Griffith woman Nurul Ain Yusof often dreamed of a career in early childhood education during the pre-dawn hours while working as a cleaner at a local centre.
That dream has now been realised – thanks to TAFE NSW - with the Malaysian-born woman earning a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care last year and securing a job as an educator at Dorothy Waide Centre for Early Learning.
Ms Yusof, who arrived in Griffith in 2020 and worked a series of cleaning, fruit picking and factory jobs, said TAFE NSW Griffith had helped transform her life, teaching her English before lighting a pathway to a career in early childhood.
It comes as the sector faces a critical skills gap, with the latest data revealing in the first quarter of 2022, more than 8 per cent of childcare providers could not meet the legal requirement for qualified early childhood teachers.
“When I was a girl, people used to ask me what I wanted to be and I would always say ‘educator’,” Ms Yusof, 36, said. “But in Malaysia, there was no chance for me to get these qualifications. When I was working as a cleaner at Dorothy Waide, my dream to be an educator became alive again.”
Ms Yusof completed a Certificate II in Written and Spoken English at TAFE NSW Griffith before earning her early childhood qualifications.
“I have a passion for working with children and I love helping them grow and learn,” she said. “To see a child who yesterday couldn’t grip a pencil correctly, and now today he can, is very satisfying.”
She said TAFE NSW gave her the practical skills and experience to make an immediate impact in her role.
“It has been such a huge transformation for me: it’s given me a great job, helped me financially and helped me become more a part of the community,” Ms Yusof said. “My TAFE NSW teachers were so experienced and supportive, and I owe them so much.”
TAFE NSW Griffith Head Teacher of Early Childhood Bobbie Whittaker said employment outcomes for TAFE NSW graduates were exceptional.
“There are new childcare centres popping up everywhere and they are screaming out to employ TAFE NSW graduates,” she said.
“It’s a wonderful job if you have a desire to want to help others and have a positive impact on a child’s life. And no two days are ever the same.”
TAFE NSW Griffith offers the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care fee-free, with fee-free traineeships for both existing workers and new entrants.
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428