16 March 2021
With the Educate, Inspire, Excel (EIE) program passing the six-month mark, we wanted to highlight and celebrate some of our incredible early childhood education and care trainees. This is Christine’s story.
In early 2020, Christine was working as a mental health carer for a woman with complex mental health issues. She had been starting to think about changing careers, and this was accelerated when the COVID-19 crisis hit and her job was put on hold.
Christine was lucky enough to be listening to ABC Canberra radio when YWCA Canberra’s CEO, Frances Crimmins, was speaking about EIE, and decided that she could translate her existing skills in care into the early childhood sector.
She came into our offices for an interview with our EIE team and signed up that very day. Within a few weeks, our team had organised an interview with an early childhood service, which Christine obviously did well because she was offered the job!
Returning to learning while also working full time hasn’t been easy, but Christine is thankful for the support offered by her trainer. She is also adapting to online learning assessments.
“All of my other certificates were handwritten assignments, so it is a process but a good one,” Christine said. “My internet is via satellite, so I do have a lot of issues with drop out depending on weather conditions, but my trainer is very patient and answers any questions I have.”
Four months into her traineeship, Christine is loving the new opportunity. “I really enjoy working with the children. I have been in all of the rooms: nursery, toddler and preschool.”
Currently placed in the toddler room, Christine is the key educator (under supervision) for three toddlers. “I am really enjoying the responsibility that accompanies that,” she said.
“It’s lovely when you arrive at work and go to the room the children call your name and come running over for a hug, it’s just a beautiful thing.”
Once she finishes her Certificate III, Christine is already planning to continue her studies with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, and is considering merging her experience in the mental health sector with a Certificate IV in childhood psychology.