Creating Skills for life

2024 News Archive

Leah Bongtou, the proud owner of Lau’s Pre-school and Child Care Center in Port Vila, Vanuatu..

Leah unlocks opportunities in early childhood education

Mar 14, 2024

Leah Bongtou is a pioneer for women in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Vanuatu.

In 2013, Leah recognised a need for high-quality childcare in her community and decided to pursue a Diploma in ECEC at the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).

Leah is among 120 graduates who have completed this course through APTC.

This qualification, recognised internationally and in Australia, empowered her to open her early childhood centre, Lau’s Pre-school and Child Care Center, in Port Vila, just two years later.

Inspired by her mother, an early childhood educator, Leah is committed to providing the best possible environment for the children in her care.

The APTC training equipped her with invaluable knowledge in child development, psychology and practical education techniques, which she is passionate about sharing with her students.

"The training I had received prepared me well," Leah said.

"I was excited to use my knowledge to benefit the children in my community. The internationally recognised qualification from APTC also gave me the confidence to manage my school effectively and create a nurturing learning environment,” she added.

Lau's Pre-school and Child Care Center has flourished, becoming a significant provider of early childhood education for more than 80 children aged 3-5 years. It offers valuable opportunities and services to working parents in Port Vila.

Leah's message to aspiring educators and childcare professionals is one of encouragement and resourcefulness.

"Don't be discouraged by a lack of resources," she said.

"I started my school by converting my home into a learning space with donated toys and books. With the support from parents and the community, I was able to create a thriving learning environment for children."

Leah highlighted the various avenues available to women in Vanuatu, including gaining skills training through institutions like APTC and other Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) providers.

“Education is the key to unlocking opportunities, and women should seize every chance they get to learn and grow. We need to take advantage of the resources available to us and work hard to achieve our goals,” she added.

APTC is the Australian Government's largest TVET investment in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, working closely with local industries and national training providers to ensure the training provided to students meets domestic and international training needs.

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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