ECEC the pathway to employment promise in the Riverina, for Meike and many others
The recently published TAFE NSW Jobs for the Future report has predicted that ‘early childhood educator’ will be one of the fastest growing professions in the Riverina region between 2018 and 2021, with a likely 15.6 per cent increase in employment opportunities.
While the promise of available employment moving forward is one of the reasons Meike McDermott was drawn to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, helping young hearts and minds was the real pull.
Ms McDermott’s story of how she came to work in the sector, from her arrival in Australia as a migrant, is one which helps her to be a valuable addition to the team at Gowrie Early Learning Centre in Wagga Wagga, because she understands so deeply the importance of making children and families feel safe and secure in their new environment.
She was able to secure her position with Gowrie while still studying her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW, and has remained with the Gowrie, recently completing her Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. She is weighing up whether to commence a bachelor degree to become an early childhood teacher.
“When my children were small, we used to make up nursery rhymes and other things and it reminded me of my time teaching Sunday school,” Ms McDermott said.
“I could see the benefits it had so when they went to school, I decided to enrol in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW.
“I loved the hands-on learning and the fact the teachers all had great experience in ECEC,” Ms McDermott said, attributing her success to both the teachers, and the team at Gowrie, where she is employed to support children whose parents are enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE NSW.
“There are so many different nationalities at the centre and many of the children are still learning English,” she said. “I came here as a migrant myself so can sympathise with how they feel. It is a big thing to make them feel at home and safe,” she said.
Speaking to employment potential for graduates, TAFE NSW Early Childhood Education and Care Teacher Louise Whitton said “There are new childcare centres popping up everywhere and they are screaming out to employ people.”
Those who may be interested in learning more about pursuing qualifications with TAFE NSW are invited to visit the website, or phone 13 16 01 for more information.