These are the words of the Newstead Early Education and Care Centre Director Vanessa Coleman, who recommends anyone looking for a rewarding early-education career to look no further than Gowrie NSW’s Early Education, Care and Preschools.
Gowrie is a non-profit-organisation founded in 1940, providing quality education and care, family support and professional development services to the early and middle childhood sector.
Strategic programs, great results
Their unique programs take place in innovative spaces helping children grow to their full potential while developing a sense of wonder and possibility. The services include early education and care centres across NSW and ACT for children 0 to 5, outside of school hours and vacation care programs for middle-school children, and early learning centres at TAFE NSW for migrant families studying English.
Gowrie staff enjoy ongoing professional development and great work cultures at their KWS, Newstead, Mudgee, Dubbo, Orange East, OHSC and Bathurst sites. “Our growth and stability is symbolic of the quality of our employees, who are either working towards – or have – their qualifications,” says Digital Marketing Manager Jo-Lise Finn.
Excellent early and mid career choice, employee support
Jo encourages any educators, including those who have left the profession, are on maternity leave or considering a career-change to become a teacher/educator to take a close look at Gowrie and discover the advantages of joining their team and having professional learning and consultancy support.
“Careers in early and middle education are very rewarding,” she says. “I hear so many stories from our staff about the joys at Gowrie, which is rewarding enough for me. But seriously, the flexibility of working out of hours school care is amazing, too. It leaves staff free to attend school with their own children, do errands, study, do appointments etc. in the middle of the day, then lead our amazing children outside school hours. So I feel a career in this sector supports families in two ways.”
Educating towards a healthy community
Gowrie has come on board with Central West Mums as sponsor of the Educator of the Year award because of their shared ethos of supporting families. “We like to support a support network and it also gives us a voice in a community.”
General Manager of Gowrie’s OSHC, Narelle Howard, says “The joy that you get as an educator is from the difference you make in these little people’s lives and by supporting working parents. Our educators love working face to face and hands on with the children, supported by great educational programs that meet the needs of the children.”
She has worked in this sector for 30 years and speaks glowingly of the relationships she has with staff members working together to support the children – mostly of the joys of getting back to basics with children and families.
“Those relationships, and knowing that you are making such a difference to these little people is very satisfying. Our programs are led by the children’s interests so we take the lead from them by providing related activities and do things to expand their knowledge. For the older ones we research with them, get their ideas and they tell us what they’d enjoy doing at our centre or in town – including going to a berry farm, movie or junior gym.”
The flexibility of the hours over short, long and vacation care is ideal for people at all stages of their working lives, including university students. Educators already know this leaves them more time to engage with their own families, and helps them focus better while at work.
“We welcome a diverse workforce, because we do need a mix of ages, cultures and experiences. At Gowrie we love the hybrid strength that comes from incorporating different skills and talents into our workforce,” she says. “This helps the children – our future leaders – by being engaged with such a broad cross-section of our community, and we all learn from shared life experiences. It’s fantastic.”
Inspiration is developed from within for strong families
For Vanessa, the joys of being a Gowrie educator come from the passion and inspiration she sees from working directly with children and watching them grow, learn and investigate. “When I’m collaborating with a child and see the spark light in their eyes and see the joy their families get from that inspiration, it makes me love this job.”
Gowrie staff give it the big tick for being an ideal sized early-learning organisation. “It’s not too big, but no too small to be purposeful,” Vanessa said. “Their values align with my own philosophy on how I see the world as an educator. There is a lot of buy-in from directors about our ideas so staff have a voice about what is happening across the services. They give a lot of support to children with special needs, our professional learning and classroom support and run the many regional and metro centres very well.”
Gowrie’s reputation has upheld since those early years in Erskinville and their teaching philosophy and NFP model continues to gain strength, helped by great incentives for staff. So, if you’ve had an educator career-break or are looking to move into this sector, now is the time. Get ahead of the bunch and apply today.
Career enquiries: Jo-Lise.Finn@gowriensw.com.au