Friday, 9 December 2011

Conclusion to Challenges of Early Childhood

Accept challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
- George S. Patton

Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
Joshua J. Marine

“The constructivist approach puts a premium on the
selection of items that reflect learning from the
student’s perspective.”
F. Leon Paulson & Pearl Paulson (1994) 

In conclusion, this course has been such a blessing and wealth of information to improve and inform my  pedagogy as you will see through out my blog posts.  I have now changed my thinking to see these challenges as an important part of embracing children, childhood and all that it entails.  This course has assisted me to reflect and consider how these challenges affect not only myself but other stakeholders and to see things from their point of view.  My personal philosophy is now transforming to a deeper level as I re-evaluate it in a more critical manner. I see my previous challenges as a learning journey and an opportunity to give children knowledge, opportunities and a voice in a precious moment of time.....Childhood.
My final wish is that I continue to create portfolios as a dynamic celebration of learning across my lifespan. 

Kristy Day


Arthur,L., Beecher,B. Death,.  E., Dockett, S., & Farmer,S.  (2007).  Programming & planning in early childhood settings.  (4th ed.).  South Melbourne, Victoria:  Cengage Learning Australia.  

Bisson,J.  (1997).  Celebrate!  An Anti- Bias Guide to Enjoying Holidays in Early Childhood Programs.  Redleaf Press:  Minnesota. 

C & K Pre-schooling Professionals.  (2006).  Building waterfalls:  A living and learning curriculum framework for adults and children (birth to school age).  Brisbane:  C & K

Cadwell,L.  (1997). Bringing Reggio Emilia Home. New York, USA:  Teacher's College Press

Connor,J., Linke.P.  (2011).  Your child's first year at school:  A book for parents.  ACT, Australia:

Cook, S.  (2010).  The emergent curriculum, a guideline for parents.  Retrieved from

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).  (2009).
Belonging, being & becoming:  The early years learning framework of Australia.
ACT, Australia:  DEEWR

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).  (2009).
Guidelines P-12 Curriculm Framework. ACT, Australia:  DEEWR

Doneman,P. (2009, September 13). School violence at highest ever levels.  The Sunday Mail.  Retrieved from

Jones,E. & Nimmo, J.  (1994).  Emergent Curriculum.   National Association for the Education of Young Children: Washington, DC.  

Marzano,R. & Pickering,D.  (1997).  Dimensions of Learning:  Teacher's Manual. (2nd ed.).  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Publications:  Colorado, USA.  

Mundine,K. & Giugni, M.  (2006 ).  Diversity and difference: Lighting the spirit of identity.  Retrieved from

Paulson,L. & Paulson,P. (1994). Assessing Portfolios Using the Constructivist Paradigm
Skylight Training & Publishing: USA.

Queensland Government.  (2006).  Early Years Curriculum Guidelines.  Queensland Studeis Authority Partnership Authority:  Brisbane, Australia. 

Rogers,B. (2003).  Behaviour Recovery, Practical programs for challenging behaviour.  ACER Press: Melbourne, Australia.

Shaw,M.  (2009).  Managing children's special health needs in child care.  National Childcare Accreditation Council: NSW, Australia.  

Tebyani,V.  (2009).  Guiding childen's behaviour in child care. National Childcare Accreditation Council:  NSW, Australia. 

Thomas,A. & Pattison,H.  (2007).  How children learn at Home.  Continuum International Publishing Group: London.  

Wall,S.  (2011).  Child-initiated PLAY, Hundreds of ideas for supporting the under 3s in independent play.  A & C Black Publishers Ltd: London.

Challenge Three - Addressing behaviour issues

 Behavioural  issues have always involved situations I approach with care and a topic I find very confronting and challenging. I consider addressing behavioral issues a challenge due to fear of the unexpected.  Every situation is different and can unfold differently.  A conflict resolution strategy that worked yesterday or with another child does not necessarily mean it will work so successfully the next time.

Tebyani, (2009), sees every situation as a 'teachable moment' where children can learn, develop empathy, understand the consequences of their behaviour and actions and build their own strategies for responding to challenging situations.  

