Michelle Catherwood 

Centre Manager - Community Kids Parkes

“Building connections with the children in my care and their families creates lasting memories.”

I began my career in early childhood education and care in 2006 and started working at Community Kids Parkes in 2019. I hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. I started working as a trainee and have worked as both an assistant educator and a lead educator as well as before and after school care educator.  

I have always wanted to work with children since I can remember. Building connections with the children in my care and their families creates lasting memories. Watching the children learning new things every day and the excitement they get from everything in their world, allows me to make the most of everyday. I love learning from the children and creating and learning with the children, they inspire me. I also love being able to be a special part of their early learning journey and help build the foundations for their future.  

The added social skills children experience when being in a dedicated child care centre can be an integral part of a little person’s life and can help set them up for a lifetime of success. Having interactions with children who are similar ages allows them to develop into their own little person.  

We have long-serving team members who reflect our local community. Many have been with the centre over five years and have been part of the Parkes and surrounding communities their whole lives. It is the sort of centre where everyone knows all the children, no matter which room they are in. The whole team is committed to their role as educators and do an incredible job day in day out.  

Our team understands just how important your children are to you and we ensure we take our responsibilities seriously. Our team follows all hygiene practices and lead by example to ensure the children are aware of what they need to do for good hygiene as well. We have risk assessments for all areas of the centre and ensure these are updated regularly.  

I feel that communication is the most crucial part of a parents day, from the very first meeting to their last day at the centre I am open with parents and always available for them to talk to if they need. I ensure that all parents are greeted on entry and exit from the centre. I let them know how their child’s day was, and if there is anything that is important to let them know throughout the day we will do so via a phone call or quick email. All educators ensure that Xplor is updated regularly also so that the parents can see updates on their child’s day through that as well.  

To build string relationships with our centres families, we like to get our families as involved in the centre as they can be. We regularly hold get togethers for different celebrations. We try to get all members of the family involved in the centre and have morning tea and afternoon teas for Mother's and Father’s Day, Grandparent's day, family Christmas parties, end of year celebrations for our school leavers and so much more. We often have special coffee and biscuits for the parents to take on their way to work to help with their busy morning schedules.  

I ensure families centre tour is positive with plenty of opportunity for questions, allowing the family to get a feel for the centre. I stay in touch with the family once receiving enrolment forms etc and update them on what is happening with their child’s position. I also offer orientation visits with the families so they can come in and get a feel for the routine of their child’s room and their child can get to know the other children and their educators.  

Welcome to Community Kids Parkes.  

Call to enquire 1800 411 604