2nd July 2019

In Conversation with Natalie Centre Manager of Bird House Hornsby

child playing outside at Bird House Hornsby

Natalie is the Centre Manager for Bird House Hornsby, a light-filled centre which features a water pump, vegetable gardens, and a creek bed. Natalie took a few minutes out of her busy day to share insights on her career background, her education approach and a few fun facts.

Natalie Centre Manager of Bird House Hornsby

Tell us about your time working in early childcare and education so far and what inspires you each day?

I have been working in early childhood for the past 16 years. Following completion of my HSC I applied for a trainee position. I have always had an interest in working with children and thought this would be a great way to start. I was lucky enough to get the trainee position and work for a great Director and be mentored by an amazing ECT. Working with great people was my inspiration – I learnt so much in my first few years and it gave me the drive to continue to build my knowledge and qualifications. Once completing my traineeship I decided to continue with upskilling myself in the industry. I continued to work full time but completed my Diploma and Bachelor of Teaching via correspondence and developed my career path from trainee to room leader to 2IC to Centre Manager.

Along the way I have worked for a few different settings across a range of age groups and taken some time out to travel and explore early childhood and nannying overseas. I have developed great friendships with the people I’ve worked with throughout my career.

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 provide value to everything and are so capable in being who they are. I believe that all children have the right to learn and discover in their own way. Over the years, I have enjoyed learning to be able to respond to this and guiding the team at Bird House Hornsby to do the same. I believe that our centre fosters this in children, allowing for their independence in learning and ensuring that we as Educators take the time to get to know children and their families. This allows us to connect with them and gain a deeper understanding of them as individuals and what their needs are.

What are you most excited about working with children on/teaching children about and why?

Every day is different and there is so much to learn from the children as well as teach them. I like the quiet moments of reflection with children where they might share a fact you have taught them or the conversations over meal times where they are relaxed and we can share a bit of who were are with each other as people. I like listening to their perspective on life and how it all works or watching their reactions to what might be happening around them.

As a centre, I believe we make a difference in children and that excites me. The early years are so important and to be able to guide children in that first step of their life long journey is very rewarding to be a part of and share with our families.

5 quick fun facts about Natalie

  1. l was born in England and moved to Australia with my family when I was four years old.
  2. My best friend is the girl I meet in my first early childhood experience as a four year old attending preschool.
  3. I love travelling. My favourite places are New York, London and Hawaii.
  4. I love choc mint anything!
  5. Cooking is one of my favourite hobbies, and I love cooking up a feast of new recipes to try with family and friends.