TAFE NSW Nowra program is helping high school students join ECEC
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > TAFE NSW Nowra program is helping high school students join ECEC

TAFE NSW Nowra program is helping high school students join ECEC

by Freya Lucas

July 27, 2023

TAFE NSW Nowra is working with Aboriginal Maternal Infant and Child Health Centre, Binji & Boori, as part of a new program which supports high school students to qualify as early childhood educators by the time they finish secondary school.


Students in the program are completing their Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care through the TAFE-delivered Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program, fast- tracking their careers and earning a nationally recognised qualification as part of their senior school subjects.


Families connected to Aboriginal children’s health centre Binji & Boori bring their children to visit the early childhood education facility at TAFE NSW Nowra campus one day per week. While there, they watch their children socialise in a play-based learning environment as the TAFE NSW students gain valuable skills in working with children.


Binji & Boori Aboriginal Health Worker Jaime Carpenter said the new collaboration with TAFE NSW Nowra means the parents she works with were also learning by watching their children taking part in the culturally supported program.


“This is a chance for our families to learn in a supported place, and for students to interact and connect with children in a culturally-guided way,” she explained.


An unintended benefit of the program has been the opportunity for the parents to get a chance to connect and network while their children are in the play sessions with the TAFE students and teachers.


For Bomaderry High School student Louise Tancred, the course has been a way for her to try out one post school option while still at school.


Before starting the course she was unsure about her subject choices and career options, and took the advice of the school’s careers advisor to enrol at TAFE NSW.


“I enjoy spending time with the children and now after a couple of terms here, I’m thinking of working in early childhood education,” she said.


For Nowra High School student Mia Taylor, teaching and working with children has been a long term goal. 


“Those first couple of years mean a lot in a child’s education and I’m keen to play a role,” she said. “As part of the course we do work placement and there is the chance some of us could be offered jobs which would be great.”


“We get to put the skills and knowledge we’re learning into practice here at the TAFE, so  we’re starting to get the hang of it,” she continued. 


“TVET is a great idea, we learn practical skills and have work experience which looks great on a resume,” she said.

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