Douglas Simkin

Still unsure about what you want to be when you grow up? Or perhaps the path you took didn’t turn out how you hoped? An early childhood qualification is a skill for life. For those who love children, this is more than a job – it’s an opportunity to make a child’s world a better, brighter place.

When you’re working with children, there are certainly ups and downs. But fun always comes with the territory. You’ll bring the laughter and play to each day, but most importantly, you’ll create magical moments for children to experiment and grow.

Working with a supportive, expert team in the day-to-day running of our centres, our trainees play an important role in shaping young minds. You’ll get amazing experience working with children from 0-5 years. You’ll be encouraged to adapt approaches and bring creativity and playfulness to your work. To tap into your childlike wonder. To meet children where they’re at. And together with the children, their families and your team, you’ll design and deliver colourful learning experiences that match a child’s interests and needs.

To give you a taster of what working as a trainee at Big Fat Smile would be like, we have partnered with ECTARC, Risk Response Rescue, the IllawarraYES program and the Department of Education to deliver a free pre-employment program. No previous experience is needed, as we’ll teach you everything you need to know.

About the pre-employment program

The 2023 Big Fat Smile is commencing Tuesday, 21 November 2023 and consist of two days of classroom teaching at ECTARC Training Services and one day work placement in a Big Fat Smile service each week.

Classes: Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 21 November and 6 December 2023 between 9:30am to 2:30pm at ECTARC Training Services (210 Shellharbour Rd, Warrawong NSW 2502).

Work Placement: Thursdays between 23 November and 7 December 2023 between 9:30am and 2:30pm in a Big Fat Smile service.

During the three-week program, you will complete three units of competency free of change. The units will transfer to your traineeship as recognition of prior learning, meaning you’ll have a head start and lighten the study load:

  • CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
  • CHCPRT025 Identify and report children and young people at risk
  • HLTAID012 Provide First Aid in an education and care setting

Following the program, successful participants will be offered a full time traineeship at a local Big Fat Smile Community Preschool. Upon completion we offer Diploma traineeships as well as full time, part time or casual positions across our 40+ services. Thomas completed the pre-employment program in March 2022 and has since successfully completed his traineeship at Bulli Community Preschool. You can read Thomas’ full story here.

There are some important requirements for those who are considering to kick-start their career as a trainee at Big Fat Smile:

  • Availability to work full-time hours, Monday to Friday
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Must be able to get a Working with Children Check, valid for paid work (Volunteer status is sufficient to participate in the pre-employment program)
  • No qualifications or experience is required. In fact, to be eligible, you can’t already hold a Certificate III Education or above
  • You’re passionate about creating better outcomes for local children, families and communities
  • A commitment to making sure the children in our care are safe and healthy.
  • A fun-loving attitude and big smile!

There are lots of reasons why a traineeship with Big Fat Smile is rewarding. In addition to having the opportunity to make a difference for children and families, our trainees enjoy:

  • 60% discount on Early Learning and Out of School Hours Care services
  • A bonus $1,250 paid to you every six months throughout your traineeship (as approved by Services Australia)
  • Paid study time off the floor each week
  • Exclusive face-to-face and online professional learning opportunities
  • Mentoring and support from a dedicated Educator in your team and trainee study groups
  • Access to exciting internal opportunities to fast track your career upon completion of your traineeship
  • Discounts with St George Illawarra Dragons, UOW Early Start Discovery Space, Illawarra Credit Union and more
  • Complimentary access to a Total Well-being Platform, including self-assessment tools, perks and savings

If you or someone you know is interested in launching their career working in Early Childhood Education, please register your interest here or email our People Team on [email protected] for any enquiries.

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