At the young age of 16 Sara Jessett (above right) completed her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care with Cire Training and was on her way to following her dream of a career working with children.
“My journey started simply with an interest in being around children. I began studying my certificate III in ECEC after doing a short work experience at a local preschool. From that work experience I thought I’d like to try studying it. I started with a 6 month certificate III course which was a great way to do it. I enjoyed studying the subject, so I decided to take the next step and do the diploma.” Sara
Discussions with one of her trainers, Anja Laukart at Cire Training, led Sara to consider a different learning delivery mode for her diploma – a traineeship.
In an early childhood setting, a trainee has opportunities to put into practice what they are learning through hands-on experience with the children. This leads to building their confidence, self-esteem and independence with other educators at the workplace and with the families using the facility.
To undertake a diploma through a traineeship, a student needs to be employed for a minimum 13 hours a week, in a permanent part time or full time position; the workplace and trainee need to sign up with an apprenticeships centre as the workplace is eligible for financial incentives; plus they need to select a training organisation to train (teach) and assess the trainee.
Keeping all this in mind, Sara had to find a workplace willing to invest all the above and also one that was not discouraged by her young age. Would a childcare facility employ a person so young to fulfil their dream?
Cuddly Bear Childcare and Kinder in Heathmont were keen to employ Sara, as she showed a lot of potential while doing her placement at the service during her studies in Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are. If you show interest and a passion for what you do and have a willingness to learn, then you’ll be remembered.” Sara
Age is not a barrier to work in the industry, as long as the worker has the qualifications or is working towards them. The definition in regards to age in Children’s services regulation 2009 states:
In the case of a person who is aged under 18 years, (a staff member) means a person who—
- is employed or has been appointed or engaged to be responsible for the care or education of children at the children’s service; and
- is under the direct supervision of a qualified staff member who is aged 18 years or over.
It is essential for all trainees to be provided with a mentor at the workplace who can support the trainee through the learning journey. Sara had a wonderful mentor, Lorraine Clement (above left), who supported her throughout the whole traineeship. Lorraine took Sara on the journey and showed here all the things she could achieve.
Sara was also well supported by her trainer and assessor, Anja.
“Anja came out to visit me once a month at the centre. She was so supportive and encouraged me to work towards the best practice and helped me manage my study and work by setting goals.” Sara
Sara successfully completed her diploma with a high distinction in early 2016, allowing her to continue further studies into the future. She is still employed at Cuddly Bear Childcare and Kinder as a room leader considering the next step in her career.
“As I have been taking on more responsibility at the centre it has been challenging, but it’s because I’ve felt supported and valued that I have continued. Every day I work with the skills and knowledge I learnt in my courses. When I step back, I realise how far I’ve come after just two years of studying and then working, it’s awesome.” Sara
Students like Sara have gone on to achieve great things in this rewarding sector. If you think a traineeship would work for you click here to find out more.
If a traineeship isn’t an option then check out our class room delivery courses in Early Childhood Education and Care or call 1300 835 235 to speak to one of our team members.