Jane McNamara had spent a decade working with children when a move to Queensland meant she had to obtain a formal qualification. Her return to study proved to be the best move for her career.

“I have always loved children and grew up knowing it was the field in which I wanted to work,” Jane said.

“After 10 years working in childcare centres in New South Wales and as a private nanny overseas, I thought I knew everything there was to know about working with children. But when I started my diploma studies, I realised quickly just how much I didn’t know.”

Beginning her career in the late 1990s, Jane said there weren’t the same requirements around formal education and training in the child care industry as there are today—something she said she is glad to see has changed.

“While it suited me at the time to start my career without any training, in hindsight it would have been so beneficial to me as a young person to have had the knowledge from a formal qualification in childcare,” Jane said.

“The confidence and insight I received through my diploma has been invaluable – especially when it was combined with my existing experience,” she said.

“My formal training taught me more about the technical side of the job, such as programming, behaviour management and childhood development, and I loved gaining all of that knowledge during my studies.”

Jane graduated from TAFE Queensland with her Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113) in late 2011 and has been happily based at the same long day-care centre ever since.

“My teachers at TAFE Queensland were absolutely wonderful, in so many ways. Their knowledge was second to none, they were so supportive and I really valued their expertise and wisdom," she said.

“But the greatest thing my teachers did for me was connect me with the Kurilpa Community Childcare centre for my two placements."

“When I finished my studies I was offered a full-time role there, and eight years later I am still glad to be a part of this beautiful community.”

Kurilpa Community Childcare is a not-for-profit long day care centre based in West End and is so highly regarded there is a two year wait list.

Three years ago, Jane was encouraged to apply for the Assistant Director role with the centre and was successfully appointed. Jane says she has thrived on the new focus this role has given her professionally.

“I am lucky to still spent a fair amount of time in the rooms with the children, but my focus these days is to support the development of our staff," said Jane.

“I am here to mentor younger staff members, support all educators with their programming, and ensure we have the right professional development opportunities available for the team," she continued.

“It has been a lovely change for me, having the opportunity to work with younger staff as they develop their careers and see the effect this has on our centre and our children."

TAFE Queensland offers introductory and advanced-level qualifications in early childhood education and care. Our courses will give you a depth of understanding into these early years and set you up for a rewarding career in early childhood education and care.



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