Centre Manager - Earth Kids Early Learning Centre (North Turramurra)
“I am passionate about creating a safe, happy and fulfilling learning environment for children whilst in my care and the care of my team.”
I began my career in Early Childhood Education and Care in 1980 and started working at Earth Kids Early Learning Centre in 2018. I completed an NNEB Diploma and a BA (Hons) degree in Education, Linguistics and Special Needs and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.
I have 30+ years’ experience in teaching. Early Childhood Education has never been my ‘job’ it is my passion. I have always had a predisposition for being the person (even as a child) who looked after the other children and played and cared for them. I never had to think about what I wanted to do for a career, I always just knew!
I qualified in the UK and worked in educational preschools, long day care settings and in the community, providing out-reach programs to young mothers and refugee families. I taught for almost 10 years in an inclusive 0-12 community school in East End of London.
I came to Australia and settled on Central Coast in 2006. Teaching in preschools and primary settings until returning to early childhood long day care as an Early Childhood Teacher with G8 Education in 2015. I have been a Centre Manager since 2017.
The learning benefits of child care centres are that children develop and build a strong sense of self which in turn supports their development in a range of friendships and learning relationships.
At Earth Kids, children are supported by educators in the nursery developing the self-help skills of washing hands and putting on sun hats, as their language starts to develop they start naming their friends too and welcoming them in the mornings.
In our toddler room children are supported to develop friendships in a caring and inclusive nature. Our toddlers are very social, benefiting from the daily music and dance sessions offered. As our toddler’s language develops from a few words into fuller sentences we encourage social experiences which combine collaboration and supportive social interactions.
Our younger preschoolers begin to develop strong relationships with each other as they are supported to negotiate, co-operate and invited to take part in collaborative challenges. Our pre- Kindy Preschoolers are challenged on a daily basis with higher thinking challenges and research answers to their questions about the world around them with their educators.
We have multicultural team members who reflect our local community. Some have been with the centre for over 3 years. We are such a close-knit team, so it feels like one big family. The Earth Kids team 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. We have a very high standard of health and safety within our centre. Our resources are cleaned and sanitised from general use on a regular basis. Soft furnishings and linen are laundered daily. Both educators and children are washing their hands throughout the day and using hand sanitiser. Gloves are used by all educators when supporting children with personal hygiene routines and when serving food.
Our centre employs cleaners 3 times a week to give the centre a deep clean. Quarterly, our walls and windows are washed. Our food is all prepared following NSW Food Authority Guidelines. Our menus are approved by Munch and Move. Initially, I build relationships with families on tour and orientation. Then educators in the child’s room build on this by building familiarity with routines, interests and goals for learning. Our on-going communications include communications through Xplor, flyers, emails and phone calls for more individual matters. We have also used Zoom to keep connected with families.
We offer parents snacks and coffee during the morning drop off to save them time. We offer fruit and veggies with one of our lunch recipes monthly. We provide small kindness packages for new families starting at our centre. When a family welcomes a new baby, we gift them a small baby welcome pack from Earth Kids. We regularly hold celebrations to bring our families together as a local community, eg Mother’s Day, Father’s day, Book week and Gardening Week.
From the time of the initial tour we make families feel at home. We provide kind supportive guidance as we show them through the centre, giving you an opportunity to talk with team members wherever possible. As the centre manager I give a simple brief overview of Xplor and CCS and the enrolment process. I listen to the needs of the family and provide opportunities to hear any questions.