LOVING LEARNING: Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis sits with grant recipients Sabrina Allen (left) and Michelle Call with kids from Goodstart Early Learning centre.
LOVING LEARNING: Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis sits with grant recipients Sabrina Allen (left) and Michelle Call with kids from Goodstart Early Learning centre. Adam Hourigan

Childcare workers get support for school

LIVING in a rural town, both Michelle Call and Sabrina Allen from the Goodstart Learning Centre jumped on the chance to study a Bachelor of Education Early Learning with the help of a scholarship so they had the opportunity to go to university while working.

Having wanted to work in child care for most of their lives, and both of them wanted to further their education and enhance their skills.

"We will end up with a small HECS at the end of it, but it covers the majority of our fees up to $10,000," Ms Allen, who is a Assistant Room Leader, said.

"Having that piece of mind that most of its going to be covered," Ms Allen said.

"We're not the highest paid profession, so it's the worry of finding that money as well," Ms Call said about the cost of studying without the help of a scholarship.

"I honestly think if that scholarship hadn't come up then I wouldn't have done it," Ms Allen said.

"I wouldn't have either," Ms Call echoed her co-workers worries about advancing her study without the help of a scholarship.

In the future, Ms Call, who currently works in a role where she helps educate the staff at Goodstart Learning Centre, hopes that she can move into adult education around childcare, which her Bachelor of Education can help her achieve.

Ms Allen on the other hand wants to continue working with children.

"My main goal is to move up into a Room Leaders role," she said.

Both women think Early Learning workers need to be more aware of what is out there in terms of furthering their learning.

Goodstart Early Learning had informed them of the opportunity, otherwise they said they would have had no idea it existed.

"I guess it's really important for people in rural and remote areas to be up to date with these things that are being offered because it's such a unique opportunity," Ms Call said.

The NSW Government initiative that has awarded the scholarship to Ms Call and Ms Allen to help them upgrade their qualifications.

NSW Member for Parliament Chris Gulaptis said 30 scholarships had been awarded to child care workers in rural and remote areas.

"The importance of quality early childhood education cannot be understated as it gives children the best start in life," he said.



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