Australia-wide early childhood education is an industry dominated by female workers. In fact, statistics from the Australian Government reveal that less than three per cent of all industry workers are male.
Not perturbed by these figures, TAFE NSW student Hayden Watts is one of the minority. The talented Manildra local is bucking the trend, forging a promising career as an early childhood education and care trainee at Cudal Community Children’s Centre.
“I pursued a career in early childhood education because it has always been a passion and interest of mine to work with children and help with their learning development,” he said.
“It does feel rewarding to be doing well in an industry that is dominated by females. I am provided with so much help and support on a day-to-day basis from my female colleagues, it’s really encouraging.
“But realistically, to the children, I’m just another teacher – they don’t care if I’m male or female.”
Hayden began his training journey in 2017, switching from studying a Certificate III in Business at TAFE NSW Orange to enrol and complete a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care course in 2017. He’s now close to completing the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care.
“TAFE NSW helped me greatly in gaining employment as a trainee at Cudal Community Children’s Centre, and will play an important role in me achieving my dream of becoming a primary school teacher,” Hayden said.
“That’s the long-term goal, but for the time being I’m really enjoying seeing the children make and build friendships, setting up activities that help them learn, develop and grow, and seeing them use their imagination in a variety of ways.”
Cudal Community Children’s Centre Director Stacey Roweth said Hayden was extremely popular with the children and had become an asset to the organisation. This sentiment was echoed by TAFE NSW Early Childhood Education and Care Head Teacher Susan Bird, who has watched Hayden develop into an outstanding role model.
“Hayden is a natural with the children and worked hard to understand all theory components of his qualification,” Ms Bird said.
“He has shown many great skills both at TAFE NSW and in the workforce and being male adds a different dimension to the workplace and the impact he can have on children and families. Hayden is a wonderful early childhood educator who has been a pleasure to teach and mentor.
“Hayden’s also a great example that you can always change career paths and TAFE NSW really does help deliver exciting, real-life employment opportunities.”
According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook research, more than 36,000 new job openings in early childhood education are predicted across the country in the next three years. TAFE NSW is reponding to this skills requirement by delivering early childhood education across the state and online via TAFE Digital. To find out more visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.