Lara McCabe

A new Diploma of Early Childhood Education at UOW College will help provide the best possible start in life for local children and boost employment opportunities in the childcare sector.

In 2014 UOW College is offering the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care allowing students to study locally, on the campus at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

Reforms to the childcare sector as part of the National Quality Framework (NQF) aims to improve developmental and educational outcomes for children through increasing the quality of the childcare workforce and raising the number of qualified staff.

At the same time increasing demand for early childhood education and care services is leading to a need for more qualified employees in the sector.

The Diploma includes an agreement with the Big Fat Smile group, the region’s largest provider of preschool and day care services, to ensure students undertake 240 hours of practical placement at a BFS-managed childcare centre.

Big Fat Smile CEO Bill Feld said the partnership would deliver guaranteed work placements for UOW College students during their study and access to permanent jobs on completion.

“We want to invest in local talent and establish early relationships with our educators and leaders of the future,” he said.

“The agreement delivers a ready supply of qualified educators at a time when demand for child care is increasing nationally.

“New national standards for staffing and qualifications have raised the bar for early education and care.

“We are thrilled to partner with UOW College to deliver this innovative, forward thinking initiative with real outcomes for students, children and families.”

Big Fat Smile plays a vital role in the regional economy and in the lives of local families.

UOW College General Manager Julie Renwick said: “UOW College’s Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care curriculum is industry relevant, delivered face-to-face and requires students to undertake work experience.

“We are pleased to partner with the Big Fat Smile Group to ensure that students become empowered graduates who excel and provide the best possible care when working in the early childhood industry.”

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