My experience dealing with and handling these situations have affected my confidence in the past.  I know I am getting more confident and competent with coming up with fair, unbiased solutions.  Learning and considering that a child's behaviour does not only affect themselves directly but those around them.  This may include; another child who is involved, educators, director, other parents, the child's parents, the community and bystanders.  From the child's perspective they may be experiencing a range of emotions including; desperation, anger, jealousy and pain.  Parents and Educators may feel desperation to resolve the issues and at times helpless.  Directors or Principals could experience embarrassment as they may feel the behaviour reflects the service or schools. 

It is the day-to-day interactions that lay the foundations for the child's development of self, attitudes, values and behaviour patterns.
 - NCAC 2009

Situations can change very fast and things can even get physical.  I have included the above advertisement because it was a great example of how children's behaviour can change and as an educator I need to be prepared to handle 'moments' like these.  Behaviour issues cover so many different situations; biting, verbal abuse, physical abuse, bullying, peer pressure and such.  With such a broad scope I need to have the confidence and skills to promptly address these issues. 

Stonehouse (1988), explains that young children need to feel they have choices, some freedom, and some power and control over other people and over aspects of their daily experiences.  I have started to put a real emphasis on giving children choices in addressing their own behavioural situations, often through the use of open ended questions.  For example:  'Sally, instead of biting Harry, how do you think you might be able to have a turn of playing with the doll?'

The Sunday Mail states that research shows that the number of assaults by schoolchildren on fellow students in Queensland schools has risen alarmingly in the past year since 2008, as the State Government grapples with how to improve dismal literacy and numeracy standards.

Queensland police statistics obtained exclusively by The Sunday Mail reveal that violence in schools – both state and private – is at its highest ever, with girls among the worst offenders.  Even primary schools were riddled with violence, with more than 130 attacks reported to police.  I need to have the confidence to offer children with problem solving strategies and skills to assist in maintaining a happy, healthy and safe learning environment. 

The Sunday Mail revealed that last month a six-year-old Year 1 student was suspended for taking a knife to the Southport State School and threatening to stab another classmate after an argument over a paper aeroplane.  An Education Department spokeswoman said state schools had a "responsible behaviour plan" outlining expected standards and consequences of behaviour.

This mobile phone upload is scarey and I realise that this YouTube video involves older children, however these learnt behaviours, violence and lack of respect for fellow peers must have started somewhere at sometime for these children to be so aggressive.  Which made me deeply consider the value of my role as an Early Childhood Educator and the value I must instill in young children to make them express themselves in a respectful manner. 

Stonehouse (1988), states that:  'It is important to consider ways of encouraging children to take control of some aspects of their  experiences in early childhood settings.' 

I have found some clarification to my challenge:
The Department of Education Queensland defines unacceptable behaviour to include:
  • refusing to participate in the education program
  • refusing to follow instructions about conduct
  • behaviour that disrupts or affects the learning of other students
  • actions likely to be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of staff or other students
  • behaviour that causes or is likely to cause damage
  • behaviour that is likely to bring the school into disrepute

Ways to resolve such behaviour and other behaviour issues can include:

Perry and Bussey (1984) suggest that strategies such as; remove stimuli that caused aggression and structure play to ensure edequite amount of resources are available.  Settling disputes by example; by using controlled and reasonable approach.  'Mean what you say'.  Reward behaviour that is incompatible with aggression.

Porter (2003), suggests that another way is to 'comfort the recipient'.  This draws the attention away from the perpetrator; which gives them less attention. 

By giving children opportunities, input and a voice they are less likely to lash out to hurt others or themselves. 

Connor and Linke (2011), state that bullying often starts in the early years.  The good side of this is that when children are young is the best time to be able to give lasting help to children who are bullying or are being bullied.  Suggestions to tackle bullying and other pro-social behaviour to ask the child how they would like you to help them, teach your child to say 'stop' or 'I don't like that' and provide opportunities for children to build self confidence. 

Tebyani (2009) state that adults need to support children by anticipating where they may have difficulties, preventing situations from occurring, reminding children of what they can do and creating a supportive environment which is inclusive and accepting of individual differences and capabilities.

In search of solutions to my challenge I reverted back to my Dimensions of Learning book.  I found that Habits of Mind had some really relevant information to assist my challenge.  I particularly found useful 'Notice and label student behaviour that demonstrates a particular habit.' This habit of mind suggests when you see students displaying a particular habit, use it as an opportunity to introduce the habit and acknowledge the behaviour.  I applied this immediately to my teaching at the local child care centre and through positive reinforcement to students through the use of verbal praise, specific comments about their work and encouragement awards. 

