Early childhood education a rewarding experience

STAFF at Moree Plains Shire Council’s fully owned-and-operated childcare centre, Gwydir Day Care and Pre-School say a career in early childhood education is fast-paced, uniquely rewarding and different every day.

Staff members are surrounded by energy and creativity and have the opportunity to play an integral role in the development and well-being of each child.

For Ivy Clements, her career started with Gwydir Day Care and Pre-School as a trainee just before her 18th birthday.

After completing her two-year traineeship last year, Ivy successfully moved into a full-time assistant position.

“I didn’t have experience in childcare but knew it was something I was able to do and I’ve loved it ever since,” Ivy said.

Alison Robinson – an early childhood teacher – had a markedly different journey. 

Alison started her career in early childhood education later in life after rearing five children of her own.

“My youngest had just gone into high school and didn’t need me as much,” Alison said.

Ivy Clements – with Lara Boland – began her career with Gwydir Day Care and Preschool as a 17-year-old trainee.

“I always wanted to work with children. I thought, ‘I’m patient’. I know I was patient with my own so it seemed like a good fit,” she said.

Ivy says that while little minds that are learning can be challenging at times, upsets are usually quickly forgotten and forming a relationship with the children is the most beautiful part of the job.

“You can have hectic days but you always come out of it smiling because there is a little kid at the end of it wanting attention, hugs and love,” Ivy smiled.

Alison agrees wholeheartedly, saying while the environment is fast-paced the staff can always rely on the children to create laughter.

“The children are hilarious. Sometimes when they are a little bit challenging they become the ones that I have the real soft spots for. I’m told I like the bad boys,” Alison laughed.

During her 23 years with Gwydir Day Care and Pre-School, Alison has worked her way up from casual assistant to Early Childhood Teacher and second in charge.

She has completed her Certificate III in Childcare, Diploma in Community Services and Bachelor of Teaching and most recently a Diploma of Business Management via Charles Sturt online.

“Moree Plains Shire Council has always been very supportive and helped pay for both diplomas and degree. I would absolutely recommend Gwydir Day Care or Council to anyone, they have been wonderful to me,” Alison said.

With high demand for early childhood educators, Ivy also has plans to study her diploma and degree in the hope of progressing to a group leader role on her return from maternity leave.

“I’m looking forward to coming back a few days a week and starting my diploma at TAFE,” Ivy said.

“It’s great to have a workplace that will support me while on maternity leave and I’ll have a job that I can walk back into.”

While providing a supportive and flexible learning environment is part of the job, Ivy suggests it is seeing the children learn the simple things like washing their hands or learning a new song that can be most rewarding.

“It makes us feel good because they do learn little things here that they may not learn at home,” she said.

Knowing they make a big difference in the values and ideas each child develops to take into the world, forming positive relationships with the families and seeing the children progress over the years is what both ladies agree makes the job most worthwhile and fulfilling.

“Many of our children are here from the beginning of their day care journey. They start in the Gumnut Room and work their way through the centre.  You see most of the siblings and I’ve seen a lot of them are now adults,” Alison said.

Council currently has two vacancies for Group Leaders at Gwydir Day Care and Preschool. For more information, visit the Moree Plains Shire Council website at or contact Council’s HR department on 02 6757 3222 to discuss the requirements of becoming a Group Leader at Gwydir Daycare and Pre-School.

Media Release: June 6, 2019