26th July 2019
In Conversation with Laura Centre Manager of Export Park
Laura is the Centre Manager for Export Park, a light-filled centre which features music classes, language lessons, weekly soccer skills and spacious outdoor areas. Laura 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?
I’ve been in the industry for over 17 years, and began my journey right after I finished school. In the UK (where I’m from) I worked in child protection, helping children at risk. I then went on to run a vacation care and creche, as well as teaching baby massage and other parenting courses while I was studying towards my education degree.
Once I moved to Australia, I began working in the sector as a Room Leader, which then led to a position at a different centre as an assistant in a kindergarten room. I then pivoted, and went back into child protection for a few years, before returning to early childhood to become a Centre Manager. I eventually moved onto Export Park, where I’ve worked for almost five years. I began as a casual employee, left to have my daughter, then returned and worked my way up to a Centre Manager position again.
My biggest inspiration as Centre Manager at Export Park is the children – seeing what they can do and how different they make each day is great. I’m also inspired by my team, and their achievements both individually and as a collective. I love hearing their new ideas and watching them grow alongside the children.
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?
During my career, I’ve learnt that children never act how we initially expect. They rarely do something the way we assume they are going to do it – which makes for a really interesting experience. Given space and opportunity, children are always more competent and independent that you think they’re going to be.
What are you most excited about working with children on/teaching children about and why?
I’m most excited about seeing what children can achieve with the skills we teach them. It’s also important to create the right learning environment, and to give children the tools and resources they need to learn and explore.
5 quick fun facts about Laura
- I love taking my daughter out to find new places in the local community – we spend a lot of time outdoors doing things together.
- I love spending time in Asia and exploring what the world has to offer.
- I’m looking forward to doing some Asian cooking classes, as I’m a passionate cook. I work with our centre cook and a nutritionist to develop the centre’s menu. Collaborating to create a delicious, nutritious and allergy-friendly menu for the children is something I’m really passionate about.
- I love team sports, and would like to get back into them soon – I used to play soccer, netball and basketball.
- I’m originally from England, so I would love to travel throughout the rest of Australia, as I haven’t seen much of it yet.