Challenging Stereotypes in Childcare: Carlo’s Story

This article is sponsored by TAFE International WA

Originally from Cebu in the Philippines, Carlo is the fourth child in a family of seven. He moved to Perth, Western Australia, to study and to pursue a career in childcare and early childhood education.

“I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Accounting Technology back in the Philippines and worked as an accountant for almost five years,” Carlo shares.

Although he had a degree, Carlo did not envision himself working in an office. Instead, he has a passion for teaching and engaging with people.

“While I was working full-time, I enrolled myself in a Diploma in Professional Education and was able to take the licensure examination for teachers, which I successfully passed,” Carlo says proudly.

He was teaching college-age students, but felt that he was better suited to teaching children. So, as a result, he began looking for childcare courses and found TAFE International Western Australia.

Studying Early Childhood Education and Care with TAFE International Western Australia in Perth

At TAFE, Carlo found that his lecturers were very supportive, especially to international students.

“They were very patient and gave us extensions on our assessments, especially during the peak of the pandemic,” he says.

However, Carlo did have mixed emotions about being the only male in the classroom. While he sometimes felt awkward, overall, he found it to be an enjoyable experience. “I am friends with everyone, and the room is very diverse. Therefore, I felt like I belonged,” Carlo says.

Carlo has now completed his CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. The next step is to begin his CHC503113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care in February 2021.

Working in childcare

Carlo shared with us what it’s like working in childcare, which is typically viewed as a female-driven industry.

“I felt the love and acceptance of the children, the parents, and my co-educators. This is a new experience for them since the childcare service where I am working is pretty new (they opened in January 2020) and they have never had a male educator,” he says.

“I love my job so much. I love being a male educator because there is a certain special bond that the children and I have, that they do not necessarily have with female educators. Children come to me and ask if we can play lava monster, tag, or ask me if I can make them paper planes and boats,” he shares.

Carlo is very passionate about advocating for more men working in the childcare setting and challenging gender stereotypes. Fortunately, Carlo has not experienced any issues in his job due to his gender.

“The parents compliment me by saying they love seeing a male educator in the service,” says Carlo.

Life in Perth, Western Australia

When asked what Carlo loves most about life in Perth, he was quick to say the people and the desirable climate.

“I love the people, the transportation, and the weather. The people here are very courteous and respectful, and the weather is similar to the Philippines,” Carlo says.

Advice for international students

Carlo shared his advice for other international students who want to study early childhood education.

He says that if you are looking to enter the industry, you need to equip yourself with patience, understanding, fun – and patience again (you can never have enough patience!).

“Don’t do it just for the sake of it,” he says. “Childcare is taking care of children, and those children require genuine love, care, and affection. It is also easier said than done. You need to be prepared to feed the babies, change nappies, and supervise the children closely,” Carlo says.

TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) is the registered training organisation (RTO) and Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) provider, for the delivery of training to international students, enrolled in TAFE courses in Western Australia. These nationally recognised courses are delivered by a Western Australian TAFE colleges on TIWA’s behalf. TIWA retains responsibility for the quality of the training and assessment delivered by the TAFE colleges and for the issue of certification documentation to students.

Visit the TAFE International Western Australia website for information on course offerings for international students.