A first day with a difference for Cert III Chisholm students, meeting Sonya Kilkenny
Students commencing their Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at Chisholm TAFE on 26 February had a unique start to their course, joining a “meet and greet” and discussion with Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny and local Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke.
Arriving at the new Early Childhood Education (ECE) facilities at Chisholm’s Frankston campus, students changed into their uniforms to join the meet and greet and discussion which opened with a welcome and congratulations on their decision to study and their chosen career from Ms Kilkenny. Students then had an opportunity to speak directly with the Secretary and to share their decision-making process and journeys towards TAFE.
Many students, a Chisholm spokesperson said, explained that working in ECE was “a calling” and that they had long wanted to work with children. For other students, it was their family and friends who had identified their passion for education.
The Cert III students are amongst a wave of those completing ECE qualifications in line with the $5 billion investment outlined by the Victorian Government to be spent over the next decade to provide access to a full 15 hours per week of subsidised three-year-old kindergarten by 2029.
This year, the State Government ushered in the start of two new free TAFE courses in ECE – Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113), and the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113). The courses, added to the free TAFE list from 2020, is one way the state government is hoping to fill thousands of jobs that will become available over the next five years as the kinder program is extended by an additional year, to include three-year-olds.
Chisholm CEO Stephen Varty said the visit by the Parliamentary Secretary and Member for Frankston was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the new ECE facilities at Frankston campus.
“For Early Childhood Education, we have playrooms and technologies to support our teachers to deliver the best in education, and that provide the best learning experiences for our students. We work with the ECE sector to start placement from Term 2, and this prepares our students to be work-ready and connected with their professional peers, even before they graduate,” Mr Varty said.
The Frankston campus Early Childhood Education facilities are part of the $85 million Stage 1 redevelopment of the campus, which was completed and launched in 2019. The Learning and Innovation Precinct has a focus on connecting learning with industry, so that students can begin their careers having had experience in a real-world work environment.
More information about the Victorian free TAFE initiative may be found here.