Graduate Profile: Emma Duggan – A Rewarding Career in Child Care

Graduate Profile: Emma Duggan

A Rewarding Career in Child Care

Emma Duggan- VFA Learning- Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Emma Duggan- VFA Learning- Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care


Emma Duggan loves her job working with children at Gowrie Victoria and hopes to land a full-time position once her Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care is complete. She shares some of her insights and experiences here.

I did my Certificate III with VFA Learning in 2014 while I was still in school as part of a School Based Apprenticeship. When I finished school, it was an easy choice to continue studying with VFA. I live just few minutes away from my nearest campus in Essendon Fields, and I love the convenience.  I was one of the first students from my school that undertook the school-based apprenticeship program and my careers advisor suggested the same pathway to other students because I had such a great experience. A lot of students from my school have now gone on to study with VFA Learning.

I already have a job, in fact, I did my first placement back in 2014 in my current workplace. And I have been working with Gowrie Victoria since June 2016. Gowrie Victoria have fantastic child care centres, in fact my trainer Andrea said it’s such a good centre, she wants to work there.

I am able to work 3 days a week and my boss has given me the flexibility I need to keep studying my Diploma. The online modules that VFA Learning offer make it easy to work while studying because you can plan your study around your work schedule.

My trainer Andrea has always been there if I need help, she explains things well. She is on our level and she supports us. Andrea always listens to what we have to say too. Class is fun and we are all included in conversations.  We don’t get ‘talked at’.

Because I work casually I can be placed into any part of the centre I work in which means I have a lot of variety in my work day.

When I first started at Gowrie Victoria 2 years ago I worked in the baby room, I have now had a chance to watch those babies grow and learn. They have changed so much, it is wonderful to watch the developmental changes as children become more independent. I remember teaching one child to walk and feeling so proud when a few months later she was running around the centre.

Emma Duggan- Early Childhood Education and Care

Emma Duggan- Early Childhood Education and Care

I also love teaching kids life skills. It requires a bit of tough love sometimes. I have learned how support kids to sort their own problems out instead of rescuing them. For example when a child cries we ask them to communicate what they are feeling rather than just try to make them feel better. It makes me smile when I see a child say ‘I don’t like it’ or ‘please give me back that toy” rather than just crying because I know we are teaching them skills that some adults haven’t even mastered.

I would recommend VFA Learning to anyone that wants to study child care, in fact, I have! One of my friends was going to study at VFA based on my recommendation, but she chose to go somewhere else and now she wishes that she listened to me as the course she is doing is taking much longer than my course and isn’t as good as the courses I did.

I have friends that have gone to Uni, and it is going to be at least three years before they can work in the field they are studying to work in. I was able to do a great course in 1 year and begin work just six months into my Diploma. I was work ready when I turned 18 because I finished my Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care while I was still in school. I have it made because I can also go to University now if I want to.

It pays to do your research when you are choosing a place to study. When it comes to VFA Learning all I can say is study here!  The courses are clear and simple, the trainers help you and can make great friends.