Habits of Mind explains the benefits of restraining impulsivity.  I did not understand why any one would want to do this.  Further research into the topic explains that this habit of mind actually teaches students to delay a decision of action until they have carefully considered the outcome.  I did not realise this was some thing I could instill into children.  To restrain themselves and self-talk to explore mentally, can save relationships, jobs and even lives.  I thought this was very deep - too deep, however if children do restrain impulsivity, such as pushing another child into a pool, later to find out that child can not swim could save lives.   I had not even considered this in my pedagogy. 

I have started really implementing these solutions in my practice and aim to give children the tools to reflect and monitor their own behaviour and how it impacts others. I have also put an emphasis on; (NCAC, 2009) listening attentively to children, showing genuine concern and providing them with the option of voluntarily removing themselves from the situation/activity until they are ready to return. This has been very important to my learning and teaching as I can, at times, judge situations without fully investigating what has happened and hearing both sides of the story. This is an ongoing area I will have to address time and time again, but from this day forward with more skills and knowledge behind my practice. 

    Challenge Two - Linking Emergent Curriculum to real life situations and including the use of photography into the program

    Play is a legitimate and essential part of teaching and the emergent curriculum reminds me that play is spontaneous and a precious learning opportunity

                                 These are photos of my son Coopa (4 years old) at Kindy with me (Mum) as his Educator
    C & K, Building Waterfalls, state that; children have a right to learn what is of importance to them

    Starting my career in the child care industry at the age of 16 as a student volunteer I have noticed the progressions and changes to the way educators construct and write their programs.  I recall when I first explored programming in my early 20's it was a fill in the box structured program that was created from observations, though mostly what the educator wanted to plan and very much by the clock.

    I have chosen this topic as a challenge because I can tend to have the habit of doing everything for the children, especially young children.  I think this is mainly because it is easier and quicker for me to do it.  I need to let children explore their environment and share and participate in the learning journey.  This is an entire new experience from the way in which I have been taught to care for children. 

    I have always had a love of photography and capturing precious learning moments of children.  I have used photographs around my child care setting for years and always wondered WHY other educators had not been embracing the use of cameras in their classrooms.  For years I have received many positive warm fuzzies from parents who want copies of their child hard at play!  The emergent curriculum utalises photography, words and conversations from the mouths of the children, samples of children's artwork, webbing and scrapbooks. 

    Play as a vehicle for learning
    -Thomas and Pattinson (2007)

    How things have changed!  With the emergent curriculum  being introduced I felt desperate for instructions.  I attended many of Sue Inglis's workshops addressing the emergent curriculum and walked away feeling a little more at ease, but wanting to know what all the fuss was about.  It seemed too easy - there must have been a catch!

    Click here to learn more about Sue Inglis and her professional development workshops. 
    Sue explained how the use of photographs can cut down on written work, after all, a picture tells a thousand words and that the emergent curriculum gives children the gift of exploring the world around them by encouraging them to explore it through their own interests and passions through child- directed learning. The idea of myself as a co-learner was intriguing to me and I liked the idea of learning and investigating along side the children, (Early years Curriculum Guidelines, 2006).

    I ditched the photocopied program template and gave myself a large, crisp, white piece of blank paper.  I stared at it until my eyes could not focus any more and felt disheartened. This is exactly what I had been longing for and envisioning for so long and now it was here I felt so many emotions.  I felt like a diver standing on the edge of the diving board, high above the pool.

    After procrastinating for a little while I dove right in!   I have not looked back, however I find including intentional teaching into the curriculum.  As the program changes every day depending on the children's interests and input from other stakeholders I struggle with the concept of ensuring all the developmental areas are being covered and how I incorporate real life situations into my daily program.  (As there is no box to fill in!)  The negotiated curriculum has again been a learning curve by inviting the children/students into planning the program. 

    Jones and Nimmo (1994), share the vision that a child-centred approach that reflects children's lives and enables them to explore and investigate their questions, curiosities and concerns in a meaningful living curriculum, essential.  Nimmo (2002), believes that 'by relying on a pre-planned curriculum, teachers risk distancing themselves from the decision making process' as well as distancing children from meaningful learning. Reflecting on the changes in which educators, like myself, are now teaching I can see that much of what children gain from the curriculum is unanticipated. 

