Sarah is a teacher from Belfast currently working in Sydney. Our Early Childhood Consultant Anna chatted with Sarah about her experiences so far…
Why did you decide to move to Sydney?
It was something I thought about for a long time before finally making the decision to take the plunge. I was working as a teacher in Belfast and having to work weekends in a toy shop to make ends meet. I started to research the education system in Australia which is both fascinating and confusing and realised that I could work as an early childhood educator for the same money I was making as a teacher in Belfast. Money and weather were my main reasons for moving to Sydney as was the fact that I already had a support network of friends here.
How have you found your experience working as a casual educator with anzuk Education?
I loved working casually for anzuk Education before they found me a full time position. I did not have very much availability due to working casually as primary teacher and waiting for my ACECQA results. However, any time I was available they found me a position even in after school settings before I could work in early years. It is easy to send time sheets through email and payment is paid the next Friday which is ideal when you live for the weekend like me.
What did you find were the main differences working in early childhood in Australia?
The early childhood profession is a lot more highly regarded in Australia than it is in Ireland. The pay is much better and the centres are much better resourced (including staffing). When you speak to the staff in the centres they cannot believe what we put up with at home and find it even harder to believe the wages we were being paid. I have also found that the staff are more highly trained due to the number of traineeships and professional development courses provided by employers. I have only had a full time permanent job for 12 weeks and have already completed a one professional development course in promoting The Reggio Approach in your centre and have another coming up with Little Scientists which involves using STEM with little ones.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of making the move to Australia?
DO IT DO IT DO IT!! But make sure you do your research first about where the best places to work and live are. The next step is to find out which qualifications you might need to work in the industry. You can do this by accessing the ACECQA website where you can also apply for accreditation to work in the early childhood industry. I would check your qualifications as soon as possible so you don’t get any nasty surprises the way that I did.
If you’re interested in opportunities to work in Australia, our Irish consultants would love to hear from you!
Melbourne: Email Ciara Timbs – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sydney: Email Siobhan Filen – email@example.com