Julie Smith

Centre Manager - Peppercorn Early Learning Services

“Each child is unique, capable, and curious I want to be there for them, helping them and nurturing them."

I began my career in early childhood education and care in 2013 and started working at Peppercorn Early Learning Centre in 2016. I hold a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and I’m trained in Child Protection and First Aid. I also have a certificate in Raising Good Kids by Dr Kaylene Henderson. 

I have two children in their twenties who encouraged me to share my passion in children’s development and enter into this most rewarding career. Children are our future. When children are happy, they thrive. There is no better sound in the world than the sound of children’s laughter. Each child is unique, capable, and curious I want to be there for them, helping them and nurturing them to be everything they can be. To help build those steppingstones to give them the best future I can.  Every child deserves this, and I am glad to be a part of their lives. We live in a very diverse world educating our children brings us closer together 

Children learning in a centre environment builds extensive social and emotional skills, with a much greater range of self-help skills and independence. Their learning, although there is a certain amount of play-based learning is planned around the child’s individual learning and development areas.  Right now, our toddlers are learning about growing vegetables. We have an extensive veggie patch in our centre and the toddlers also have their own small veggie patch where they have planted potatoes they have been looking after them and watching them grow. They have harvested some so that and can see how much they are growing underground. The toddlers will soon be harvesting them so that they can make mash potatoes and chips. This is a group activity where all the children can take part and express themselves to each other bringing ideas and encouraging interaction and speech development. 

We have long-serving, multicultural team members who reflect our local community. Their languages include Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Bahasa Malaysia, Greek, Korean and Bengali. Many have been with the centre for over 5 years. It’s the sort of centre where everyone knows all the children, no matter which room they are in. We are such a close-knit team it feels like one big family. 

The best part of my job is the team – they are so committed and positive about their role as educators.  The whole team sees their role as incredibly important, helping children establish the building blocks for a successful lifetime of learning. 

Every team member takes a great deal of pride in everything they do and has a genuine love for the children. Our Educational Leader is a fantastic mentor running regular training sessions to help and guide our team in every aspect of educating the children. We have an amazing sustainability officer who is engaged in every room encouraging sustainable practices and being very creative with recycling projects with the children. She also sends out a monthly newsletter to our families outlining all areas the children have been working on using sustainable practices. All our team members regularly show gratitude and respect for one another. 

All our staff are trained in child protection and first aid. We have a dedicated WHS officer and First Aid Officer on site. We have lots of procedures in place to make sure every child’s safety is our highest priority. We are a sun safe centre - all children and team members must wear sunscreen and hats. We continually conduct sleep checks on our babies and ratio checks to make sure all children are always fully supervised. 

I support new families by talking about orientation and ongoing communication through our all in one family app named Xplor with daily updates and regular emails of events and information. We also offer parents snacks and coffee during the morning drop off to save them time and we regularly hold celebrations to bring our families together as a local community. 

During a centre tour, I assure all parents that they can contact me at any time. I encourage families to do two orientations so that they feel comfortable with their child’s environment and the team members that will be looking after their child. I assure them that each room has two full-time team members so that we always have someone at the end of the day that has spent the whole day with their child. I introduce new families to the whole team including the cook. I explain all about the enrolment forms and CCS and help with the process. 

Welcome to Peppercorn Early Learning Centre. 

If you have questions, please reach out to our team!

Call to enquire 1800 413 885