South West TAFE will include free ECEC courses for the first time in Hamilton

by Freya Lucas

February 12

Those wishing to work in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector have received a boost in their qualification pathway options, with a recent announcement by South West TAFE that they will be offering free ECEC courses for the first time at both their Hamilton and Portland sites.


Both the Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care courses will be offered as FREE TAFE courses in 2020, forming part of a broader initiative by the Victorian Government to offer Free TAFE courses by covering the tuition fees for more than 30 courses where the demand for workers is high.


South West TAFE Early Childhood Senior Educator Leeona Van Duynhoven said it was a great opportunity for students to gain the skills and qualifications to work in a growing field while removing the financial barrier to study.


“Our students come out of this course ready for the workforce and as a FREE TAFE course it gives so many more people the opportunity to follow their dreams and work in a field where workers are in demand,” she said.


Mrs Van Duynhoven said it was also a great opportunity for Portland and Hamilton students to be able to study close to home, removing the need to travel long distances.


Hamilton student Charley Bunting completed both the Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care with South West TAFE and said she felt well prepared when she entered the workforce.


Ms Bunting started studying at university but when she decided that it wasn’t for her she decided to look into child care, securing a position as an educator at the Kathleen Millikan Centre in Casterton , where she loves helping children to learn and give them a positive start to their education.


“Through our training, we received so much practical experience and I think TAFE students are so successful because of the support of fantastic teachers,” she added, outlining her plans to undertake further study to become an early childhood teacher.


Glenelg Shire Children’s Services Manager Janine Johnstone welcomed Charley to the Glenelg Shire team, where all six education and care services are rated as exceeding the National Quality Standards. 


“I strongly encourage community members interested in pursuing a rewarding career in the early childhood sector to take advantage of the free courses,” Ms Johnstone said. 

To learn more about the free TAFE initiative, please see here