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Naomi Stevens

Centre Manager - Community Kids Hoppers Crossing

“Working with children reminds me of how amazing and exciting the world can be.”

I started working in early learning in 1997and have been at Community Kids Hoppers Crossing since  2016.  

I have a Diploma in early education, certificate in training and assessing.  I hold a Diploma in Early Education along with My Cert 3 in Training and Assessing and have attended many training sessions which has contributed to my regular upskilling in the industry. 

Working with children reminds me of how amazing and exciting the world can be. I love seeing things from the children’s eyes. It makes me a happier and more positive person in my day-to-day life. Children also encourage me to use my imagination and find new creative ways to do things!  

Various leadership mentors have helped me to develop my skills and have shown me how to support, encourage and motivate a staff team, as well as model a high standard of practice, knowledge and care.  

Working in childcare, I’ve learned to laugh at myself.  We all need a time to be carefree - maintain a delight and wonder in learning is to live by example! 

As teachers, we are constant role models for children. Children have much to teach us about what's important in life. They live life the way we wish we could and they keep us accountable for what we say and do.   

As an early childhood educator, the role I play in shaping the lives of young children is enormous! The early years (0-5) are so important for the cognitive and emotional development of children, and often they'll be spending a lot of that time with me, their qualified educator.  I get to inspire their love of learning and help them develop their social skills. It also means I can get to foster that deep love of learning and interacting from the very beginning. 

I have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young children by providing quality experiences that encourage positive outcomes for children’s health, well-being and learning. I can directly influence a child’s emotional well-being by creating opportunities to become socially competent through building friendships and secure relationships.  

I am able to equip children with the skills and the capacity to be effective and engaged learners. I can empower and shape the future, and experience the satisfaction of working with children and young people every day. 

My child protection statement is to take all reasonable steps to protect children from harm in my care. Support and guide peers in appropriate practices through role modelling and professional discussion and to commit to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children. 

We decide as a team what should be done to prevent harm and ensuring that the relevant actions are taken and are updated whenever necessary. Health and safety law does not expect all risk to be eliminated but that 'reasonable precautions' are taken and staff are trained and aware of their responsibilities. 

Community Kids Hoppers Crossing is a place of fun, love, games, stories, songs, play and imagination – but behind all of our activities is a guiding program of Early Childhood Education and Development. Our Early Childhood Educators are qualified, have various experience and are dedicated to their roles - many have been with the service since we opened in 2015.  

We truly value continuity of care and know how important consistency is in a young child's life - which is why we our team is mostly made of permanent part-time and full-time educators. We have permanent float educators and utilize the same casual staff for leave cover which enables us to refrain from using unknown educators. This means that the children will always know and be familiar with every educator in the service!  

We are a large service - with up to 148 children in attendance each day and majority of our enrolled families stay with us from nursery to preschool. We are so proud of the service we provide - with each educator knowing every child, regardless of room or age group, individually. For your child, it provides them an additional sense of belonging and security.  

Our service highly values continued professional learning and development - we hold regular professional development training and a number of our Educators are furthering their own individual studies. 

Starting at a new centre can create confusion and anxiety for families. To navigate the overwhelm, I provide personal experience having had my children starting in the care environment.  This allows a parent to feel that they are understood with their concerns about their child starting and provide them with resourced information.  

We conduct a tour of the service, explain all rooms and what children learn in each, introduce them to any team member that walks past, show them the staffing board, talk about our programs and what learning we capture and how, advise what technology we use such as the Xplor App/Website, show them to our kitchen, view menu’s and advise where they can find any feedback forms for all that we do. We want parents to know that we want them to involved in all that we do if they want to participate. 

I offer a ‘how to’ in relation to filling our enrolment forms, CCS and CWA but if they are still unsure I will sit with them and go through this process. 

We offer ‘date’ nights to our families as we know how important it is for parents to have a little support and some relaxation together.  We do this for a couple of hours up to 4 times a year. 

We have a coffee station and parent area where families can relax whilst their children are getting to know the educators and their peers.  However, if parents can’t stay we have a brekky bag for them to take on their journey to work.  

Our centre celebrates all cultures special days.  We encourage parent or special person ‘special skill’ or sharing times. Throughout the year we hold BBQ’s or these special person days. 

OI believe that open and constant communication with families is the key to building wonderful relationships with our team and at our centre.  This starts from the very first time we meet and we’re always grateful for feedback about how we can do something better.  

I have been involved in early childhood for the past 24 years and love it.  When I’m not around my favourite little people I enjoy camping and try to go twice a year with my family.  I have 2 dogs, 3 fish,  a husband and I support Hawthorn football club! 
Call to enquire 1800 411 604