Bethany and Goodna Consultant Tusi kidding around at Kaleidescope Kids, QLD.
22 year old Bethany isn’t let anything slow her down. As the newest trainee at Kaleidescope Kids Early Learning Centre
in Goodna QLD, Bethany provides learning support to children between three and four years old.
With a father in the defence force, Bethany was used to moving around a lot. But after moving from Townsville to Brisbane earlier this year, Bethany was struggling to find a job in a field she was interested in.
“I couldn’t find anything in the area that I wanted,” Bethany said. “I had retail experience and I had a Certificate III in Business so I could work as a receptionist.”
After seeing an ad online, Bethany’s mother encouraged her to undertake a Certificate III in Early Childhood, but Bethany ran into a few issues with her training provider.
“Part of the course was that I had to do some hours in a baby’s room. But they refused to do that, they refused to put me in a baby’s room because I had a disability. If they didn’t want me in a baby’s room then why would they sign me up for the course?”
Born with Cerebral palsy, Bethany lives with disability that affects her ability to move. This added to the difficulty in finding the right job.
“I found it hard, because I’d go into stores and they would tell me there were no jobs available. Or I applied online for a job, got an interview and then when I went to book the interview to do it, I was told sorry all the interview slots were filled. It was frustrating.”
“I had some people who were really understanding and then some who gave you weird looks and turned their backs. But it’s okay.”
And it was okay. Because for Bethany’s 22nd birthday she received the best gift of all, a call about a job interview with Kaleidoscope kids.
Bethany said that with the team at MAX Employment Goodna, she didn’t have to go it alone.
“MAX bent over backwards for me. It was nice to have MAX on my side, to have someone on my side when I was fighting a never ending battle.”
The benefits of her new traineeship have carried over into Bethany’s personal life too.
“Cerebral palsy can affect some of my hand movements, but in working with four year olds and focusing on their fine motor skills, you’re actually building your own while you’re helping them.
“The traineeship helps me outside of work in dealing with my siblings. I’m more level headed with them even though they’re teenagers.”
Kaleidoscope Kids Manager Natalie Baker said Bethany’s demeanour is ideal for the role.
“Bethany’s warm, she’s bubbly and she’s willing to give anything a go. The kids identify really well with her and that makes the mornings here a lot easier.”
Kaleidescope Kids is an inclusive company, with one staff member with disability working in each of their centres.
“It’s opened our eyes to the possibilities that are there,” Natalie said.
“It’s a common misconception that someone with a disability is not able to do the work. By having Bethany here, the workers have been opened up to the possibilities, as well as the children.”