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Education & Training

Family Learning Support Program

Need Help to Study?

Do you want to undertake studies but have financial constraints with childcare?
Many Learn Local organisations have funding that may be able to help!
Haddon Community Learning Centre in Haddon has access to funds to assist eligible candidates with financial assistance towards the cost of occasional childcare.

The eligibility requirements are — 
For a learner to access a subsidy through the Family Learning Support Program, the following criteria must be met:

  1.  The learner is the parent, carer or guardian of the child/children (aged between 0-6 years and not enrolled at school) for which they are seeking occasional child care.

  2. The parent is enrolled in and attending Victorian Government funded education and training at an eligible Learn Local provider and accessing occasional child care during their course hours.

  3. The parent is ineligible to receive the Commonwealth Approved Child Care Benefit either because of their circumstances or because the occasional child care service does not have any Commonwealth Approved occasional child care places available. (See Appendix B: Commonwealth Approved Child Care Benefit).


If you need assistance in locating eligible occasional child care providers in your area, please visit:
• the Department of Education and Training’s website to view the list of services under Victorian Law:
• the Australian Government website to view a list of Commonwealth approved child care service:

Call Haddon Community Learning Centre on 03 5342 7050 to discuss your options.


New Learning Potential App

This is a free Government provided app for parents said to be "packed with tips and inspiring ways to be more involved in their child’s learning. It’s for all ages, from the high chair to high school."

The app will provide you with:

•tips and hints

•relevant information tailored to your child’s age

•fun and easy ways to stimulate learning

Download Learning Potential for free from

The Victorian Training Guarantee 

Vocational Education and Training - The Victorian Training Guarantee

Now is the ideal time to make a start on gaining new skills, or upgrading your existing skills, to help you get the job you want.

The Victorian Training Guarantee makes vocational training more accessible to people who do not hold a post-school qualification, or who want to gain a higher level qualification than they already hold.

There are now an unlimited number of government-subsidised training places available to people who meet the eligibility criteria.

Are you eligible for a government-subsidised training place?

Generally, you are eligible for a government-subsidised training place if you are:

  • an Australian citizen
  • an Australian Permanent Resident (holder of a permanent visa)
  • a New Zealand citizen

and are any of the following:

  • under 20 years of age
  • seeking to enrol in a Foundation Skills List course (and do not hold a Diploma or above qualification or are receiving core skills training in other sectors)
  • seeking to enrol in VCE or VCAL
  • seeking to enrol in an apprenticeship
  • 20 years and older and ‘upskilling’ by seeking to enrol in a course at a higher level than your existing qualification.

If you are enrolled at a school, you will not be able to receive a government-subsidised training place for a course through the Victorian Training Guarantee, unless you are undertaking the course as part of a School-Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship. The Government supports schools in other ways to offer vocational training to their students, so you should discuss all your options with your school. Read more click here

Tertiary Study - Mature Age Students

Returning to Study

Returning to study or starting tertiary study as a mature age student can present many difficulties, such as juggling course commitments with the demands of work and family life. Despite this, mature age students usually enjoy the learning experience and do equally as well as other students.

Mature age students are usually highly motivated and keen to do well. This is great, although sometimes it can mean that they put too much pressure on themselves to succeed. Try to keep things in perspective. Study hard and effectively, but balance this with time for family and friends.

If at any time you feel that you’re not coping, remember that tertiary institutions offer support services such as counselling.


Mature age students have different past experiences

Mature age students come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of experiences. You may have: taken a break for a year or two before starting tertiary studies
returned to postgraduate study after a break of some years
been away from any kind of formal learning environment since you left school, which might be 20 years or more.
If you are aged over 18 years and have been out of full-time education for at least a year, TAFE classifies you as a mature age student.

Study aims of mature age students

The study goals of mature age students vary. For example, you may have returned to study to:

  • obtain a qualification 
  • upgrade a current qualification 
  • update your skills 
  • change career direction 
  • further an interest.

Practical considerations for mature age students

There are many things you can do to help with the transition and adjustment to tertiary studies. Suggestions include: Investigate on-campus services. For example, some tertiary institutions have on-site childcare facilities. See the student services department, student diary or your institution’s website for more information.
Find out about financial support. Visit your local Centrelink office and find out about services you may be eligible for, such as government childcare allowance, Youth Allowance or Austudy. Scholarships may also be available, so enquire at your institution or visit their website.
Try to arrange your class timetable so that it reduces disruption to your existing commitments. For example, some institutions offer flexible delivery of programs that may include evening classes, weekend courses or online subjects.
If possible, run household errands during breaks in classes – some institutions have banks, medical clinics, pharmacists and other shops.
Make space and check your priorities. There may be some tasks or commitments that you will not have time for or need to do less frequently while you are a student. Perhaps someone else can take care of some tasks for you or maybe certain things will just have to move down on your priority list.
Take short courses to familiarise yourself with new technology if necessary. Some mature age students may not be comfortable with new technology – however, student life will be much easier if you can use computers and the Internet.
Take a library tour to learn how to best make use of this facility.
Find out if your tertiary institution has a student mentoring program.
Talk to your lecturers and tutors about any concerns, particularly if you feel you are not coping with the workload. You may be able to apply for an extension of time if you are struggling to meet a deadline.
Submit a ‘Special Consideration’ application if you’ve been seriously ill or have experienced some sort of crisis during the semester – for example, death of an immediate family member, medical problems (either yourself or your immediate family), personal or family crisis. Speak to student administration, your lecturer or the counselling service.
Use your time effectively and be organised. This will help you arrange your study around commitments to family, work and class time. Time-management skills are essential to keep on top of your studies.


Coping with family friction as a mature age student

When one partner decides to take up tertiary study, it can sometimes cause problems within your family. It’s possible that your partner or your children may not be entirely happy with the time you spend on study. Your friends might find it difficult, too.

Suggestions for coping with family friction, if it occurs, include: Make sure each family member knows why study is important to you. Resentments and arguments can arise if your family does not understand your decision to return to study. Discuss their concerns, fears and misgivings openly to encourage communication.
Ask them to respect your at-home study times and avoid interrupting you. It may help to hang an ‘Enter at your own risk’, ‘Do not disturb’ or ‘Study in progress’ sign on your door at these times, as a reminder.
Consider scheduling study time at your local or university library so that some of your study time is separated from the home environment.
Show your family your timetable. Keep a copy on the fridge so everyone knows what you are doing on any given day. Make them feel included.
Ask your family for support. Tell them how best to support you – for example, you might need quiet time alone or you may be tired and would like to be taken out for dinner.
Write up a new housework roster and involve each family member in the process. Let them know that you won’t be able to do as much around the house now that you are studying.
Be assertive with friends until they get used to your student role. This will probably take you months rather than weeks.

Time with your family and friends

It is easy to be engaged with your studies and lose sight of your family or close friends when several deadlines are looming or around examination time. However, if you don’t spend much time with your family, they might feel like they don’t matter to you.

Suggestions include:

Don’t rely on spontaneity. Schedule regular time with your family. Plan something special for when exams are over. Arrange a proper catch up with friends during term breaks.
Plan for family time and write appointments into your weekly timetable to help you enjoy yourself without guilt.
Consider setting your own deadlines for assignments a few days earlier than the actual deadlines. A week or so of breathing space allows for the interruption of unexpected events, such as family illness.

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