Back to School – Could an early childhood training course change the direction of your life?
There aren’t many jobs or study courses that involve baking mud pies and building purpose-made mud kitchens, but for Warrnambool woman, Lisa Dowlin, it’s all in a day’s work. Lisa is one of many south-west Victorian students to utilise WDEA Works’ early childhood training course, using the flexible learning approach with in-class and on the job training to boost her skills.
She turned to WDEA Works for a change of career in 2016, first signing up to complete a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in Warrnambool, then chasing it up with diploma studies, and says she hasn’t looked back.
“I was in hospitality for 23 years and found WDEA Works very supportive in taking on a mature-age student. As well as being helpful and great with guidance, they handled any questions and eased my concerns about going back to school.
“I’ve enjoyed the positive feedback and support network of fellow students, colleagues and co-educators. There’s been a great mix of study sessions, excursions to childcare centres, a range of guest speakers and educators throughout the course, and it’s very interesting to complement my existing skill set as a parent with the more formal learning in early childhood education.”
Lisa urged any students, at any age to take on a change of career, saying childcare was a rewarding occupation. WDEA Works trainer and assessor Heidi Gardiner commended Lisa’s high level of enthusiasm for learning and said her commitment to studying and working with children set the bar high for other students.
“Lisa goes above and beyond her classwork requirements, and it’s this type of professional approach to her learning that makes us so proud. She worked with another student to design and build a mud kitchen for the children at her centre, which has gone down a treat with the little Masterchefs.”
Koala Early Leaning Director, Gill Marsden, said the amount of student support was an essential attribute of WDEA Works’ early childhood education courses. “Their level of commitment and flexibility is great, as is the capacity to upskill our employees within the workforce,” said Ms Marsden. “Lisa brings hands-on skills and new ideas to our childcare service, and the children just love her.”
It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by Ms Gardiner. “Lisa’s very caring, the children feel so comfortable with her, and she puts a lot of effort into her studies. It’s not just about playing with children; it’s a professional career.”
For more information on Early Childhood Education Courses in Warrnambool and Victoria head to www.wdeaworks.org.au/training or call 1300 521 511. WDEA Works also offers First Aid, CPR and refresher courses across south west Victoria.