Stay-at-home mum launches her career with the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Our blog this week was inspired by a conversation with a new graduate of the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, 38-year-old Ghazala from Melbourne. In just over 6 months of study, Ghazala has completely changed her life, having a new job, new friends, and a real career of her own.

If you are thinking about working in childcare but feeling a little apprehensive, uncertain, or shy, this blog may give the confidence to a step into this rewarding career path and study an early childhood education course.

Interview with Ghazala

Why did you enrol in the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care? Were you wanting a new career or do you have an interest in child behaviour and education?

First of all I love children, but I wanted to have a career of my own. I’m a mother to four kids who are mostly grown now, and I’d spent many years staying at home to care for them.

When they were little (and then during school years) I wanted to be there for them and also to make sure that someone was there when they got home from school.

Then, because I had already spent so much time raising kids (and it was something I really loved doing), I thought that experience would be a good place to start a career.

How did you find out about the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care?

It was on the website. I was browsing around the site and read all about the course and what was involved.

How was your overall experience with the website?

Oh, it was amazing.

How did you study? Online or face-to-face?


And how long did it take you to complete the course?

Only 6 months.

Learning Experience

Tell me about studying face-to-face? How did you find the classroom experience?

Learning in a classroom is so much fun. The teacher is always on-hand to answer your questions but I also enjoyed the classroom discussions and getting into groups. It felt a lot like a family environment.

How did you feel when you first started studying? Were you nervous on your first day?

Oh, I was so nervous because I’m quite a shy person. I remember the teacher asking us to introduce ourselves and I was nervous about it, but after a few days I started to make friends. Then we started to sit together and everyday I made more and more friends.

Also, I was very nervous about the assessments, In fact I waited two whole days before I even looked at the first assessment. Even though you study in the classroom, you get your assessments online.

The teacher said to me “Ghazala, you need to open your assessment and start it.” But was really scared.

So then what happened, were you able to do your assessment?

Well that first assessment was a bad experience. There were lots of corrections and I had to do some of it again. My teacher explained what to do and then I resubmitted.

In the second assessment, there were a few corrections. But after three or four assessments I never got any more corrections. I was feeling so much more confident by then.

Oh that’s great. It sounds like you are much more confident now, then when you started the course.

Oh, definitely.

Which units did you like the best about the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care?

I think I found child safety the most interesting. Learning how to keep the kids safe while they are at the centre and engaging in different activities and routines — eating, sleeping, toileting, or out in the sun. I also like the child behaviour units and noticed many common things in my own children.

What was the easiest thing about studying?

There was nothing easy about studying.

What was the hardest thing?

Well I was born in another county, got married, raised my kids. So for 16-17 years I had not worked or done any study. Our family moved to Australia in 2011 and once the kids were old enough I wanted my own career. It was hard to get started and to study while some of my kids are still at school, and I felt nervous starting the course.

Work Placement

The Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care requires you to do a work placement at an actual childcare centre. How was your work placement? Did you find that yourself?

The work placement was arranged by the Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Did you enjoy your work placement?

It was a fantastic experience. The staff at the centre were amazing and helped me so much. They explained the different policies and procedures, each and every step. They were also very supported while I was studying.

Do you have a special memory from your work placement that you would like to share?

Yes, while I was a student on work placement one of the children, a little boy, became very attached to me. During my studies he had to leave childcare because he was leaving the country.

On his last day he came to me and gave me chocolates and a card. His mother had helped him, but he had tried to write my name and a goodbye message himself. It was so beautiful and something I will never forget.

After you finished your course how long did it take you to get a job?

Actually the daycare centre where I did my work placement hired me. So I started working straight away. In Australia, daycare centres are always looking for staff.

Life Changes

What new skills and knowledge do you have now, that you didn’t have before you enrolled in the course?

Well before the course I was not very confident and a little bit shy. But I feel much more confident communicating now.

How has the completing the course changed your life?

My life is completely different. If you could see me two years ago and compare it to now — it’s like I’m a different person. Even my kids say ‘Mum, is that really you?’.

I remember when I first told my kids I was going to enrol in the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care they were against it. The told me ‘you can’t do it — it’s too hard for you mum’.

But now I’ve graduated and actually working in early childcare education, they are so proud of me.

Are you still in contact with the friends you made during the course?

Yes. Actually three of us are all working together. We all got a job at the same centre after our work placement.

Do you have any plans for further study?

Not right now. Once I finished my Certificate III, I got a job right away and immediately enrolled in the diploma. So I’ve actually just graduated from the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

It’s fantastic what you’ve achieved from your studies Ghazala, you should feel very proud. Now just before we finish up, how would you rate your course provider (RTO) out of 5 — with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest score?

Definitely 5/5.

How about the course itself?


One last question, what would you say to someone who was thinking about enrolling in the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care but was feeling a bit uncertain?

Just do it. You can start your career. The people who teach this course are amazing and you’ll be so supported. Do it.

Written by Melinda J. Irvine
Melinda J. Irvine
Melinda is a professional writer, blogger and creative. When she’s not writing she works with marginalised kids in the Philippines, supporting their social and emotional wellbeing. You can find out more at