SHE’S been in child care for 30-something years, but Janelle Farrow still gets emotional when her young charges graduate to big school.
“Graduation is still the saddest day of the year for me,” Ms Farrow said.
“To see my little babies growing up and heading off to big school...”
As centre manager at Kids Haven Preschool and Long Day Care Centre, Lake Haven, Ms Farrow is fully invested in the children in her care.
The biggest rewards she derives from the job are witnessing the little wins that children enjoy every day.
“The highlights are the basic things: a child saying their first words; holding a pencil; and seeing them happy and smiling,” she said.
It’s a similar story for her colleague, and centre 2IC, Anastasia Perceval, 27, of Tacoma.
Ms Perceval is a diploma-qualified child care professional who is now studying for a Bachelor of Education (in birth to 12 years).
“I’m also the education leader here, so I oversee that the staff are implementing the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) program,” she said.
Both women have been nominated in this year’s Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards.
They are Australia’s biggest awards for the early years education sector.
Child care workers can be nominated by family, friends, colleagues and parents with children in care. There are four categories: Director of the Year, Service of the Year, Educator of the Year, and the Rising Star Award.
More than $100,000 in prizes is up for grabs.
Ms Perceval said it gave her a tremendous boost to have been nominated.
“I’m pretty humbled, and I’m very grateful,” she said.
“I do take a lot of pride in my work, but I love it. The children make it all worthwhile.”
Ms Farrow said Ms Perceval had impressed in her nine years at Kids Haven.
“She’s a great educator, and great with parents as well as the children,” she said.
Ms Farrow encouraged locals to nominate the outstanding child care workers in their lives.
Nominations close on March 10. Visit earlyeducationandcareawards.com.au.