Interview with Ray Noronha, Coordinator, Training & Development at Enable College
Studying is invaluable for gathering theoretical skills and knowledge, but it’s in work placement that you really start to cut your industry teeth.
Perhaps nowhere is this truer than the dynamic Early Childhood Education sector in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2008 there were 9% of children aged less than 12 months were in formal child care. For children aged three years, the proportion usually attending formal care peaked at 50% - and industry forecasting only see these attendance figures set to grow.
Ray Noronha is our go-to source when it comes to offering child care students support mechanisms for their learning. A senior research scientist in a previous life, Ray has worked for RTO’s since 2007 as a course director and compliance and curriculum developer for natural yherapies, nursing and aged care.
Now a training and development coordinator at Enable College, Ray leads a team of industry–driven trainers who make a lasting impact on the lives of students who are passionate about child care. He is an authority on recent child care reforms and how they will affect your work placement and the child care industry as a whole.
He has rich experience in training and assessment, curriculum and e-learning development and strategic interaction with community services, enabling him to share practical and hands on knowledge for excelling in this growing and exciting field.
Here, Ray chats to Open Colleges about industry trends and how to get the most out of your child care work placement.
The partnership between Enable College and Open Colleges
This partnership has developed over time. It demonstrates how two Registered Training Organisations work together providing increased access to nationally recognised qualifications that meets both industry and legislative requirements.
Work placements give online students the practical skills they need
The online component provides the student with the theoretical knowledge and underpins the skills required in the professional workforce. The accompanying structured work placement program enables the student to develop practical job skills whilst providing them with a valuable insight into the particular job role.
Work placement further ensures the relevance of learning and assessment tasks and helps produce graduates who are job-ready, thereby significantly increasing their employment opportunities.
There are many skills you’ll need to work in child care
This depends on the relevant Australian Qualifications Framework level. Generally child care students are training to be educators. With this comes the responsibility of overseeing the safety and wellbeing of children in their care and assisting with the social, emotional, physical and educational needs of infants and young children.
What does the role of a trainer of early childhood education students involve?
Our team of trainers at Enable College are dedicated and passionate teaching professionals with childcare industry experience. They provide a comprehensive learning program in the classroom and through distance/blended mode of delivery.
As our trainers are intimately connected with the industry, they know what the employers are seeking and thus provide students with the skills and knowledge through interactive teaching methods and face-to- face support in work placement.
My advice for students looking to enter the early childhood education industry
The field of early childhood education is enjoying a time of rapid growth and development. Employers look for specific attributes like passion, attitude, motivation, communication and other employability skills.
If students possess these attributes which are embedded in the study of this nationally accredited qualification(s), they then have a pathway to a job they love which can make a difference to their own lives and to the children in their care.
Tell us about the recent child care reforms in Australia and how these affect people who work in child care?
The recent child care reforms in Australia should provide quality childhood education and care. The new National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care started on 1 January 2012.
This was implemented to provide better quality services and promote good educational and developmental outcomes for Australian children attending long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and preschool. It focuses on:
• Better qualified staff and improved staff-to-child ratios that allow for more quality time to focus on individual children’s needs;
• Providing national uniform standards in education, health and safety, physical environment and staffing; and
• Introducing a new transparent ratings system that enables parents to compare services easily and make informed choices about which service best meets their child’s needs.
This is a national approach and replaces the various licensing and accreditation processes previously undertaken by the Commonwealth, States and Territories. Under the new national framework, individual services only deal with one organisation for quality assessment, reducing the regulatory burden and enabling them to focus on the children in their care.
For the people who work in this industry it means that all staff must have or be working towards a qualification in early childhood education and care to maintain their employment.
This will promote a structured learning and support process for all children to meeting their individual needs. It should provide better staff to child ratios decreasing the stress on the educator, thus promoting a healthier working environment and hence a safer service.