ECT shares her story of moving from primary to ECEC
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > ECT Nicole shares her story about transitioning into ECEC from a school-based setting

ECT Nicole shares her story about transitioning into ECEC from a school-based setting

by Freya Lucas

November 16, 2023

Nicole Allardyce, an early childhood teacher (ECT) from Goodstart Early Learning Belmont, recently shared her story about making the transition from working in a school environment to working in early childhood education and care (ECEC). 


At a time when many ECTs are moving from early childhood settings into a school-based setting, her story is unusual, and while Ms Allardyce says there’s not one setting which is better than the other, there are differences in the two settings which are worth noting. 


“There are many benefits to working as a teacher in the early learning centres compared to school,” she said. 


“Early learning is child-centred and initiated based on the children’s interests, and we have flexibility to plan our lessons for the children. In a school setting, we would deliver a set lesson plan.” 


ECEC settings also give parents more opportunities to get involved in children’s learning, she said, being included in the programming, and having their feedback welcomed. 


“Even though in the school setting you get school holidays, I did tend to still work a fair bit over the breaks. Meanwhile, in early learning, we get programming time and professional development support. This means we don’t have to take work home,” Ms Allardyce said.


Having a supportive team, and access to more of a supported approach has also been something she has welcomed. 


“I was allocated a mentor when I started my teaching job at Goodstart,” she explained. “This has been very helpful. I get to touch base with my mentor and bounce ideas, ask for support and get help. She was able to point me in the right direction for learning materials.” 


“When I first started teaching in the school setting, I was thrown in the deep end. As a graduate teacher, this was very challenging.”


Ms Allardyce was asked for her opinion about which of the two education career paths she found the most rewarding and fulfilling. 


“I find the early learning setting more rewarding,” she said. “Simply, I believe that teachers have the biggest impact on children’s learning in the early years. We lay the foundation for education to help set children up for success in school and life which is extremely rewarding at the end of the day!”

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