Sydney local, Yemima Christy has joined over 200 degree graduates from across the state at the Higher Education Graduation Ceremony held at TAFE NSW Ultimo this week.
Yemima Christy graduated from a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care in front of ten dignitaries including TAFE NSW Managing Director Dr Caralee McLiesh, family and friends, and is now working in a Childcare Centre in Leichardt as a result of her work placement conducted with the organization.
It was a passion to teach that steered Yemima Christy to what would become a rewarding career. Her decision was well timed, according to national industry research attendance at child care centres has been increasing over the past decade, with a further growth expected in this year.
She left her Indonesian home to live in Australia in 2013. Once she had settled in Sydney, despite wanting to be a teacher, she enrolled in an accounting course at TAFE NSW Ultimo.
“After a while I decided accounting was not my thing, I wanted to work with children. I wanted to be a teacher,” Yemima said.
Yemima left accounting and enrolled in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW Randwick. The degree would qualify her to work as a teacher in preschools and long day care.
“I was taught the theory of child development. Now, when I see a child’s behavior I understand what’s happening. Part of the undergraduate degree also explored leadership and management,” Yemima said.
As part of the program, students undertake two work-placements each year. TAFE NSW teachers call on their industry networks to connect students with employers.
It was through her work-placement with Explore & Develop, a childcare centre in Leichhardt, that Yemima caught the attention of owners Belinda Barnes and Alison Evans.
“I love teaching and there are lots of pathways after the degree. I could open my own centre, or family daycare, or teach other early childhood teachers,” she said.
TAFE NSW Relieving Regional General Manager, Paul Williams, commended the graduates on their commitment and dedication to studying a degree at TAFE NSW, which has equipped them with the practical skills and work experience they need to pursue their chosen career.
“All TAFE NSW graduates have had first-hand contact with leading employers and understand their chosen industry through both practical and theoretic study. We congratulate them on their achievements and are confident they will have successful and satisfying careers,” Paul Williams said.
The ceremony also included graduates from the Associate Degree of Applied Engineering (Renewable Energy Technologies), Associate Degree of Accounting, Diploma of Accounting, Bachelor of Applied Finance (Financial Planning), Bachelor and Diploma of Applied Commerce.
With more and more parents returning to the workforce, and more than 1.3 million children aged 12 and under expected to attend government-approved or funded child care service in 2018/19, the demand for qualified childcare educators is on the rise.
As of May 2017, there were 5,398 early childhood education services, including preschools, long day care, family day care and outside of school hours care centres across NSW. This number has grown by 42 per cent since 2013 when there were 3,813 .