Peter Buik bucking the trend, embracing ECEC as career change of choice

by Freya Lucas

July 18

Becoming a full-time single parent was a powerful motivator for former rural contractor, Peter Buik, to make a change in career that would afford him more time with his school-age son. 

 

Across Australia, the early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce is predominantly female, with men making up only 3 per cent of the workforce – something Peter is hoping will change. 

 

It was not only the flexibility of the role, which allows him to take his son to school, but also his affinity with children and desire to support those in need, that drew Mr Buik to the ECEC sector. 

 

I enquired at the front office of Carinya Early Childhood Centre what I needed to do to be able to work there,” he said, speaking to local news source, the Cowra Guardian

 

“Days later I was enrolled in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care course at TAFE NSW Cowra, and soon after began casual employment at the centre.”

 

Centre Director Susan Callaghan told the Guardian that it didn’t take long for Mr Buik to build a strong rapport with children and families, noting his “attentive, playful manner” as one of the aspects which helped the children to build a rapport with him.

 

“It has been a pleasure to observe Peter’s work with the children and the growth he has achieved professionally. It is certainly rewarding to have Peter as a member of our team and his individuality and thought-provoking ways are an asset to our team,” Ms Callaghan said. 

 

Having finished his Certificate III in 2018, Mr Buik is now studying his Diploma through TAFE NSW. TAFE teacher Karen Howarth said his enthusiasm and genuine passion for knowledge were assets, especially when coupled with his capacity for critical reflection. 

 

With increasing workforce demands within the sector, it is anticipated that more than 184,000 new ECEC jobs will eventuate across Australia by 2023. As such, Mr Buik says, there has never been a better time to consider a career change. 

 

“There is no profession like this – from the joyous roars of your name as you open the door that kick-start every day to the child that runs up to you in search of solace, guidance or approval – no sector offers the heart-warming, existential fulfillment of early childhood education and care.” he said in closing. 

 

To read the original coverage of this story, please see here

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