Late last week, Extend Before & After School Care CEO Kim Fenton did not mince words when 2GB radio host, Ben Fordham, asked if she really thinks that grandparents would be “perfect” candidates for roles in childcare.
“We do. We always have thought that, actually,” said Ms Fenton.
“A long time ago, there were less regulations in the childcare industry and people didn’t have to have a diploma or a certificate to work in childcare – so back then we had a lot of grandparents working for us,” she said.
Ms Fenton continued, “So, we lost a massive amount of knowledge and experience from the childcare sector in general. We are trying to get that back now, so we are going to try and help grandparents get those qualifications and come on back into the sector.”
With the childcare sector currently in the midst of a staffing shortage, Ms Fenton revealed that The Extend Group is looking for mature aged teachers and people who have existing qualifications, as well as those who don’t.
“We’re taking everybody, as long as you’re the right person with the right kind of attitude and you love working with kids, we’re happy to hear from you,” said Ms Fenton.
We’re also looking for trainees, so anybody who has done any other job in their life and they want to become an educator, we can offer traineeships for those people with full training while you work and study. We offer study time as well,” she said.
With recent studies revealing that older Australians are feeling increasingly discriminated against when applying for jobs, this push to encourage mature-aged recruits to apply is both refreshing and vitally important.
Currently, the childcare sector has no shortage of young staff.
However, Ms Fenton believes that introducing more mature-aged employees into their team will yield positive benefits for younger staff members and the children in their care.
“There are career paths for those people as well. We have an educator in our business at the moment who was in banking and finance. She started with us in her mid-50s and she was promoted to a management position at the age of 59,” she said.
“So, we have career paths for those who want them, and we have a part-time [job] for somebody who is looking for something a little more light-on.”
Any older Australians who would like to apply or would like more information about these rolls are encouraged to visit https://www.extend.com.au/about/why-be-ordinary/ or call 1300 366 437.