Bachelor Scholarship Pathway Program
The Australian has featured Affinity Education Group’s Bachelor Scholarship Pathway program as the company marks a milestone with more than 100 employees enrolled to complete a fully-funded Early Childhood Teaching degree.
More than 100 employees are on their way to achieving their dreams of becoming Early Childhood Teachers through Affinity’s Bachelor Scholarship Pathway.
Prior to being considered for the Bachelor Scholarship Program, employees at Affinity Education Group are also offered free education to complete accredited Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma in Early Education and Care qualifications along with other Business training through the Affinity Learning Academy.
National Education Reporter for The Australian, Natasha Bita, interviewed Affinity Chief People Officer Linda Carroll and recent graduate of the program, Naomi Bowditch.
“Affinity Education Group invests a minimum of $20,000 per fully funded degree for our employees, and covers a further $10-$15,000 in salary costs as they complete their practical placement period towards the end of the degree, which can range between 6-12 weeks of full time work at another Kindergarten or Preschool,” Ms Carroll said.
Naomi Bowditch, Early Childhood Teacher at Milestones Early Learning Aspley, was one of the first graduates from Affinity’s Bachelor Scholarship Pathway, and says she didn’t think university was an option as she had dropped out of high school.
“I saw people get into uni on a Diploma, and then Affinity offered to pay for my Bachelor of Early Childhood Education,” Ms Bowditch said.
“It meant I graduated with no HECS debt, and they also covered my 12-week placement period with paid leave so I had income coming through the entire time, which was just incredible.”
Since Naomi graduated in 2022, she has continued to work with children enrolled in the age 3-5 School Readiness and Kindergarten programs offered by Milestones Early Learning Aspley.
She has also taken on the role of Senior Educational Leader, which includes supporting other early childhood educators and embedding the Lifelong Learning Curriculum programs and practices.
“The degree’s give me a lot of confidence in understanding children’s development,” Naomi said.
“I’m happy to be supporting other educators now to develop their professional skills in early education.”
Madeline Henry from Milestones Early Learning Oxley Vale is currently in her second semester of the Affinity Bachelor Scholarship pathway, and says the on the job model is far better suited to her than the traditional university-based Primary School teaching degree she originally enrolled in after high school.
“Full time uni just didn’t suit me, so I dropped out, but I really wanted to work with children, so I started a traineeship in childcare,” Madeleine explained.
“I completed my Cert III and then Diploma without it costing me anything. Now I am studying my Bachelor of Early Childhood Education part time, again, completely free through Affinity, while enjoying working full time, and I’m finding that I can manage it if I keep well organized. Affinity offers me paid study time and my Centre Manager is so supportive,” she said.
“It’s a much better way to become qualified, and I am saving more than $1000 per semester from the sponsorship that Affinity has provided me with.”