Community involvement has always been something that Practical Outcomes trainer Kylie Giacobbe was drawn to. Whether it was her role in the Girl Guides and earning badges within her local community or babysitting children in her neighbourhood, Kylie believes that this created a strong foundation for a career in early childhood education and care.
Through her work in the early childhood education sector, Kylie has continued to enjoy opportunities to work in local communities and bring people together. Her early childhood career path wasn’t immediately obvious. When she first left secondary school she began a degree in electrical engineering. It was during a semester break that she was offered some shifts working with children locally, which led her to the decision to defer her engineering course. And in fact, she never went back to it!
“I just loved spending the time with the children and realised that this was the direction I needed to go in instead”
Kylie’s love of early childhood education continued to grow over the years, as she gained qualifications including Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management and Business Management, as well as the Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
Experience meets passion
With 13 years of sector experience, Kylie has gained first-hand knowledge across the early childhood education and care spectrum, from being a student to a casual educator to a room leader. She has also been a parent relying on childcare and while Kylie’s children aren’t so little anymore, the experience enabled Kylie to impart insights from the perspective of the parent as well as the educator.
At one stage returning to her roots in community involvement, Kylie ran parent and child Mother Goose sessions as a side project through a local council. Through these sessions, she taught parents how to use nursery rhymes as a tool to interact with children.
As a trainer, Kylie finds it incredibly rewarding to see learners reach their goals and to help them discover their own passion for early childhood.
“Whether it’s helping a child walk for the first time or speak their first words, being able to see educators, our learners, just thinking ‘yes, I can actually do this’. The qualification at the end is great as well, but just seeing those moments of realisation is fantastic”
According to Kylie, the versatility of an early childhood education and care qualification adds to its value. She has used her qualifications in the early childhood education sector to diversify her career experience over the years.
Tailored support learners can count on
Kylie tailors the frequency and type of contact to each individual learner based on their needs. She also lets them know her availability so that they feel comfortable contacting her when they need extra support.
“Students are really happy with the level of contact that they get. I’m not hassling them all the time but I am there for support. I don’t give them the answers to things, but I do give them the skills to be able to get to the answer. Sometimes it’s re-wording questions, and sometimes it’s just putting them on to the right sort of websites to look at.”
After 10 years of training, there are so many instances where Kylie has supported students who overcame difficulties or challenges to achieve their study goals. In one example, Kylie had a student who returned to study after 30 years.
“She found that quite intimidating at the start, working out whether she would be able to cope or not”, Kylie says.
Kylie noted that computer skills and confidence were the main areas that this student needed support with and tailored her contact with the learner on a fortnightly basis to focus on these areas.
“By the time she was halfway through the course she was just checking in monthly, and before she knew it she had reached her goal and got her Certificate III in Early Education and Care. She was so excited she enrolled in her Diploma as well!”
Another learner Kylie trained was relatively new to the country and English was a second language. This learner planned to gain her qualifications and start her own family day care business because she had two children of her own at home. Kylie again identified this learner’s language challenges and made a plan to help her succeed.
“To start with it was quite a struggle for her, but being able to get her together with a couple of other students for who English was also their second language we managed to set up a bit of a support group. She managed to complete her Cert III and now runs a successful family day care business!”
Setting a foundation for tomorrow’s leaders
While in the past, Kylie found that early childhood educators felt they were treated more as carers or babysitters, she has noticed a change in society’s view and appreciation for the childcare industry:
“It’s essential to set a foundation now for children because they are going to be tomorrow’s leaders and they need to have the skills to be resilient, moral and ethical leaders in society”.
This is why Kylie believes that the most important things needed to teach to children are resilience, being independent to do things for yourself, connectedness and a sense of belonging.
“A lot of it is in the subtle teaching. You can look around an early childhood room and see these fun things happening, but many don’t see what’s happening behind the scenes, in planning and the purposeful conversations we are having with children to further their learning”, says Kylie.
So, with so much rich experience, what does Kylie suggest for those who are striving to become the very best early childhood educator they can?
“Use your strengths and each educators’ strengths — remember that you have lots of skills and information that children don’t have access to unless you share it with them. It could be that you love books, so reading could be something you frequently do. From a multi-cultural perspective, we can add diversity and a sense of belonging through sharing with one another.”
Hear from Kylie herself on how support means real learner outcomes
With a trainer like Kylie, learners can rest easy knowing they are receiving dedicated support and the best chance to succeed on their learning journeys.
For more information, contact us today.