Centre Manager - Community Kids Empire Bay
“One simple idea or comment from a child can lead you into endless exploration.”
I started working in early learning? 1998 and joined Community Kids Empire Bay in 2018
I am Diploma qualified with over 20 years experience in the industry, working my way up from assistant educator, room leader to Centre Manager , a position I hold today.
My passion for childcare began when I worked as a volunteer in a small pre-school environment after I completed my year 10 work experience. I was extremely shy and found that the children brought out my confidence as the are so open and honest, enjoying the time you take to spend with them. As my confidence and knowledge grew I was able to take on more of a leadership role through a room leader position, which eventually lead me to wanting to know more of the office side of the industry, leading me into a 2IC role within G8 education. From there I applied for a Centre Manager role and have been doing so within the company since 2016. I have now been at Community Kids Empire Bay for almost 3 years and am still enjoying it as much as the day I started.
Children are like a sponge and take in everything in their surrounding environment. Through these observations my teaching style is very open ended and child lead. One simple idea or comment from a child can lead you into endless exploration.
The first 5 years are so important and if we foster children’s curiosity and interest their future will be bright.
The benefit of ECEC (early childhood education centre) environments is that your child is exposed to a more social environment, which is one of the main factors Primary Schools look at when Children attend School start. We focus a lot on Project style learning which encourages children to work together to explore their ideas, thoughts, questions, and Interests.
We uphold strict and the highest of health and safety standards and practices at our centre and child protection is our priority. We do regular checklist ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all stakeholders within our service. Monthly evacuation drills take place, allowing all children to participate in the unlikely event of a real emergency situation. Every staff member does yearly Child Protection Courses to ensure we are up to date with the latest information. At Community Kids Empire Bay we believe that every child has the right to a safe and healthy environment which we strive to provide them with each and every day.
The team at Empire Bay ranges from new Trainees to qualified Early Childhood Teachers. Each educator is extremely passionate about their roles and understands the importance of the first 5 years of a child's life, ensuring every day is filled with fun, love and learning. 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. Our Casual pool of educators is limited to only a few educators so that in the absence of regular staff the children are familiar with the Casual, making for an easier transition for all.
At Community Kids, Empire Bay we welcome all families to come and have face to face tour with their child. This allows the family and the children to have a greater feeling for the whole service as well as the Educators and Teachers who work here throughout the week.
At the start of a tour, we introduce ourselves and welcome them into the service before we show the Educators and Teachers photos, and we point out the main Educators what will be in that room for the year.
As we venture through the rooms, we stop and explain each room and what is the main focus of the rooms For example, in the 2–3-year-old room we support children with their toilet learning and the daily routine is conducted.
We discuss our 4-week rotating menu which aims to give children 50% of their daily intake for the day which has a 5-star rating from the NSW Health Initiative Munch and Move. During our tour we welcome families to ask any questions regarding the rooms, routine and about our educational program and platform Xplor, which we will either direct them to that area or give them examples of how we would navigate that situation.
At the end of the tour, we give families and information pack with updated policies, how to set up their Xplor account, how to complete their CCS and an information booklet about the centre. For families who are not able to join us physically, we send the information pack to them for them to have a look and review and invite all families to contact us directly if they have any more questions after their tour is finished.
Families are sent a digital enrolment form for them to complete and place them onto the waiting list. After the enrolment forms are completed, we invite families to come to an orientation day called a Stay and Play.
Stay and Plays allows the family and children see a section of the routine during their stay. We invite all families to come at different times of the day so they can see an overall view of the routine of their children’s room. Families are also invited to ask the Educators and Teachers specific questions regarding the room and give a Welcome to the Room Letter with information about the room.
We 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.
Our relationships starts the day the families enquiry about our centre. We aim to work closely with our families through the enrolment process to children’s orientation days and their time with us. We communicate regularly with families through Xplor of children learning updates and children’s needs and with family emails. We do have monthly newsletters which get sent out at the start of the month with any updates that is happening in the centre.
I embrace childhood ideas, imagination and creativity so it’s no secret here that my favourite person in the whole wide world is Olaf.