25th August 2019
In Conversation with Zoe Centre Manager of Newstead
Zoe is the Centre Manager for Guardian Newstead, a light-filled centre which features a water pump, purpose-built hills and tunnels, indoor gardens, city views and natural play structures. Zoe 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 grew up in a big family with lots of younger siblings and cousins and always enjoyed their company. When I was in high school, a work experience opportunity at a Montessori childcare centre came up and I jumped at the chance. I immediately fell head over heels with the centre and the children, and as soon as I finished school I began my traineeship as an assistant Educator full time.
Once I finished my studies, I moved to the UK and worked as a live-in nanny for a year. This was a truly amazing experience. Being around the children and the family 24/7 really gave me a different outlook on the role Educators play in children’s lives. Once I returned to Australia, I started working as a Lead Educator in a play-based day care centre.
In June 2016 I started working at Guardian Newstead as a Lead Educator. Throughout my childcare experiences, I have been inspired by Guardian’s philosophies and the Reggio Emilia approach, as they have allowed me to see childcare through a fresh lens. This year will be my 10th year working in the industry.
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 believe that children see the world in an incredible way: unbiased and full of wonder and curiosity. The most important part of my role as Centre Manager at Newstead is the relationships I have with children. They need to feel safe and secure in order for me to guide and support them on their journey to becoming a confident and engaged contributor.
What are you most excited about working with children on/teaching children about and why?
I love working with children and seeing how they interpret the world around them, particularly when it comes to literacy. It is so important to promote early literacy skills in early childhood, and for children to find joy in reading, as those skills will be so beneficial in their future. Project-based work is also very exciting, I love being a part of the process where children form ideas, make discoveries and pose questions throughout a project.
3 quick fun facts about Zoe
- I spent two years living in England – one working as a nanny and the other working as a chef in a kitchen.
- I had completed some commercial cooking training while in school, which lead to getting a job in a pub. I had to learn the fast pass of the kitchen very quickly, which taught me so much about efficiency and time management.
- I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the pub, if I wasn’t in child care I would love to be a pastry chef.