    Challenges of Early Childhood has progressed my own learning and understanding of programming and I have been able to work towards helping myself.  As I really did not know where or how to start I visited the local Gympie library and borrowed a book called; 'How Children Learn at Home' by Thomas and Pattinson, (2007). I wanted to know what importance real life situations have on learning and how they influence each child's development.  Thomas and Pattinson explored the importance of giving children the gifts of independence through daily real life situations such as; Setting the table, washing the dishes and planting vegetables.  This would be an important learning experience for me as I need to be able to answer parents questions about the emergent curriculum and the importance of real life situations, which I anticipated would flow through into my personal philosophy.

    Thomas and Pattinson (2007), suggest that:  Most of what children learn during the early years, including the foundations for literacy and numeracy on which much of the primary curriculum is based, is acquired informally, largely through everyday interaction with their parents and carers.  There is no developmental or educational logic behind the radical change in pedagogy from informal to formal when children start school and there is no reason why this cultural apprenticeship of early childhood cannot be extended through the primary school years and beyond.  A good question that was posed was: 'Why interrupt something that had been going on from before the age of five?'  Reflecting on this I believe I both agree and disagree with Thomas and Pattinson.  I am sitting on the fence.  Informal pedagogy is a time where children start to discover themselves and their world - why change this to desks, chairs and homework.  The benefits of structured, formal pedagogy gives children stability.  What an interesting statement form Thomas and Pattinson.  

     The Reggio Emilia approach has enhanced my pedagogy as I discovered 'The Environment is the Third Teacher'.  I have utalised this Italian approach to offer children with opportunities to explore the world and environment around them which goes hand in hand with the emergent curriculum.  By purchasing the Hetty Hen Hatching Program for my Pre Prep class we have all learnt together.  As I write this my husband is outside finishing off our own chicken coop for home!  The importance of an appreciation and respect for nature is an invaluable tool to instill in children of any age for a sustainable future. 

    'Being outdoors has a positive impact on children's sense of well-being and helps all aspects of children's development.' - The Learning environment 3.3 EYFS

    These photos of are my youngest child Edward at Kitiwah Place Early Learning Centre
    Photos were taken in December 2011

    I found a book called 'Child Initiated Play' at my local Gympie library.  Wall, (2011), explains how the play remains under the child's control and may be viewed to the child as an activity with serious purpose or to express an idea which the child may not view as play.

    'Children will be making marks for a wide range of reasons, each equally valid.  Through their marks, they are communicating their ideas, expressing their feelings, developing their imagination and creativity and testing their hypotheses about the world.  These opportunities for making thinking visible are fundamental to children's learning and development and should be the entitlement of every child.'
    - Mark Making Matters National Strategies for Early Years

    In reflection through out this blog I have been growing and developing my understanding of how the emergent curriculum can include real life situations and the value of including photography as an observation tool.  I feel confident to answer questions from stakeholders and include stakeholders in the program and curriculum. 

    Challenge One - Embracing diversity in the classroom setting

    NCAC (2009), state that; The world is made up of diverse individuals who have a range of skills, abilities and understandings.

    This video had me re-evaluating my priorities and opened my mind to a world beyond my own

    We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.

     -- Maya Angelou

    Great achievements are not born from a single vision but from the combination of many distinctive viewpoints. Diversity challenges assumptions, opens minds, and unlocks our potential to solve any problems we may face. -- Source Unknown

    Diversity can include so many things.  Diversity can be including a special needs child, different culture, beliefs, customs and family structures. Diversity in the classroom can mean inclusion of children with autism, delayed learning, children who do not speak English as their first language,  physical disabilities, inclusion of children from diverse family backgrounds or down syndrome.  I feel as though I need to be a physiologist to be able to teach such a wide range of children!  

    I understand what diversity includes and the importance of including it into the classroom, though I do not have any idea about school classrooms.  Coming from a child care centre background we have always had funding for up to 6 hours per day to assist in caring for special needs children.  That educator basically works as an extra set of eyes and hands.  

    What support would I receive as a teacher in a school setting and how do I include it into my daily classroom management?  Diversity can prove to be challenging for both teachers, parents and other students.  How can I accommodate for this?  What was could I respect diversity in my classroom?  I want to be a teacher that continuously works to influence attitudes and perceptions, often so skillfully that students are not aware of my efforts. 

