Penrith plays key role in developing local childcare

The recent graduation of 11 talented and enthusiastic students from the Corporate Partners for Change Childcare Program is good news for Penrith’s childcare services. The students graduated in a ceremony hosted by Penrith City Council last November.

The Corporate Partners for Change Program is an initiative of the New South Wales Department of Education and Training’s Strategic Skills Program (SSP). The Department purchases training from Registered Training Organisations to address the strategic skill needs of industry, community and individuals.

The program targets industries that are experiencing skills shortages and teams up with employers to deliver training and work experience linked directly to real jobs.

In Penrith’s case, Council’s Children’s Services team worked with the Macquarie Employment Training Service (METS) to deliver childcare training.

The course, which has been successful at other nearby councils, is undertaken full time over ten weeks. It comprises seven units from the Certificate III Children’s Services, including a First Aid Certificate. It is a blend of both theory and practical, with students attending a number of childcare centres over the ten weeks to gain hands on experience.

Penrith City Mayor Kevin Crameri said childcare is a top priority for Council.

“Our City is home to around 180,000 people and we have a young and growing population, so quality childcare is very important,” he said. “We’re proud to have been a lead agency in this innovative project for six years, both as an employer providing work experience and by supporting the recruitment and development phases.”

In previous Corporate Partners for Change courses, approximately 80 per cent of students have gained employment after attending the course.