TAFE NSW Nowra is working with Aboriginal Maternal Infant and Child Health Centre, Binji & Boori, in a new program to qualify high school students as early childhood educators by the time they finish school.
A new program connecting an Aboriginal Maternal Infant and Child Health Centre with TAFE NSW Nowra provides local teenagers with a chance to graduate high school as qualified early childhood educators.
By enrolling in the TAFE-delivered Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program, students can fast-track their careers earning a nationally recognised qualification as part of their senior school subjects.
In this case, the students are working toward the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, meaning they will be qualified to work in the early childhood sector once they finish school, rather than starting as a trainee on lower pay, or waiting until after school to begin their qualification
Families connected to Aboriginal children’s health centre, Binji & Boori, bring their children to visit the early childhood education facility at TAFE NSW Nowra campus one day per week. While there, they watch their children socialise in a play-based learning environment as the TAFE NSW students gain valuable skills in working with children.
Binji & Boori Aboriginal Health Worker Jaime Carpenter said the new collaboration with TAFE NSW Nowra meant the parents she works with were also learning by watching their children taking part in the culturally supported program.
“This is a chance for our families to learn in a supported place, and for students to interact and connect with children in a culturally-guided way. Another unintended benefit is the parents get a chance to connect and network, while their children are in the play sessions with the TAFE students and teachers,” she said.
The students say the course has revealed a rewarding career path they hadn’t all considered.
Bomaderry High School student Louise Tancred was unsure about her subject choices and career options and took the advice of the school’s careers advisor to enrol at TAFE NSW.
“I enjoy spending time with the children and now after a couple of terms here, I’m thinking of working in early childhood education,” she said.
Mia Taylor from Nowra High School was already planning on becoming a teacher. “Those first couple of years mean a lot in a child’s education and I’m keen to play a role,” she said.
“As part of the course we do work placement and there is the chance some of us could be offered jobs which would be great.
“We get to put the skills and knowledge we’re learning into practice here at the TAFE NSW Nowra. So, we’re starting to get the hang of it. TVET is a great idea, we learn practical skills and have the work experience which looks great on a resume,” she said.
Fellow student, Ayla Brown, was already aiming for a career in child education. Last year. “I want to work in this industry and it’s great that I’ll finish year 12 with this qualification. I’m learning a lot about safety and hazards and keeping children safe,” she said.
Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0466 375 552.