    I have catered for many additional needs children through out my career and I have never thought of the child as special needs.  I have always seen them as a unique person who has different challenges than myself.  My two step sons are both special needs and I was the person who had to tactfully and respectfully approach the subject with both my husband and his ex partner.  

    I do see diversity as a challenge, as much as I go to every extent to embrace every child and family, the physical and mental strain of catering for such diversity is an extreme responsibility and ensuring the student is progressing and developing will pull out everything I have ever learnt. Diversity, as far as caring for children from other countries and beliefs has been quite limited.  Working solely on the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Burnett region there has been very limited diversity. 

    C & K, Building Waterfalls, suggest that diversity should be embraced as an opportunity.  That being said I reflected and considered that the 'opportunities' could be centered around what the children are talking about and showing interest in.  This could be noticing that another child is different in some way or that family structures are different.

    Belonging, Being and Becoming, EYLF, suggests that:  Educators should honour the histories, cultures, languages, traditions, child rearing practices and lifestyle choices of family.  I started to get more of an understanding of how other cultures live when C Q University lectures organised a guest speaker to talk about the people of Samoa.  This was a real eye opener.  Fellow peers were shocked, however I thought being such a close knit family would be wonderful.  Personally my family is not that close.  I have no one to call on for help and I envy other families who have each other and support.  I endeavour to use my teaching to explore other overseas cultures when my own children have grown up and teach in remote outback towns as soon as I complete my degree. 

    ELYF states that Educators should be culturally competent and should reflect on ways in which learning is co-constructed though interactions between the educator and each child.  The idea of working together is very appealing.

    The Early Years Curriculum Guidelines states: 'Programs are most effective when they recoginse, value and build upon the cultural and social experiences of children.'  This would be  beneficial to my pedagogy and take my personal philosophy to another more critical level. 

    Considering that I can see that embracing diversity can be a very personal uniqueness shared between families, students and educators. The book; Dimensions of Learning, Dimension one - Attitudes & Perceptions suggest; ' It is important to do what is necessary to ensure that all students are attended to positivity so that they are likely to feel accepted.' I will do this through making eye contact with each child to show every single child that they are recognised as part of the class and acknowledge them on a personal level. 

    Bisson (1997) suggests to introduce unfamiliar holidays to children as a way of teaching about cultures with they have had no first-hand connection with is a popular but seriously flawed practice as it has no real connection to the children's real lives.  These planned, teacher initiated and planned experiences have been described as 'tourist' activities (Derman-Sparks, 1989).  

    This comment really hit home for me.  So many times, in so many Child Care Centre's I have seen this occur on a first hand basis.  I often commented on the relevance, however was told the Educators were including a multicultural aspect into their room.  I have seen educators of 2 year old take them 'around the world' with passports and set., planned activities the educators had brainstormed. This being said, I did not know what my next step could be to assist fellow educators, children and my own teaching methods.

    Bisson, made some very relevant reasons as to the importance of including and celebrating unfamiliar holidays into the program.  One is to help children become a little less egocentric and accept holiday practices that are different from their own, getting them away from a stereotypical image of what they are shown holidays should look and feel like.  This can be planned for through the use of persona dolls, guest speakers and investigating the difference between the different ways of celebrating holidays, which should be woven into the program all year round.  

    Weaving multiculture into the program through out the year provides consistency in learning diversity and it is not a source of information overload for stakeholders; such as teachers, students and families. I like the idea of letting the students gradually taste diversity without throwing it in their faces at random times as set out by the calendar. 
    Shaw (2009), made a suggestion to undertake specific training if necessary and I have taken this into practice by enrolling in an online professional development course titled: ' What are we gonna do with this kid?!' PSCQ run a range of workshops catering for a diverse scope of topics that Early Childhood Educators find very useful.   As it is my duty of care to provide a safe and healthy service and I can do this by making sure I am trained correctly, including obtaining and updating my First Aid Certificates and CPR. 

    The P-12 Curriculum Framework, states that; All students, including students with disabilities, require teachers to consider their specific learning needs and plan accordingly.  For students with disabilities who have been identified as having significant educations support needs, planning is required for identified adjusted that need to be documented and then implemented.

