From a young age, Vicki-Ann Middlemis had always wanted to work in childcare, but found it was never the right time so turned to cooking instead.
Her first job was in a café, where she worked for five years as a chef, before briefly becoming a nanny. Following the birth of her first child, Vicki chose to become a stay-at-home mum, where she remained caring for her three children for a number of years.
As her children grew, Vicki was needed less and less at home, prompting her decision to return to the workforce. She began working in another café, but her heart wasn’t in it and the job eventually fell through.
After another 18 months out of the workforce, Vicki came across a SPARK leaflet in her letterbox, and finally made the decision to follow her passion. Vicki became a participant in the Belconnen Community Service (BCS) Childcare Program, which ran for 6 months and consisted of both classroom learning and placements within BCS childcare centres. Upon graduation, Vicki received a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and a Senior First Aid Certificate.
Vicki says she enjoyed the program because of its small group environment and practical learning, which she feels has increased her confidence and helped her grow as a person.
“I didn’t really enjoy school and I never did well in traditional classroom setups, so being able to work in a small group and participate in hands-on tasks has been good for me. I now think about things more deeply than before and have confidence in my abilities”, says Vicki.
After graduating, Vicki was offered a job with BCS in the baby room, alongside other SPARK graduates. Vicki has also had the opportunity to welcome and offer advice to participants of SPARK’s second childcare program, as they begin their training.
Vicki is now looking to further her qualifications with a diploma in childcare.
Thanks to SPARK, Vicki has been able to follow her passion and pursue her dream of working in childcare.