Employee of the Month May 2017
Hi! My name is Cathy Cali and I’m an Early Childhood Educator at Kool Kidz Mill Park. I decided at the age of 45 that it was time for me to pursue the career I have always wanted. So, in April 2016, I enrolled myself into a 12 month Diploma course at the Education Institute in Reservoir where I went to class every Monday. In June 2016, I was required to find a childcare service to start a two week placement. I was recommended by a friend to try Kool Kidz Mill Park. I decided to apply and hoped to hear back from them. I was so excited when I was told that I got accepted. I started on the 15th of August 2016 and was placed in the “Honeybees” room, which the age group ranged from 9 months to 18 months. I was very nervous, but also excited to start my placement.
The Educators in the room were very reassuring and accepting of me, which made the experience much easier for me enjoy myself and gain valuable knowledge. Nicole, the Owner/Approved Provider of Kool Kidz Mill Park, approached me a few days later to inform me that the other Educators where very happy with the work that I had been doing in the “Honeybees” room, and that she was willing to offer me a job. I was thrilled to finally be working with children after waiting so long to make the career change into Early Childhood Education. In October 2016 I obtained my Certificate III unit completion letter and began working officially for Kool Kidz Mill Park in the “Honeybees” room.
I am still working in the “Honeybees” room and I have enjoyed every minute of it. The best thing for me is the relationships that I have established with each individual child and their families. I am now unable to see myself doing anything else with my life but to watch the children grow and develop into their own little personalities. As an Educator, I believe that children always come first and to make a great Educator you must be nurturing, enthusiastic, respectful, responsible, patient and have great communication skills. You must also be able to have a creative mindset and be flexible to the needs of every child.
The early years of a child’s life are busy. I believe as an Educator that learning is happening all the time and is interwoven through all developmental domains, which are physical, social/emotional, cognitive and communication skills. Therefore, my goal is to make this ongoing learning experience safe, positive, nurturing and overall fun for the whole child. I strive to guide them into the next stage of development with confidence within themselves and an excitement for continued learning.
Children need the assurance of being loved and cared for while they are enjoying an educational environment. Teaching children is my passion. Security and trust are very important components as well as my relationship with each child.
I believe young children are very concerned about themselves and the small world they live in, being family and home. However, each child is unique with different interests, backgrounds, and developmental stages.
Children should be given choices, responsibilities, and opportunities to initiate their own learning. I believe observations and assessments are excellent tools to use when planning curriculum. Observations not only aid in creating the curriculum but also give insight into the personal development, knowledge and skill levels of each child.
I believe the environment plays a major role in the success of an early childhood program. It should enhance the children’s interests in all developmental areas. I believe learning in an early childhood environment is done most successfully through stations that can be visited, explored, and revisited again and again. The environment should take into consideration the social, communication and physical skills and challenges. This should cater to the learning styles of all the children being cared for.