31st August 2019
In Conversation with Danielle O’ Halloran Centre Manager of Billy Kids – Lilyfield
Danielle O’ Halloran is the Centre Manager for Billy Kids – Lilyfield, a light-filled centre which features three spacious outdoor spaces complete with a water pump, rock climbing, hills and alfresco dining areas. Danielle took a few minutes out of her busy day to share insights on her career background, her education approach and a few fun facts.
Tell us about your time working in early childcare and education so far and what inspires you each day?
When I was in school, I always babysat and looked after my neighbours’ children. This is when my interest and passion for childcare became alive, as I always couldn’t wait to look after them again. I went to university and studied early childhood, not knowing exactly where my career would end up. I worked in different settings of childcare back in Ireland and then I made the move to Australia in 2012. I interviewed for an Educator position at Billy Kids – Lilyfield and I got it and haven’t looked back since!
I quickly became part of the team and took over the Room Leader role of the infants room. I then became the 2IC when the opportunity arose which gave me so many new experiences and learning opportunities. I discovered the other side of this industry which I had never thought about previously. I was extremely interested in learning new things and I was eager to help my manager in the role with anything I could. After a short period of time, my manager went on maternity leave and this position was offered to me. I jumped at it immediately and I have loved it ever since. I love being a part of not just one age group but across them all, and getting to spend time all over the centre with the children.
I really enjoy getting to know the families and building those relationships with them. Being a part of those moments where the children learn, explore and discover new things and ideas and being able to nurture and scaffold them is what makes this so worthwhile.
What have you learnt about children during your early childcare and education career and how would you sum up your approach/passion to helping them on their learning, emotional, social and life journey?
I have learnt that children constantly surprise me in what they learn and gain from different experiences and what an important role we as Educators have in this. I believe that every child is capable, curious and independent and should be given every opportunity to explore their interests in a fun and challenging environment. At Lilyfield, with our beautiful indoor and outdoor environments, our Educators design a rich daily program catching the children’s interests and encouraging the development of their skills through spontaneous activities and teachable moments throughout the day.
Our Educators use role modelling and meaningful engagement to ensure that every child gets the most out of each experience. We love family involvement and feel it is an important part of each child’s journey with us. We encourage and welcome visits, participation in learning projects and we love celebrating our families and bringing everyone together.
What are you most excited about working with children on/teaching children about and why?
What I get most excited about is that learning for children is an endless adventure, and can be facilitated no matter the topic or idea. The possibilities can change, be questioned, be extended, or lead to something else entirely. No learning moment or experience is ever the same and once scaffolded and nurtured by our Educators, it can be so meaningful.
5 quick fun facts about Danielle
- I’m Irish and have been living in Sydney since 2012.
- I have a little boy called Billy who just turned one.
- My favourite food is Italian – I could live on pasta and pizza forever 😊.
- I love spending time with my friends on the weekends – picnics, a glass of wine, walks or dinner.
- If I could move Australia closer to Ireland I would be so happy!