Speech pathologist undertakes ECEC Cert III in order to better meet the needs of clients
Rachel Wood, a speech pathologist with over 15 years of experience in the allied health care sector, recently graduated from a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), which she undertook with TAFE NSW in order to better understand children’s developmental needs.
Her decision is significant to the ECEC sector, as it shows the broader community the value of formal qualifications in education and care in underpinning program and practice for working with children in the years before school.
After speaking with a number of Central Coast preschool directors and conducting research, Mrs Wood decided to take the plunge to study early childhood education and care online while working full-time within the Central Coast Local Health District.
Studying the Certificate, she said, gave her the tools and experiences she needed to better understand children, and to have a more holistic view of the way in which speech pathology can better support them in other areas of their lives.
“I incorporate the information I learned about cognitive and physical development, child behaviour management, family dynamics and cultural sensitivity techniques into my practice,” she added.
Mrs Wood also works as a casual educator with Footprints Early Learning Centre in Erina, where she completed practical work experience while studying, which allows her to remain connected with other educators and continue her learning on the job.
Her role within the service also gives her the opportunity to educate others about the role of speech pathologists in the life of a child, and the value of early intervention in addressing speech and language issues.
“Helping a child to use a sound that they thought they couldn’t articulate, helping them to say their name correctly, increasing the range of words they can use, helping them communicate with longer sentences – these are the moments I love and cherish best,” Mrs Wood said.
To learn more about the role of speech pathologists in early childhood, please see here.