It appears that I am in a different situation than most other people who I read about in the forums.
Basically I completed a Grad Dip Early Childhood which is basically an equivalent to the bachelor degree, but only done in one year. To do this course you do not need previous early childhood experience.
The issue is that I do not feel that the course has taught me a lot about the day to day rules and regulations. It seemed to put a lot of this responsibility on the mentors I did placement with, but mostly what I learnt during placement was observations, planning and programming and very little about the other 'behind the scene' aspects.
Therefore, when I applied for an ect job at a childcare centre I had a lot of difficulty because even though I mention that I was new to this profession I received a lack of support from the management and staff to support my learning. E.g. my mentor did not have the opportunity to talk to me because she was busy and my 'training' consisted of 5 mins of the manager basically showing me to sign in and showing me some stuff on the computer.
I think the assumption is that because I have this degree I am able to immediately step into the position with no on the job training.
I'm considering applying to lower level positions e.g. certificate or diploma, just so I can gain experience without being expected to act as the room leader immediately.
I am concerned however that I will be unable to get these jobs because I have this higher qualification.
Any advice on how to get experience/ support?
You will not be paid as an ECT unless you are the ECT of a service, so I don't understand why they are reluctant to give you a different position. You will be most probably put in a room leader position.
If you are looking for experience, you can join a childcare agency and work casually until you are confident enough to work part time or full time... or find some casual work around centres in your locality.
You can download law-regs and go to acecqa web site. Also EYLF can be downloaded and an educators guide.
When I started in oshc years ago with no experience I took a paper copy of the regs home and read it! Also read policies. You will have to do this in your own time.
You could photocopy main policies and create a folder with the background childcare info you need. Photocopy regs that are applicable to daily use and so on.
Also go to the child protection site of your state and get the info you need. In the NQF-NQS they put the laws/regs in for each standard this might help too.
General google on childcare, for example expectations of the educator-child relationship and interactions.
I would create my own resource folder, don't expect someone else to teach you!
Good to have some information about the fact that I am expected to read through the rules and regulations myself.
I think that the fact they didn't cover this is a problem with the course itself because I have friends doing other qualifications (e.g. diplomas) and their assignments are related to laws and regulations. I think because my ECT course prioritised planning and programming they neglected this aspect.
I guess I just expected more mentoring from the ECEC sector as I used to be a high school teacher and were given a mentor who would chat with us weekly about how we were doing and sometimes observe our classes, etc. At least now I know that I shouldn't expect the same support as an ECT, which I think is a pity because many individuals who also graduated from the same course have no experience in ECEC as well.
Regarding previous qualifications the only ECEC qualification I have is a grad dip. But I used to be a high school teacher.
I think there is just an assumption re law and regs. It probably hasn't crossed people's mind.
You could ask the service director if they would prepare to mentor you?
If your interested in a little bit of study -it is a bridging course
https://www.accco.com.au/courses/early- ... 113-ectbp/
Or CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically CHCECE019 Facilitate compliance in an education and care services are two subjects in the diploma.
One of the carries of the diploma may allow you to do them as stand alone subjects.
If you have been a teacher I'm sure you will do fine.
I will check that out. Hopefully there are some online options I can look at so I can do that in my own time.
Unfortunately I am no longer with that service so asking the service director for some assistance is not an option.
My contract got terminated because I was "not a good fit", but I strongly believe that the really reason is that I had been really sick over the three weeks I had worked there and had taken a significant amount of time off.
Besides this forum which has been really helpful with advice, do you know if there are any conferences or professional development opportunities or something similar for people new to the profession?
https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/careers ... evelopment
http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org. ... velopment/
http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org. ... resources/
https://www.education.vic.gov.au/childh ... fault.aspx
https://www.qld.gov.au/education/earlyc ... ng/support
Volunteering is also another fantastic option and there are plenty of childcare and early childhood education related things that could use someone like you
You should also find information on your state government website about professional development - found VIC and QLD but didn’t get a chance to look up any others
If you do agency work keep in mind that could mean going from place to place and working with different people which is challenging, especially when you’re starting out.
I know it can be hard, but don’t give up!
The fact that you are asking these questions and looking to better yourself from day one shows your dedication and I’m sure the right opportunity is just around the corner
Happy to find see if I can find free CPD resources if you want, in the meantime feel free to ask any questions and good luck