With early childhood educators in high demand across the Central West and expected to increase over the next three years by 13.9%, TAFE NSW is responding by offering smaller communities the option of studying online to develop job-ready skills.
According to TAFE NSW Cowra Head Teacher Early Childhood Studies, Karen Howarth, the TAFE NSW Statement of Attainment in Early Childhood Inclusive Practices was developed based on an observation and industry feedback around the need for educators in rural areas to upskill to support children and families who have identified needs for inclusion in early childhood services.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response to the course with students from Cowra, Grenfell, Granville, Lithgow and Nyngan all accessing our online platform to complete the course by video conference,” Ms Howarth said.
“It’s inspiring to see the students coming together from so many different communities and sharing their experiences with each other."
The Statement of Attainment in Early Childhood Inclusive Practices gave students a taste of what is was like to study at TAFE NSW and took away any doubts they may have had about going on to further study.
As a result of the introductory course, five students have continued their online study journey with TAFE NSW by enrolling to complete a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
TAFE NSW Cowra Early Childhood Education and Care student, Chloe Dunlop, said the short course refreshed her skills after working in the industry for seven years.
“I really learnt from other student’s experiences and the course worked well around my busy schedule," she said.
“I have gone on to complete the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care by video conference and I’m using the skills I have learnt every day in my role at the Cowra Early Childhood Mobile Service, which involves traveling to rural areas to provide preschool and long day-care services."
To find out more about early childhood education courses at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.