CHILD'S PLAY: Wagga's Meike McDermott says helping shape young hearts and minds for a job is an "extraordinary privilege"
The TAFE NSW Jobs for the Future report has found early childhood educator would be one of the fastest growing professions in the Riverina between 2018 and 2021, with a whopping 15.6 per cent increase in employment opportunities.
For Meike McDermott, helping develop young hearts and minds is more a calling than a job. An early childhood assistant at Gowrie Early Learning Centre Wagga Wagga, Ms McDermott’s passion for childcare was forged early, as a teenage Sunday school teacher in her native Indonesia.
Two decades later and nearly 6000km away in her new home, Ms McDermott is now working in an industry in the midst of a jobs boom. For Ms McDermott, that meant she secured a job while still studying her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW.
She recently completed a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and is weighing up whether to commence a bachelor degree in the same area.
“When my children were small, we used to make up nursery rhymes and other things and it reminded me of my time teaching Sunday school,” Ms McDermott said.
“I could see the benefits it had so when they went to school, I decided to enrol in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW.
“I loved the hands-on learning and the fact the teachers all had great industry experience. My success in my study was partly due to the wonderful support I received from the TAFE NSW teachers and from Gowrie.”
While still completing her Certificate III, Ms McDermott was offered a job at Gowrie and cares for children whose parents are enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE NSW.
“There are so many different nationalities at the centre and many of the children are still learning English,” she said. “I came here as a migrant myself so can sympathise with how they feel. It is a big thing to make them feel at home and safe, and help them integrate into a new environment.”
TAFE NSW Early Childhood Education and Care Teacher Louise Whitton said employment outcomes for TAFE NSW graduates were exceptional.
“There are new childcare centres popping up everywhere and they are screaming out to employ people,” 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 in childcare.”
To find out more about studying childcare at TAFE NSW for semester two, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.