    On investigation I found that teachers may access input from specialist support staff in developing and implementing their student's educational programs and collaborate in order to scaffold learning across the year levels.  This was a comfort, knowing I could access assistance and I was not isolated.  Plans can include individualised plans such as behaviour support plans and health care plans.  This also made me question if my step-son's school has a plan in place to cater and develop his learning. 

    The P-12 Curriculum Framework, suggest that students with disabilities need to be explicit with respect to how the required concepts, knowledge and skills will be appropriately introduced and built upon with increasing sophistication.  Understanding and incorporating strengths, interests and talents of individual students will impact on their learning and is central to the overall planning. Knowing this I can plan and include children into the classroom and have a tool to be able to stimulate their learning. 

    Though co-teaching/team teaching, collaborative team planning between support teachers and class teachers and involving families and other professionals and agencies and where appropriate the student them self a successful outcome can be achieved.  Also through the inclusion of resources and materials that assist in intellectually challenging tasks students can flourish when the impact of their impairment may have on their learning is established.  

    On reflection I have discovered that children's identities are negotiated from many sources; socially, and culturally rather than just their individual, biological basis. This post contains many solutions and answers to my own challenge as my learning and personal growth as blossomed throughout my quest for solutions to my challenge. Investigating children's play it has been an eye opener to: '.... the way children make meaning of beauty by creating a hierarchy of skin colours and cultures (Hage, 1998). It shows how children negotiate their knowledge and experience of 'race' and gender to make rules about who can access play and learning and in what ways.' (Mundine &Giugni, 2004.)


    My virtual backpack

    My virtual back pack contains over 10 years hands on experience in the child care industry. I am a full time university student, mother, step mother, wife and part time Educator at Kitiwah Place

    I have four children aged:  8 years, 6 years, 4 years and 18 months. I have two step son's aged 4 years and 5 years.  The 5 year old has been diagnosed with Aspergers and the 4 years old has been diagnosed with Autism.   My children and I have shared so many precious memories and they have taught me more than I could have ever imagined.

    Is see being an Early Childhood Educator as a privilege.  As a teacher you never cease to learn - and that in itself is a lesson!

    This course has changed my perceptions of childhood and the challenges involved and made me a more equipped Educator and mother.

    Kristy Day (Me!)
    Photo taken at Kitiwah Place Early Learning Centre on 9 December 2011

    Be the change you wish to see reflected in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    Starting out in the child care industry was far from glamorous!  I applied for the position of Assistant, however I was given my first paid job in child care as a cleaner and lunch relief.  I worked my way up the ladder to assistant, then group leader, 2 IC, family day care provider, Director and now striving for qualified Early Childhood Educator.  My children have always been right along side me the entire time.  I was fortunate enough to be able to breast feed at work and be in the same room of at least one of my children.  I know what it is like to be on the flip side of the coin!

    I have chosen 3 challenges that affect me directly as an Early Childhood Educator; diversity, behaviour issues and the introduction of the emergent curriculum that includes real life situations.  I was hard to pinpoint the most challenging issues I face as there are so many challenges Early Childhood Educators are faced with daily, though I have chosen three that I have struggled personally with throughout my employment in early childhood settings.  The first thing I had to realise was that my adult perspective is very different to that of a child's young perspective. 

    Constructivist Portfolios
    “ The portfolio is a learning environment in
    which the learner constructs meaning. It
    assumes that meaning varies across
    individuals, over time, and with purpose. The
    portfolio presents process, a record of the
    processes associated with learning itself; a
    summation of individual portfolios would be
    too complex for normative description.”
    F. Leon Paulson & Pearl Paulson (1994) 
    Come with me and explore my portfolio 
    Please view my resume for more experience to add into my virtual backpack:

    Appendix one
    Kristy Leigh Day
    Fully Qualified Director

    Address: 84 Furness Road
                    GYMPIE QLD 4570
    Phone: 0404 524 385
    Date of Birth: 10 December 1980

    I am definitely the person for your vacancy! I am very dedicated to my work, competent and reliable. My enthusiasm for my work is displayed through happy families, children, team members and authority figures.
    I am a leader - focused, approachable and hard working. I have over 10 years hands on experience in the industry and a wealth of knowledge.  

