Safe jobs in car­ing

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‘‘There’s a def­i­nite move­ment in the com­mu­nity about how they un­der­stand the role,’’ she says.

‘‘Peo­ple are re­al­is­ing that if you adopt an ed­uca­tive ap­proach with young chil­dren . . . then it re­ally gives them a head-start.’’

Mother-of-two Tu­ula Rop­pola com­pleted her early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion de­gree last year and works as a re­lief kinder­garten and ju­nior pri­mary teacher while she awaits the teach­ing re­cruit­ment pe­riod that typ­i­cally starts from next month.

Ms Rop­pola says while she would pre­fer to find em­ploy­ment within the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor, she would con­sider work­ing in child­care if the right op­por­tu­nity arose.

‘‘I would pre­fer to be with chil­dren slightly older (than those typ­i­cally in child­care) but that’s not to say I wouldn’t think about it if (a child­care cen­tre) had a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on learn­ing,’’ she says.

Ms Rop­pola, who pre­vi­ously worked as a pro­fes­sional dancer and chore­og­ra­pher, be­lieves job prospects for grad­u­ates are good, re­gard­less of where they want to work.

‘‘I de­cided I wanted to re­turn to a pro­fes­sion that will give me sta­ble em­ploy­ment – the arts in­dus­try is no­to­ri­ous for not do­ing that,’’ she says.

‘‘And I’ve al­ways felt I had a nat­u­ral affin­ity with chil­dren.

‘‘While the fu­ture is al­ways un­cer­tain, I’m an op­ti­mistic per­son and I haven’t heard of many (pre­vi­ous) grad­u­ates who haven’t been able to find jobs.’’

Pic­ture: Bren­ton Ed­wards

Child­care grad­u­ate Tu­ula Rop­pola at New­land Park Kinder­garten, Erindale.

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