Early Childhood Careers and How to Build Them

Amy has masterfully struck a balance between progression in a new industry and motherhood thanks to RPL and some hands-on learning.

4 Jul 2017

Returning to work after any long absence can be hard, regardless of why. Whether you have recently become a parent, have had a long sabbatical or have come back from a major illness or injury, you will be left wondering whether you are up to scratch for your field or if you need a change. All of this is more than natural for any working professional.

Thankfully, as the story below illustrates, there are ways to not only change industries but also progress through them with relative ease. From work placements through to recognition of prior learning, there is no shortage of ways for someone to transform their life and their career through education.

Amy’s Story

When Amy Owen returned to work as a cook after having her first child, she enrolled her daughter in day care. A chance conversation with the director at her child’s daycare centre about balancing work with family life resulted in an unexpected job offer.

Amy Owen, at home in her element.

A career in childcare had never been on Amy’s radar, but it turned out to be a career she loves and a stroke of good luck.

“I landed on my feet. I needed to change components of my life since becoming a parent, and adapting my working life was an obvious starting point.”

Amy adores children and flourished in her new chosen profession and industry, earning her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113) within the first year.

When Amy progressed into a Room Leader role, she enrolled at TAFE Queensland to complete the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113).

Amy attributes much of her success to the flexible study arrangements available. As a full-time employee, Amy opted to study through workplace training, meaning she could fit study in around family and work.

A Workplace Training Officer (WTO) visited Amy periodically as well as staying in touch with her to help her navigate the lessons and assessments.

Since finishing her Diploma in 2015, Amy has been promoted twice; once to Assistant Centre Director, and then again to Centre Director within the Kidzco group.

Now Amy is hiring her own team and says she would not hesitate to hire TAFE-trained childcare staff, knowing the program firsthand.

“As an employer, I particularly notice the added passion and knowledge of staff who have trained with TAFE, compared with those trained elsewhere.”

But Amy says the biggest payoff involved is the example she has set for her daughters.

“I knew I needed skills to change our lifestyles. Completely aside from getting my Diploma and doing well at work, I was able to demonstrate to my daughters the power of education. I wanted to show them that you can do anything you set your mind to. And I did.”

Did You Know

child at play
There’s no shortage of demand for natural nurturers who can blend play and education.

According to the Australian Federal Government, 149,600 persons were employed as Child Carers in 2015, and job openings over the next 5 years are expected to be greater than 50,000. The numbers crunched by the team at SEEK reflect this, with their figures suggesting that 26% more Child Care Workers will be employed in Australia in 2020 (compared to 2015).

As for career change, SEEK have also highlighted how common it is, with past numbers indicating that more than 38% of Australians workers we keen to change roles. As for how to make this happen, remember how we mentioned the likes of recognition of prior learning earlier? This solution allows you to transform your career by making your experience work for you. Whether you want a promotion, a lateral shift or to be in an entirely new industry, this one nifty little offering could help you attain the right piece of paper sooner.

Why wait to make great happen in the early childhood sector?

© TAFE Queensland Brisbane 2017.
RTO 0275 | CRICOS 03020E.