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Lisa's found the perfect balance

After 10 years out of the workforce, stay-at-home-mum Lisa Harrold decided to channel her love of children into a career that not only allowed her to support other children, but also spend quality time with her own.

"I was a stay at home mum with my two boys and when they went to school I decided to get back into the workforce. I thought that working in childcare would be great because the hours are flexible and it works with my family," Lisa said.

After conducting some research, Lisa found that a Certificate IV in Education Support (CHC40213) would set her up to kick start her career as a teacher aide. But when deciding where to complete her training, she needed to find a course that would fit around her busy schedule.

"I decided to do my study through TAFE Queensland because it offered an online option which meant I could study from home," Lisa said.

Not having experience with online study previously, Lisa did her homework before committing to a training provider.

"I'd never done online study before so when I decided to do it I made sure that resources were going to be available and that the teachers were readily contactable if I had any questions. TAFE Queensland made it easy to get back into study," she said.

After first being apprehensive about returning to study after such a long break, Lisa was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to get started.

"The online learning process is really easy and was great with my family commitments. I could drop my children to school, come home, do my study, pick them up from school, and still be able to have a family life while studying."

Lisa also appreciated the encouragement and support she received from the teaching staff while studying online.

"The teachers at TAFE Queensland are wonderful — they're always there to help. They're contactable constantly and they're always there to answer any questions that you have and give you advice and provide support," she continued.

Helping ensure she graduated job ready, Lisa's course included a placement in a local school where she got to put her skills into practice early on.

"In my placement I was working with a Year 1 class one-day-a-week for the duration of my course and that enabled me to have practical, hands-on experience while being able to do the study online," she said.

After completing an industry-recognised qualification, Lisa found it easy to quickly land a role as a teacher aide in a primary school and is loving being a part of such a flexible and rewarding industry.

"The best part about being back in the workforce is that I get to work with children, which I love, but it's also a family-work-life balance — I can still have time with my family and have my career and enjoy both options," she said.

For other people who are looking at getting back into the workforce or change their career, Lisa would recommend giving TAFE Queensland a go.

"TAFE Queensland makes it very easy to get the tools you need to do the study to get back into the workforce. You've got the help, the support — it's a one-stop-shop to get your qualification," she said.

Now that she's working in the industry, Lisa couldn't be happier and knows that she's found a career for life.

"My plans for the future are to continue working with children because it's such a good work/life balance. I enjoy being able to see the kids every day, watching them grow, helping them learn — it's a wonderful job!"