Selmar’s practical placement co-ordinator, Kylie Jackson is passionate about the importance practical work placement plays for students and takes great pride in making it a valuable and positive experience.
We all know what an important industry early childhood education is. Providing nurturing care as well as play-based learning experiences to enhance children’s development during the first five years of development has an enormous impact on children’s lives. Through the courses provided by Selmar, our students are empowered to make positive contributions to the industry, and their hands-on experience through placement is the first step.
In her role as placement co-ordinator, Kylie takes care to really get to know the students she is finding work placement for, so that she can provide them with the best hands-on learning opportunities that suit each individual.
Kylie also puts a lot of time into creating great relationships with the child care centres who offer the placement, ensuring that she understands the way their centre runs, their training methods, values and approach to early learning.
“It’s not just about availability of students and matching that to what works for centres. Matching students to centres involves really getting to know the student and the centres and giving both the best experience from placement”, says Kylie.
With this attention to detail and such thoughtful placement co-ordination, it’s no surprise that so many Selmar students receive offers of employment while on placement. The feedback from the centres is positive too.
“Centres frequently say ‘We always take Selmar students because we know the quality of the training is really high.’” Kylie explains.
Kylie’s approach to finding suitable work placement for students extends to their personal attributes too. Just a couple of years ago Kylie had a student with a hearing impairment who was finding her placement wasn’t working for her and wondered if it was a communication issue related to her hearing. Kylie knew exactly how she could support this student.
“I knew of a centre who had a room leader with a child who has a hearing impairment. It ended up a perfect match for my student and she actually went on to win a Victorian educator of the year award recently!”, shared Kylie.
It’s not just in the workplace that Kylie shows her commitment to caring and helping others to thrive. Since the age of 23 Kylie has been an emergency foster carer. At the time of commencing fostering, Kylie had no children of her own but has continued to provide a safe haven for children and babies even as she grew her own family and became a mother of three.
“My love of children, particularly babies lead me to look into fostering. I wanted to help families, support children and just give back”.
Kylie says the children she nurtures in her role as foster carer have made a big difference to her life and to her children who have developed a beautiful appreciation of families, but of course there are challenges.
“A lot of the time you wonder about children and hope that they go back to happy family. And it’s very easy to get attached. Me and my 14-year old daughter are the criers when it comes to saying goodbye.”
“Children impact your life and you hope to have a positive impact on theirs”, Kylie said.
For anyone considering foster care, Kylie encourages them to look into the various types of fostering you can do as it can fit in with your life and other commitments. What does she find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a foster carer?
“It’s the whole process and hoping that you make a difference and that they take something positive from the time they spend with you.”
With inspiring people like our placement co-ordinator Kylie guiding Selmar students, we know that children and the future are in good hands.