Mia Lewis' story of thriving in ECEC
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Mia is a shining example of what can be achieved through school based learning

Mia is a shining example of what can be achieved through school based learning

by Freya Lucas

March 18, 2024

Mia Lewis is an early childhood education and care (ECEC) educator who the New South Wales Department of Education says is “a shining example” of what can be achieved through school-based traineeships (SBAT). 


Ms Lewis discovered her passion for the sector very early, often playing out her ambitions at home with her toys. 


“Mum has shown me photos of me when I was young, with my attendance roll and all my dolls and toys all lined up for daycare,” she shared.


During her high school years she arranged work experience with a local service, and says those first steps of being in the sector cemented her career path. 


Through speaking with teachers, she discovered she could gain a Statement of Attainment in Early Childhood Education and Care alongside her HSC studies. This training and on-the-ground experience allowed her to enter a job immediately after completing the HSC, giving her a lead into the career she now thrives in.


“Not even a week after completing my HSC, I started working full-time at a centre in Sydney,” Ms Lewis shared.


“I had dedicated windows of study time, and immediately turned learning into practice, which helped me build my confidence. I pushed my capabilities, found my unique interests and felt ready for more challenges.”


After completing her Certificate III she has been a room leader for the past year and says that regular connection with parents and carers is one of many things she loves about her work.


“A parent once told me their daughter was always happy after a day of play and learning in my care and that they love my thorough updates upon pickup,” she said.


Creating play based learning environments is something she is passionate about, and Ms Lewis loves “going the extra mile” for laughter and smiles.


“In my first week we set up sensory stations for water play. I ended up getting drenched head to toe. But the children laughed, and it was a good reminder to always pack spare clothes. We focus on child-led play activities that are accessible for all children. Each child can extend on that activity however they please, which is vital for their development.”


“Last week we were playing with magnets and the children really loved it because the task they were doing had a 100 per cent success rate, which builds their confidence. We expanded on this activity and found other items the children could connect the magnets to.”


“It’s not just about playing with the children. Through play, you teach them how to speak, walk, and eat, and how to be independent. It’s such a privilege to do this for a job.”


Her dedication to early learning was recognised and celebrated at the 2023 NSW Training Awards, where she became a finalist.


Ms Lewis is a strong advocate for SBAT as a pathway for those who discover their desire to work in ECEC from a younger age. 


“It’s a very rewarding feeling to be able to leave school with sector specific skills,” she said. 


School-based traineeships are a great way to set yourself up for the career you want while you are completing your HSC. If you are passionate about helping children to become learners for life through quality, play-based education, then the Early Childhood Education and Care – Certificate III school-based traineeship is a great pathway for you.”


Ms Lewis’ story was shared by the NSW Department as part of its ECEC Spotlight Series.


To share your story with the Department please see here

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