Initiative gives students practical childcare experience
ALEXIS Weber is one young go-getter benefiting from a collaboration between Central Queensland TAFE and Rio Tinto Alcan to support the Gladstone region's childcare industry.
CQ TAFE is training the region's future childcare educators with the help of Rio Tinto's Here for Childcare initiative.
CQ TAFE Gladstone faculty manager Joanne Ballard said the program provided financial incentives to childcare centres to make spaces available for school students to complete a school-based traineeship in childcare.
"This ensures that we are meeting the future childcare educator needs in Gladstone, whilst school students continue with their school program," Ms Ballard said.
"CQ TAFE trainers have worked with the schools and childcare centres to develop a suitable program, and support the trainees under this initiative through flexible delivery including face-to-face classes and external study."
Alexis started study with CQ TAFE while attending Toolooa State High School, and successfully gained a Here for Childcare school-based traineeship for a Certificate III in Children's Services.
She now works at Star Kids Calliope Child Care Centre two days a week while completing Year 12 and attending TAFE one day a week.
She has completed her Certificate III and is now continuing on to a diploma.
"My goal is to complete my Diploma of Children's Services and then go on and do my Bachelor of Learning Management," Alexis said.
"I would love to teach in the pre-Prep room and one day in a school.
"The school based traineeship was great. It allowed me to complete my childcare certificate, do Year 12 and earn money while I do it."
Star Kids Calliope managing director Kellie Fletcher said the school-based traineeship had been worthwhile.
"It's really helped my service, and Alexis was definitely the right person for the job," Ms Fletcher said.
About the program:
- Rio Tinto Alcan's Here for Childcare initiative was launched in March 2012 and provides an opportunity for 90 Year 11 and 12 students to pursue a career in childcare.
- CQ TAFE is now offering tuition-free places in Diploma of Children's Services. Certificate III units that are prerequisites for the diploma are also part of the fee waiver.
- Possible occupational outcomes may include authorised supervisor, centre manager, childcare group leader, director and child development worker.