Amazing Childcare Trainer & Assessor, Penbe Durdu.
Our amazing Childcare Trainer and Assessor Penbe Durdu shares her top tips for creating a career in early childhood education and care.
Wonder Woman. Batman. Thor. It’s easy to appreciate these superheroes on the big screen (especially when they’re played by Chris Hemsworth…).
But what about our real-life heroes?
Take early childhood educators, for example. Did you know that 90% of a child’s brain develops between birth and five years old?1 It’s easy to see why experts say our early life experiences greatly affect our future health and life success!
To us, early childhood educators are among our real-life superheroes, helping to shape a better future through exceptional early childhood education and care.
That’s why we sat down with one of our amazing Childcare Trainer and Assessors, Penbe Durdu.
Penbe’s been part of the Amazing Education & Training team for more than a year, but her enthusiasm for children’s learning sparked as soon as she began to consider her own career. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in teaching, she’s been working in early childhood education and care for seventeen years. (So, we think she’s a bit of an expert.)
Penbe shares her advice for creating a career in childcare, what she recognises as the biggest challenges for her students, and what you can achieve with a qualification in early childhood education and care.
What led you to your role as a Childcare Trainer and Assessor with Amazing Education & Training?
Penbe: Well, initially, I was applying for childcare roles! In my research, I discovered that Amazing had a Childcare Trainer and Assessor role available. With my background in teaching, I remember thinking how incredible it would be to support others on their learning journey in early childhood education and care. So, I applied, and here we are!
What drew you to a career in childcare?
Penbe: I think I was just born for it! (LOL). My careers advisor in high school told me that I had the perfect personality for teaching and working with children. I got into primary education at first, working as a casual at a childcare centre while I studied.
Funnily enough, that casual job was how I realised I enjoyed working with children in their early years. I went on to study early childhood education after I’d graduated from primary teaching.
What do you enjoy most about being a Childcare Trainer and Assessor?
Penbe: I enjoy helping students achieve their goals and earn their qualification in childcare. I also really love the opportunity I have to build great relationships with my students.
I’m happy for my students to contact me with any questions relating to their childcare journey, beyond coursework and assessment. I find that either myself or one of the other trainers can provide great advice based on our own experiences in childcare. As I see it, we’re here not only as trainers but also as mentors for our students.
Personally, I want to help my students gain not just the right skills but also the confidence to really succeed and enjoy a career in childcare.
What qualities do you think are most important in childcare professionals?
Penbe: I think having that hunger to keep learning, even after your formal education, and seeking professional development is a big one. There’s no limit to the learning that you can do! Whether you're subscribing to newsletters, researching online, spending time on platforms like Pinterest for new ideas – that desire to keep learning is so important. It keeps you creative and gives you new ideas to bring to your childcare centre and your interactions and activities with children.
Another important quality is (a lot of) patience. When you’re working in childcare, having patience and empathy is a must!
What do you like most about working in childcare with Amazing Education & Training?
Penbe: Amazing is an incredibly supportive community, and we’re for the community as well. Because we’re not a huge RTO, everyone can know each other and develop a good bond. We’re all really supportive of our students, too, it’s clear that every trainer strives to help their students succeed.
Why would you recommend that students study childcare with Amazing Education & Training?
Penbe: It’s that supportive, community feeling that Amazing Education & Training has that makes it a great organisation to study with. As a student, you know that your trainers are with you every step of the way and that we genuinely care about helping you earn your childcare certificate or diploma. Plus, we’re here even after you’ve graduated, too. I still chat with many of my past students.
What does a typical day as a Childcare Trainer and Assessor look like?
Penbe: I wake up, I have my morning coffee and check my messages and emails. If I haven’t the night before, I’ll message the students that I’m visiting that day to remind them that I’m coming into their centres. Then, I’ll be out on the road to see my students.
Back in the office, I’ll mark assessments and provide feedback for my students. If my students have scheduled any study or support sessions, I’ll do those too, either on campus or over a Zoom call.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for your students?
Penbe: I think that time management is the biggest obstacle for them - finding that time to do their studies around everything else they’re doing in childcare.
I understand that it can be hard to find the time. The benefit of Amazing now that we’re online is that your study is really flexible. You can do your assessments anywhere: on your phone, tablet, wherever you are. Instead of spending 10 minutes on Facebook, you can answer a few questions.
That’s why I encourage my students to use their time wisely. After all, every free moment is an opportunity to get closer to completing your qualification!
Every free moment is an opportunity to get closer to completing your qualification.
What advice do you have for people thinking about studying childcare?
Penbe: Even if you’re not completely sure, I’d say just go ahead and give it a go! A Certificate III in Childcare is a great qualification to have; there are so many childcare centres out there and the job opportunities are endless. The demand for great childcare workers will always be there, so you’ve got great job security.
Plus, an early childhood qualification can take you anywhere, from working in childcare to becoming a teacher’s aide, a trainer and assessor yourself, or a compliance manager even.
Getting that initial certificate in childcare can open a lot of doors, and you might not even realise!
What is your greatest success story so far?
Penbe: I encouraged one of my students to start her own childcare business! I’m not sure she realised that opportunity was available to her, but as soon as I planted the seed, she was off. Her new family day-care centre has just opened this month, too. I am so proud of her.
Our many thanks to Penbe Durdu for taking the time to answer our questions! If you have a question for Penbe or any of our Amazing staff, please get in touch or give us a call on 1300 707 058.