‘We are here for Gladstone’ Rio Tinto incentive supports dreams of local childcare worker

09 March 2017

Rio Tinto’s Here for Childcare programme has provided Shaylagh Alexander from Gladstone the chance to fulfil her dreams of a career in childcare.

The initiative was supported by the Rio Tinto Gladstone Community Fund with the aim to reduce pressure facing the local childcare industry.

The programme committee identified solutions to address local industry challenges in recruiting, training and retaining educators in Gladstone.

Shaylagh’s path to success began when she signed up for the programme’s Incentive for Educators plan and was placed at Goodstart Early Learning Kin Kora.

During her placement she achieved her Certificate III in Education and at its completion she and the childcare centre each received $2000.

Shaylagh said "The programme was a great opportunity and I received tremendous support to continue studying even through the tough times.

"I intend to continue my studies and the $2000 I received will go towards achieving a Diploma of Children’s Services. I love everything about working in childcare especially bonding with the children and watching the toddlers learn to walk and talk."

Pictured: (L-R) Specialist Communities and Communications–Yarwun operations Aluminium, Chin Ching Soo with Shaylagh Alexander

Goodstart Learning director Shae Young agreed "Here for Childcare is putting money back into the service and straight into education. The financial incentive certainly encouraged participants to finish the programme."

Rio Tinto Gladstone Community Fund chairman and QAL general manager Mike Dunstan said "The Rio Tinto Gladstone Community Fund is all about supporting our community to make a sustainable difference.

"We really are here for our local people and are delighted to have played a part in addressing an essential community need.

"Congratulations to Shaylagh. We are so pleased she will continue to support Gladstone’s childcare industry with her new skills and qualifications."

The programme has now closed although several participants are still in the process of completing their qualifications.

The Rio Tinto Gladstone Community Fund’s current programmes are Here for Health and Here for Business.

The Here for Health initiative supports local health services and community leaders to deliver positive change to Gladstone’s health services.

The Here for Business initiative offers business coaching and interest-free loans to new or existing businesses seeking to expand into new markets.