NSW ECEC trainee Tara Vickery a finalist in the NSW Training Awards
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > NSW ECEC trainee Tara Vickery a finalist in the NSW Training Awards

NSW ECEC trainee Tara Vickery a finalist in the NSW Training Awards

by Freya Lucas

September 19, 2022

Tara Vickery is a young person who “turned her school life around,” taking on a school-based traineeship in early childhood education and care (ECEC) after becoming disengaged with her education.


During Year 10 at Uralla Central School, Tara lost interest in her studies. But after a meeting with her careers advisor, she began to investigate a career in early childhood education.


To extend on this interest, she was offered one day per week work experience as a school-based trainee at Uralla Preschool, an on-site early education centre at her school. She also enrolled in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care through TAFE NSW.


Tara soon thrived, gaining immense satisfaction from seeing the children develop each day and noticed she was able to thrive in a hands-on learning environment, discovering a true passion for educating children. 


She credits the traineeship with confirming that education was the path for her, and that the vocational education and training (VET) pathway was the one for her, with the interactive learning format and variety of theory and practical tasks a perfect mix. 


“The Cert 3 Early Childhood Education and Care allows me to work in both childcare and preschools. The qualification is recognised by the University of New England. This will give me the option to attain a teaching degree upon completion of my HSC this year.”


During her traineeship, Tara developed her social skills, grew in confidence and gained a great sense of satisfaction from seeing the children learn and develop.


As well as the engaging day-to-day learning experiences Tara enjoyed while working at Uralla Preschool, she was able to develop work strategies by employing what she had learned through her Certificate III qualification.


Tara’s teachers at Uralla Central School say the shift they have witnessed in Tara has been remarkable, and that she is an inspiration to other students. Tara, in turn, feels proud of what she’s achieved, and looks forward to continuing her study to become an early childhood teacher (ECT.) 


“My qualifications are recognised as prior learning for other positions such as a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) at the University of New England. My goal now is to become a kindergarten teacher,” she explained. 


Tara was a finalist in the recently announced 2022 NSW Training Awards. To review a full list of the winners and finalists, see here.

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