New program means Adel can stay in West Tasmania and work with children
Adel Farr is one of ten students on the West Coast of Tasmania who is taking advantage of a new opportunity to gain an early childhood education and care (ECEC) qualification without having to leave their community.
The 10 soon to be ECEC professionals are studying their Certificate III through the West Coast Study Hub, with a view to boosting the number of educators in the region.
The nearest ECEC service is in Queenstown, and services the entire region. Given the relative isolation of the community, staffing is a challenge, and if there’s any sickness or leave which needs to be taken, it places the service at risk of closure, service representative Sebastian Tuttle explained, speaking with the ABC.
“Some days, we’ve had to drive people out to replace staff for a week or two from our other services, which then puts them under pressure too,” he said. “It’s really difficult.”
For Ms Farr, choosing to study ECEC is a pathway to employment.
“My first thought was, you know, there’s a job for this,” Ms Farr told the ABC.
“I don’t have to go up to Burnie, or down to Hobart. To have this accessible…and to be able to get it into motion is awesome.”
Mr Tuttle is hopeful that the course will boost the number of educators in the region, and that some of the participants will go on to study a Diploma in Children’s Services, a hope shared by Study Hub West Coast regional manager Nicky Bolt.
“Not only are the students getting different experiences, but the whole of the west coast is working together to meet the regional need,” Ms Bolt said.
“There’s so many great successes coming out of that because, suddenly, education is accessible…and that means that we really are addressing what we need within our regions.”