After changing direction to study early childhood, Sue Lin from China shares her experiences of an interesting and enjoyable year.
"Early childhood was a big change for me, but I was open-minded and keen to learn. When I looked at available courses, VU was clearly the best. I felt that way before starting the course, and I still feel the same way now.
Structured to succeed
"I really liked the structure of the course. Studying one unit per month kept things interesting and meant I could easily focus. Having regular weekly assignments meant I was never too stressed or overwhelmed.
"Also, the industry placements were structured well and gave me fantastic experience. We had sixty days of placements, in five different locations, working with children across the full range of settings, from baby rooms to kindergarten programs.
"Before every placement, we had two weeks’ preparation time, learning about what to expect. That gave me a lot of confidence for the time that I spent on-site."
Freedom & independence
"We also had a five-day community playground placement, which I think is unique to the VU course. I chose some items to take to a playground and watched children engage with them, studying the way they played as a way of developing my own ideas.
"As an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT), you have a lot of freedom to arrange activities for children to explore. I could decide what I wanted to plan, and the managers were very supportive, giving me a lot of freedom and independence.
"In my last placement, I brought my violin in to play songs and do activities with the children. It was really great to share my passion and inspire the next generation to get engaged in music."
A welcoming environment
"My best placement was one that VU helped me to find. The quality of the centre was really good and my mentor was very supportive.
"In general, childcare centres are very welcoming environments. Many staff speak English as a second language, which is comforting when you’re not so confident in the language yourself.
"There’s a definite lack of fully qualified ECTs, and lots of opportunities out there for anyone looking for work. At my last placement, I was offered a job."
Interested in becoming an early childhood teacher?
VU offers diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses in early childhood education, getting you on the path to a fulfilling career.