Incentive Scholarships in action - Tash Cook

Incentive Scholarships in action - Tash Cook

The Incentive Scholarships were awarded to support educators in rural or remote areas of NSW who are already enrolled and currently completing an early childhood teaching degree. Natasha Cook, one of the successful 2018 recipients, tells us about her experience as an educator in Wagga Wagga.

Tash (as she is known to the kids) has a passion for early childhood education, and her ambition to extend her knowledge has led her to pursue higher studies in ECE, while combining study with her work as an educator at Amy Hurd Early Learning Centre in Wagga Wagga.

Inspired by her mum, who was a paediatric nurse, Tash has worked in the early childhood sector for 6 years. Now she is taking the next step by undertaking a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and she knows it is the right career for her.

“I love creating wonderful relationships with the children and their families, and laughing together. I get so many laughs each day. The children say the best things”, Tash said.

“I know this degree will be very useful because this is my forever career. Any knowledge and education will benefit me greatly. Plus who knows, maybe one day I’ll be a Director”, she joked. Balancing work and study is never easy and the funding will support everyday expenses.

“Having the financial assistance with internet bills, textbooks and so on will be a massive help”, she said.

Throughout her studies, Tash says she has learned a lot from the interesting, in-depth research relating to children’s development, but she’s also learned that educators need to care for themselves, too.

“If you’re combining work and study, you should be prepared for the workload, but at the same time don’t lose yourself. Remember your wellbeing is important as well – and be prepared for loads of reading!”.

If you’re thinking about doing a degree in early childhood education, Tash’s advice is: “Go for it! Take your time with the subjects and enjoy”

The 2018 scholarship recipients were announced by Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell, and like the other recipients, Tash says she couldn’t be more delighted.



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