Jackie pivots to new career in ECEC
The Sector > Provider > General News > From counting change to changing lives: Jackie’s career shift into ECEC

From counting change to changing lives: Jackie’s career shift into ECEC

by Freya Lucas

October 30, 2023

With over 20 years of experience working in the finance sector, Jackie felt it was time to make a change, contribute more directly to her community and provide support to parents facing the challenges of balancing work and family life.


Her career in finance had been a long and successful one, including working as a team leader at NAB, where she oversaw complex corporate loans and led a team of over 75 professionals.


Restless, and driven by a personal mission to assist working families, she soon found her calling in early childhood education, spurred on by her own experiences as a working parent, and by the impact she saw her own children’s educators make. 


Based on this experience she recognised the need for high-quality education and care that not only nurtured children but also eased the burdens on parents.


“I wanted to give back to families just like mine,” she explained.


Jackie’s journey into early childhood education included a Traineeship Program at Only About Children (OAC). 


The paid program, lasting between 12 to 18 months, welcomes individuals without prior qualifications or experience, offering comprehensive development programs, paid leave, study time, and dedicated mentors. 


Although it may not be immediately obvious, there are a number of transferable skills which Jackie took from one career to another, including the importance of structure and routines. Organisational skills, once used in the world of business, took on new meaning when applied to the care and education of young minds.


One of the highlights of her new role, she says, is witnessing the creativity and imagination of the children she cares for, which has sparked her own creative side. Her daily routine now revolves around the needs of the Surry Hills Campus Nursery Room, filled with activities such as music, singing, and baking biscuits. 


Transitioning from the corporate world to early childhood education was not without its challenges. Jackie had to adapt to different physical demands, such as keeping up with active children, and her coffee breaks were now scheduled. Nonetheless, she grew to appreciate her fellow educators who shared a deep commitment to the well-being of the children they cared for.


The most rewarding aspect of her job is witnessing moments of joy shared between the children and their families. When parents come to pick up their children at the end of the day, Jackie often shares stories of their achievements, ensuring that each day concludes on a happy note.


For others contemplating a career change into early childhood education, she encourages them to jump in, and give it a try. 


“You just have to try it. If you’re not afraid to work hard and love children, then give it a try. It’s such a needed profession, and it’s so rewarding,” Jackie said.


There are multiple traineeship opportunities available at Only About Children. Learn more here.

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