Affinity brings Lifelong Learning to employees

Launched in July 2017, the Affinity Learning Academy is exclusively available to educators in the groups’ 160+ Lifelong Learning Centres.

CEO Tim Hickey said the initiative was ‘revolutionary’ for the early childhood education industry and will address skill and leadership shortages common to the industry.

“Our goal is to deliver industry leading professional development and qualifications which empower educator career progression,” Mr Hickey said.

“The Academy will also help us identify the best and brightest among our experienced staff and new industry graduates and fast-track their careers,” he said.

Features of The Affinity Learning Academy include:
  • 'Early Childhood Pathways' - Accredited Certificate III and Diploma qualifications delivered  through a range of Registered Training Organisations
  • ‘Lifelong Learning approach’ extension training modules for qualified educators
  • ‘Shining Stars’ high potential employee career development program delivering leadership skills  and training
  • ‘ECT Connect’ national teacher networking program in conjunction with Griffith University
  • BAM Leadership excellence program for outstanding Centre Managers and Area Managers
Hickey said the Affinity Learning Academy had been designed to deliver ‘Blended Learning’ incorporating online learning (theory), industry expert training (understanding), workplace learning (real world application) and on the job coaching and assessment.

“Many early childhood educators end up managing centres simply through longevity of employment, and while their natural talents and passion are evident, they will benefit greatly from access to leadership and management skills,” Mr Hickey said.

“Meanwhile, degree-qualified early childhood teachers who work in our Lifelong Learning Centres delivering high quality early education have repeatedly requested better networking opportunities, similar to what early primary school teachers receive, and we are thrilled to start delivering these opportunities for them,” he said.

The first beneficiaries of the Affinity Learning Academy ‘ECT Connect’ initiative are four early childhood teachers who will be funded by Affinity to attend the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE) in Auckland, New Zealand, during August 2017.

Louise Valente from Kurrawatha Avenue Early Learning Centre New South Wales, Yolandi Chandler from Kids Care Mindarie in Western Australia, Susan Reiter from Abacus Childcare Centre Victoria and Jahmilla Looney from Village Kids South Townsville in Queensland will attend the week-long study tour visiting a number of contemporary thinking early childhood centres in Auckland, New Zealand.

Affinity Head of Human Resources Linda Carroll said the Academy learnings and reflections from the study tour would be shared through the company’s internal communication hub to allow all educators within their 3500+ strong workforce to benefit from the knowledge gained.

Affinity Education Group is one of Australia's largest privately held providers of early childhood education. Headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland, the company owns and operates more than 160 Lifelong Learning Centres throughout Australia, with a presence in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Affinity Education Group’s research-based Lifelong Learning approach places primary focus on high quality play-based early education which aligns with the approved curriculum requirements in each state. Our goal is to grow and instil a love of lifelong learning in every child, to help them reach their full potential.