Simone Azzopardi is the Centre Manager at Guardian Early Learning Centre – Point Cook and was recently awarded Centre Manager of the Year. From starting out her professional life in a completely different field, to becoming a highly respected and inspiring Centre Manager, we take two minutes with Simone to find out a bit more about her background, what gets her out of bed in the morning and her crazy cheesecake creations.
Tell us a bit about your career background.
Prior to working in childcare I had worked as an Administration Assistant and Personal Assistant for many years prior to having children. After having my own children I then started working in childcare in 2010.
I began working as Cert 3, then started my Diploma soon after and transitioned to become a room leader in the 2.5 year old room after a year. I was then given the opportunity to become a 2IC at the same centre I had been working at after approximately six months from being a Room Leader. I had been 2IC for 2.5 years and that when I then decided to move on from the centre I had been at for around four years to look for a new challenge. I gained a position as 2IC at Guardian Early Learning Centre – Point Cook.
Why did you decide to pursue early childhood education?
After having children I decided to take on a different career path and thought working in childcare would be a great way to expand my career and my love of educating children and working with them would be the next obvious step for me.
How long have you been at Point Cook?
I have been working at Point Cook (which was previously Platypus Junction) for the last three years where I started as the 2IC. This was a brand new centre and I was involved in the start up process and, before it became a busy centre, we were then taken over by Guardian Early Learning Group a year later.
Six months later after being taken over I was offered the opportunity of becoming the Centre Manager and have been the last 1.5 years and am enjoying it thoroughly.
What gets you out of bed every morning?
My new puppy at the moment! But honestly the happy work environment I arrive to each morning and the motivation my team provide to not only me but to one another.
I’m sure you’ve had many highlights in your time at Point Cook, can you tell us about one?
There are many highlights but I guess seeing the progression I have seen through our centre by the staff that have been here with me from day 1. Their growth as Educators and helping them want to develop their careers from moving from Assistants to Rooms Leaders and so on.
What do you love most about Point Cook?
The Point Cook community wanting to be involved and help one another out and the families whether it’s through a time in need or just because. They are always happy to help out and be involved with their children’s learning, their honesty when providing feedback and the wonderful, positive, trusting relationships that we have built with them over the years. Everyone here is so friendly and love to recommend us to others which helps us grow our community here at the centre.
What’s next for Point Cook?
We are in the process of educating the team about the Guardian Curriculum which they are all very excited about and are hoping to be able to send some of the team off to Reggio next year for further inspiration.
Let’s get to know you a bit better…
Where’s one place in the world you’d love to travel to?
Well the one place I always wanted to go to was Japan which I travelled to last October, but want to go again. So I guess the next place I would love to travel to is the U.S which I am hoping to do very soon!
What’s your signature dish?
Cheesecake! I love to make cheesecakes the best ones I have made are Kinder Surprise and Snickers.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
That I have quite a few tattoos and ride a motorbike, I have a passion for anything fast.
Learn more about Guardian Early Learning Centre – Point Cook
To find out more about this fantastic early learning centre in Melbourne, head here. We invite you to book yourself in for a tour to meet Simone and the lovely team.