Care for children is core
We work in a regulated education and care environment and while education is important it is the care early childhood staff provide that is of most importance to us. When children feel safe, respected and loved they joyously participate in learning.
Our graduates provide care that:
- is safe and supports each child's health and wellbeing,
- provides opportunities and challenges for children to learn and explore their world,
- supports children as individuals that move at their own pace,
- provide inclusive environments where children, families and childcare staff work together,
- implements regulations and strives for the highest quality standards of care and education to be achieved.
Experienced trainers provide the best support
Students learn best from trainers who understand their learning journeys and fully "know" the work environments they are working in. With this in mind all Australian Early Childhood College (AECC) trainers have a rich history of working in the early childhood sector. When selecting staff the core selection criteria for AECC is their experience with, and attitude to, children in a care environment. We do not want trainers who arelooking for a way to escape the child care floor but rather the person who wants to share what they know with others to expand their knowlede while working with children.
All our trainers have current experience within the sector and have all worked within the National Regulations, Standards, Framework and Regulatory requiremnts. They stay up to date with regular work practice and links to local early childhood services, they are talented and experienced educators and leaders, many of whom have been with us for over 10 years.
This means our trainers are very comfortable in services and see visits to workplaces as an opportunity to reconnect with children while they support their students' learning. You will see our trainers working alongside their students helping, modelling, and sharing their years of experience to support the individual needs of each student.
Commitment to workbased learning
Research confirms that online and preservice training does not graduate work ready staff, while work based training and assessment allows skills to be embedded in practices. AECC is committed to workbased learning and has spent the last 20 years continuously improving our processes and procedures. We are so committed to the value of workbased learning that we only enrol students who are working in a regulated service. Most are permanent staff working part or full-time, but some are casuals. All are building their experience in meaningful ways.
Partnerships between trainer and employer
We work with very small services and large national organisations, the core requirement is a workplace that supports the ongoing learning of their staff. This encourages meaningful partnerships between each student, trainer and employer.
Our students are exposed to real interactions and practices while they study, learning and assessment relates to their work and the pedagogy and culture of the individual service.
As staff in a service they learn and practice to real work standards not merely student levels, directed activities target and focuses student skill development.
Mentoring and professional conversations with colleagues and managers supplement this. Theory makes sense as links are drawn to practice, theory now has meaning we know this enhances how people learn and retain information.
Many other programs require only minimal work practice hours Certificate III can be asked to complete only 120 hours pratice and some Diploma programs require only 240 hours.
Time to learn
We recommend minimum training and learning requirements, in line with this most of our students work on average for 12 months to complete CHC30121 Certificate III of Early Childhood Education and Care and 2 years for CHC50121 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. This can vary of course for experienced staff, but this base of 12-24 months is important to provide students with enough time to practice, learn and embed skills, underpinning knowledge and understanding into their practice.
Students graduate with the recommendation from their Manager who confirms the onsistency of their understanding and skills performance.
Why train your own staff
Current practices of hiring staff from other organisations or new graduates from preservice training organisations can, and does, have associated difficulties:
- preservice trained staff generally have little to no real work experience and can require 6-12 months of supervised employment to build skills required to be "work ready"
- work expectations can very greatly
- embedding into the early childhood culture that is your service may not always happen smoothly
- habits brought from other employers ca cause difficulties
By training your own, your work enrionment becomes a learning place and all staff benefit. You have access to a consistent pool of staff building their skills and knowledge while they work.
Contact with trainers is key to successful students
As our program is primarily a "distance program" students are given training programs to support their learning journey and are therefore not expected to attend face-to-face classes. This means students can study in their own time and comfortable surroundings BUT it does not mean they do not need a trainer. Ensuring regular contact with their trainer which in this modern world is best compelted over thephone or skype.
We believe contact for reflection, discussion and introduction of ideas and research is the key to sucess in learning, to support this AECC provides the following supports:
- Phone - we recommend and have trialled a program where it was compulsory for students to contact their trainer every tie they had study. This ensured study time was supported, targeted and thereby more meaningful. AECC ensures a trainer is always available for support between 8.30am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday
- Regular planned visits - for added training discussions, to check on work compelted, observation of skill development. Visits also allow for regular feedback discussions and reporting on progress to student, service manager and lead educators. While visits and thereby face-to-face contact is invaluable it cannot replace the need for more regular contact. We cannot visit daily or even weekly, but students can talk to a trainer every day
- Email/Texts - are generally responded to very quickly, our commitment is within 24 hours Monday to Friday. Students are encouraged to send drafts of their work so support can be provided as they work through tasks.
- Skype - is an increasingly valuable resource, especially with high needs students
Study time is core to the success of any training program and when workplace can support this with some work hours included staff feel valued and supported.