Young people pursue careers in early childhood educationMarch 13, 2023
As Australian job vacancies double, recruiting staff is more challenging than ever before. According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics release, there are 480,100 job vacancies in Australia, a 111.1% increase from 2011. CatholicCare’s Children’s Services team are tackling this challenge head on through an innovative partnership with Catholic Schools Broken Bay (CSBB).
Practice Manager Janaki explains that it has always been difficult to find good, motivated staff in the Early Childhood education sector, “the notion out there is that we aren’t a very well paid sector, so this turns people away. We need good quality staff because we are the first educators of children with the responsibility of moulding and nurturing the future generation.”
This partnership with CSBB started in late 2017. Student based trainees access CatholicCare’s Early Learning Centres to undertake training and assessment for a Certificate III in Early Childhood, whilst still completing their HSC preparations. “We agreed to accommodate students one day a week,” Janaki says.
“We support the students to get through the content that they need to cover as part of their Certificate III and ensure that they understand what it means to work as part of a bigger team. They learn about all our policies, procedures, and regulations, and are a part of team meetings, programming and planning. It gives them a realistic snapshot of what it is like working in the sector.”
The initiative has led to the recruitment of some excellent, well trained staff who are passionate about Early Childhood education. “Our first student based trainee was Lucy,” Janaki says. “After finishing her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education, she went on to do her Diploma and now she’s looking at doing her university degree. Lucy now works as a permanent member of staff at our Waitara Early Learning & Care Centre, which is where she completed her traineeship. She even won a state award for young trainees. Supporting Lucy in her journey has been really significant for us,” Janaki says. Since then, three other student based trainees have been offered positions at CatholicCare.
Janaki says that the initiative has contributed to a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with Catholic Schools Broken Bay, “It’s really important for us at CatholicCare to be working with schools. The Bishop often talks about building those partnerships and this is one significant way that we are doing that. It supports their program, but we also benefit from it.”
Janaki, who was involved in all stages of the planning and implementation process, has always been motivated to explore ways of introducing people to the Early Childhood education sector.
“I want to show young people that this is a wonderful career choice to make,” Janaki says.
Clearly, Janaki and the team have succeeded, with motivated young people choosing to use their gifts and talents exploring an Early Childhood career at CatholicCare.