree. I
could open my own centre, or family daycare or teach other early
childhood teachers,” she said.
TAFE NSW offers more than 1,200 courses, Diplomas and Degrees at
locations across the state and online through TAFE Digital. For more
information phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Media Officer, 4421 9895,
mobile 0466 375 552.
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