    Year Twelve - Noosa District State High School 1998
    Certificate Three Child care - Community Services 2004 - TAFE
    Diploma Childcare - Sunshine Coast TAFE 2006
    Advanced Diploma Childcare - ACCCO 2010
    Bachelor of Learning Management Early Childhood – Currently studying at CQ University Noosa – To date over half way through my degree

    Employment History Child Care industry
    Pied Piper Child Care Centre Noosa Bushlands 2000 - 2002
    Pied Piper welcomed me into the child care industry in which I excelled and flourished. I learnt enormous hands on skills and the importance of routine - but also the ability to be flexible. How each child is different and unique - but they all have a common desire - the need to feel loved. Happiness and safety create a happy and safe environment! I explored lunch relief, relief assistant roles and assisted the director with tasks. I realise the duties and responsibilities involved in this field, and feel confident that I posses extensive knowledge in Child Care industry and all the wonders it offers. 

    Tewantin Early Learning Centre 2003 - 2005
    I completed my Certificate Three in 2004 and immediately commenced study towards my Diploma. I was initially hired as lunch relief and within 2 months was the assistant in the Toddler room. I involved myself in the Centre, learning the traits of each room, networking with parents and helping children develop and learn to the highest. With such a thirst to learn and through exceptional performance I was then promoted to Group Leader in the Kindy.

    Kitiwah Place Early Learning Centre Gympie
    5 years of employment - Current employment
    A brand new Centre! I worked along side the owner/directors to build up a reputable Centre. Hired as Group Leader in the Nursery, I spent 2 full years in the room but was also sought out to be second in charge when the directors were absent. Kitiwah expanded my train of thought by teaching me to think outside the box and challenging myself. My duties included: Creating a room from scratch - including putting into place a room routine, yearly goals and program. Training both University and TAFE students, assisting with policies and procedures review (Nappy change, fire drill and staff hand book). Using my personal time to select and return toys from the toy library, and create photos galleries and scrap books for children and families. Stand in director duties included: Accepting payments, taking families through enrolment process and guided tour of Centre. Finding relief staff to cover staff absences and taking phone calls. After taking a break to pursue other avenues, I have returned as the Centre’s 2IC. I work as the Pre Prep Group Senior Educator using emergent curriculum as the basis of my programming and reside in the office when the owners request they take time off. ‘Photos speak a thousand words’ and I use photography to capture many precious developmental areas and moments in each child’s learning.  Photographs are used for observations, documentation and to assist with extending on children’s interests. 

    My program is run by extending off children’s interests, parental input and community involvement and partnerships.  I believe in the Reggio Emilia approach and share the vision that children learn through play.  

    Cooloola Family Day Care 2007 - 2008
    I spent the 10 months in the Family Day Care setting working from home caring for other children as well as my own. It is a unique style of care having the comfort of working from home. It has been a great time in which I have challenged myself to go above and beyond what is expected of the industry. The children have flourished with the better child: carer ratios. The children and families are very comfortable within the care setting. I like to think I’ve taken the best features of a centre setting and FDC setting and come up with my unique style called ‘Kristy’s Kids Family Day Care.’

    Mary Valley Child Care 2008-2009
    As a contact Director I discovered the best of both Worlds! Keeping a 55 place Centre organised has been a wealth of information. For over 12 months I: Directed the Centre through accreditation, updated and created policies and procedures, created newsletters on a monthly basis, organised and run staff meetings, rosters, advertising the Centre, quadrupled the Centre’s weekly takings, trained students, transitioned the Centre to CCMS and guided staff in positive ways including educating staff of the importance of involving ourselves in professional development. I have also worked directly with Fire Safety and Dept of Education, Arts and Training through spot checks and visits. I have organised visitors to the Centre including the SES (published in the Gympie times), local Gympie Photographer for yearly Centre photos and Old MacDonald’s Farm. I am responsible for the daily running of the office - including taking payments, balancing the banking on a weekly basis, using Quikkids system, welcoming new families into the Centre, marking the attendances and submitting to DEEWR for payment. I have found much pleasure in this role.
    Thank you for spending the time getting to know my past, my present and I hope to be happily working for you in the future!


    Christine Douglas
    (Current team member of Kitiwah Place)
    1 Cogan street
    Gympie 4570
    Phone: 0407 676 571

    If you would like any more referees please contact me and I would be happy to assist you.  I also have written references from my years in the Children’s services field.