13th July 2019

In Conversation with Peta Centre Manager of Caringbah

child laughing during lunch at Caringbah

Peta is the Centre Manager for Caringbah, a modern centre which features vegetable gardens, an inbuilt slide, and a range of age-specific ateliers. Peta took a few minutes out of her busy day to share insights on her career background, her education approach and a few fun facts.

Peta, Centre Manager of Caringbah

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

I began my career as a trainee in 2012. After completing my traineeship, I moved into a Room Leader role for two years before commencing my employment at Guardian as an Educational Leader. From there, I was promoted into a 2IC role before becoming a Centre Manager at the start of 2018. As Centre Manager of Caringbah, I’m always learning. Everyday surprises me, so I like to regularly reflect on things that occur and see what I can learn from them. I’m always looking at ways to do things differently and learn from there. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is the importance of teamwork and making sure everyone is going in the same direction.

My inspiration comes from those around me who can offer me new ideas and opportunities for growth. I’ve completed a masterclass with Kerry O’Nell and a two day workshop with Alise Shafer Ivy, who both opened my eyes to new techniques and teachings. I’m so inspired by those who have a different way of looking at things and make me reflect on how I can do better, as well as the wonderful team I work with everyday.

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?

Before working in early childhood, I really didn’t know much about children or expect much of them. Now that I’ve worked alongside them for so long, I’ve come to learn how capable they are and how much they can get from their world around them. Children are so committed and engaged to the world around them, and if they are encouraged to wonder and explore it will positively impact how they are later in life. Some of the children in our care at Caringbah come to us as babies, and stay right through until they go to school. Seeing how much they grow, and how far they come developmentally is really special. Knowing that I’ve been a part of that and supported them to develop the skills they need for the rest of their lives is a great feeling.

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

Something I’ve always wanted to work on is children and their creativity. I’ve never been very creative myself, so I consider it to be my weakest point as an Educator. I’m currently studying and looking forward to my next unit, which focuses on children and creativity. I’m excited to learn how to give them more opportunities to be creative and experiencing that growth through what they can teach me – it’s a reciprocal relationship. I’ll be furthering my learning through engagement with the children at Caringbah and offering them something in return.

5 quick fun facts about Peta

  1. I have a three-and-a-half year old who loves nothing more than Disney movies. On weekends we unwind by watching Disney movies and spending time together.
  2. I’m a volunteer firefighter and fully qualified to lead a team of firefighters should there be a bushfire in the area.
  3. I hate cooking but I make pretty good nachos – I’m always happy to make them for my family.
  4. I really like reading and exploring new authors and their writing. I’ve always been into crime and thrillers but recently a friend recommended me a drama/romance. I’ll always come back to the Harry Potter series if I have to choose.
  5. My favourite place in the entire world is Bendethera, a national park in Coomera, NSW. I often went camping there with my family when I was little and it holds fond memories.

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