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TAFE NSW Degree in childhood education targets growing demand for child care workers  

TAFE NSW Randwick

TAFE NSW Degree in childhood education targets growing demand for child care workers  

15 February 2019


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 rewarding career.

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 centre’s culture.

“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 with options.

“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

Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Media Officer, 4421 9895, mobile 0466 375 552.