Playcentre Education asked Jay to share her recent Level 4 Certificate in ECE and Care experiences:

We were in a bit of transition in our centre and had lots of C series members moving on. We needed the Level 4 Certificate to licence our centre. As a stay at home Mum, I felt I didn’t use my brain as much as I used to and I missed that side of things. I’m a Primary trained teacher.

There is a lot of cool stuff in the Certificate. As a teacher, I worked in the junior school generally. When I came to Playcentre I thought I had all these skills that I could take into Playcentre but actually what I found were the things that I learned in Playcentre I could take into school.

When I was learning the theory in Theory Guide Practice C405 it was all about theory, things that you learn along the way as an undergraduate teacher that you might forget.

Now that I have my own child, it has highlighted how my child learns, how other children learn and how to interact with other children.  It was really nice to get back into theorists and the foundations of development.

The most fun I had was Enriching children’s play in Module C406. You get a chance to go into depth with someone who is not your child. As Mums, we are so caught up with our own kids so it was great to learn about other children and build a relationship with that child’s Mum. That is really special. You get to develop lines of direction and explore different ways of observing. Actually the C406 Module really made me explore other observation styles that you don’t always use and I found that useful because I learnt more about that child than had I been writing a narrative.

What I liked from the C Modules Award series is – just because I am teacher doesn’t mean I am a total expert with children, I am constantly learning and developing my practice. I learned a lot more about myself at Playcentre and how I interact with other children. You always pick up another skill and I picked up many other skills. At the time I was studying I was the Education Officer at our centre as well. I felt it was my job to help others going through the training as well. For me as a teacher, mentoring is what I do as a teacher. Traditionally I’ve been teaching Year one and New Entrants.

I felt so good completing the Certificate!

I feel like my entire teaching philosophy has been turned on its head. As a teacher I also answer to a lot of people; parents, your team leader, Principal; coming to Playcentre has allowed me to be more free. I have such an appreciation now for play based learning.

I am a lot more patient and empathetic to parents when families transition from ECE to school – it really is a big deal.

When I go back to full time teaching, I think Playcentre training makes you into a “yes” based parent and teacher.

I am looking forward to getting back to teaching and taking what I have learned through the Level 4 Certificate programme to school.

Studying with Playcentre has been hugely empowering. It is a lot of hard work but Playcentre has allowed me to develop as a parent and teacher.