Gowrie Victoria partners with Our Place on CALD program
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Gowrie Victoria introduces more people to the world of ECEC, working with Our Place

Gowrie Victoria introduces more people to the world of ECEC, working with Our Place

by Freya Lucas

June 25, 2024

Gowrie Victoria has partnered with Our Place to deliver a program designed to introduce members of the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community to a career in early childhood education and care (ECEC).


Introduction to Working in Early Childhood is a four-week course which last ran in May 2024, giving Melbourne’s CALD community an opportunity to learn more about being part of a fun and rewarding career in ECEC. 


The program was supported by the Victorian Government’s Early Childhood Tertiary Partnerships (ECTP) program, which provides additional support for Victorian students while they study to become an early childhood teacher or educator.


Program Facilitator Angela said that the participants were highly motivated to learn. 


“The students were excited, and very enthusiastic about the program,” she said. “The attendance remained high across the program, which showed commitment and motivation.”


The Carlton Learning Precinct (CLP) is a community hub which supports many people from diverse groups, particularly from Arabic and Somali cultures. 


Within CLP is Gowrie Victoria, Carlton Primary School, as well as maternal and child health, parenting services, family support and counselling, and playgroups. 


Our Place, which is part of CLP, is an organisation which supports the education, health and development of all children and families in CALD communities, connects Gowrie Victoria to their partners in the Carlton Community Network, and develops the program to meet the needs of the local CALD community. 


Gowrie Victoria worked  with Our Place to connect with members of the CALD community and build relationships and interest in participating in the program. 


“Our Place advised us on how to engage with the CALD community and how to respectfully communicate with them,” Penny explained. “With the terrific support and advice from Our Place, we received 17 applicants from eleven diverse cultures to join the program.”


Participants spent half their time in the classroom and the other half working directly with children, practicing and reflecting on what they learnt in class. 


Participants learnt about what a day in the life of an early childhood educator looks like and how being an educator is different to being a parent. They also learnt about the guiding documents educators use, how to communicate with children including in their own language, as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) concepts, numeracy and literacy, and sustainability.


For participant Malida, the program was a wonderful experience in helping her to understand the value and expectations of ECEC in an Australian context. 


“My father has a private school which he runs for 13 years,” she shared. “We have kindergarten to high school, and an English part time program, but we don’t have early childhood, which is why I’m interested in this course.” 


For Reina, who has worked in Japan in an in-home care capacity, the course was an opening to expand her interest in learning more about Australian, European, and Nordic education. 


“What I liked about this class most is we had practical classes so we could see on the floor and the services. This was a great opportunity for us, so this is why I wanted to join,” she explained. 


Fellow participant  Sumaya’s perception of ECEC changed by doing the program, which also influenced the way she approached children, and made her more aware of the actions behind her children’s educators and how they interacted. 


“During the class I learned a lot of information about childcare, and what it looks like to work with children is more than just play,” she said. 


To learn more about programs supported by the Victorian Government’s Early Childhood Tertiary Partnerships, please see here

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