Cathryn shares her trainee experience
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Cathryn shares her trainee experience

Cathryn shares her trainee experience

by Freya Lucas

April 11, 2024

Emerging professional Cathryn is currently undertaking her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) traineeship at Gowrie Docklands Kindergarten. 


In the piece below she shares her experience as a trainee, and why taking the traineeship pathway was the best way forward for her. 


Pandemic based push to change


Like many Victorians, the COVID-19 pandemic was a pivotal moment for change in Cathryn’s life. 


“After being stuck behind a computer working from home during the pandemic I was eager to make a change and move into something more interactive,” she said. 


“Many of my previous jobs had some sort of crossover with education or involved working with children. After reflecting on what it was about these jobs that I enjoyed so much I realised it was building connections with, and supporting children in their early years.”


The best parts of working in ECEC


“It’s a beautiful thing watching a child discover and interact with the world around them,” Cathryn shared. 


“Working with children during such integral developmental years and being able to have a genuine and meaningful impact on their lives is very special. It is a joy and a privilege to support each child on their individual learning journey and create a space for them in which they feel safe to explore their identity.”


The variety in each day is a big draw card, she continued. 


“Although this can sometimes be daunting, it ensures there is always variety which is refreshing and exciting. Having come from a music theatre background, I also appreciate that I am able to apply my creative skills within the early childhood setting and share my passion for music and performance with the children.”


Benefits of being a trainee


“Having the ability to take the theory I’m learning in class and put it into practice in real time has been really great as it allows for a more immersive and focused learning environment,” Cathryn said. 


“Being able to plug into my trainee peer group every Thursday for Cert III class has also been wonderful as it has given everyone the opportunity to share experiences, brainstorm and problem solve things we are finding challenging in our work.”


Her facilitator and teacher, Carolina, has been a strong support for Cathryn and her classmates, earning praise for creating a safe and welcoming learning environment where everyone feels supported. 


“I am also lucky to work with a fantastic team of educators at Gowrie Docklands Kindergarten, all of whom have been so kind and supportive while I have been learning on the job,” she said. 


“The connections I’ve built through my engagement as both a student and an educator in the Gowrie community means I have had the opportunity to collaborate with such a broad range of people (big and small) and it has been a joy to learn about, and celebrate, the different communities that make up the wider Gowrie community.”


Advice for others 


For anyone else considering a move into ECEC, Cathryn has the following advice: 


“It’s challenging but rewarding work. Witnessing each child’s growth and development, whether you work with them for one day or for years is incredibly fulfilling. If you are looking for a role with purpose where you can truly make a difference, a career in early childhood is definitely worth considering. Not only is it very meaningful but there are so many different opportunities that exist within the sector (e.g. after-school care, inclusion support, special education, private nanny).”


The next intake for Gowrie Victoria’s CHC30121 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care starts on Wednesday 17 April 2024.  


Victorian services who have been considering taking on a new trainee or who would like to learn more about the benefits of offering traineeships at their service can contact Stephanie Soriano, Student Engagement Coordinator ([email protected]  or Ph: 0466 852 121).

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