Photo: Kerrie Fortescue with pupils (from left) Annabelle, Aria, Quinn, Georgina and Lucy.
Terang Family Day Care Educator Kerri Fortescue has been nominated for Excellence in the national Family Day Care Awards.
A Family Day Care Educator with Corangamite Shire Council for 13 years, she finds the work incredibly rewarding. In that time, she has helped educate more than 100 children aged from six months to eight years.
“I love that family day care gives me the opportunity to invite people into my own life and to become part of theirs,” Kerrie said.
“I enjoy the small groups and the close relationships I have with the children and their families.
“I can offer hours that suit families’ needs. One child starts at 6.10 am on a Sunday and that is OK.
“Children see my family day care as a second home. Many family drawings have me in it which is lovely.”
The family day care experience has many benefits for the children as they receive high quality early learning in a safe and secure environment.
“You can do so much more with small groups that you can’t do in a centre. There’s much more one-on-one time,” Kerrie said.
“In my program I like to include community involvement. We try and go out every day—whether it’s for a bike ride or to attend YAK (Young Active Kids), library or play groups—so children can make new friends in their community.
“I believe it takes a community to raise a child and we are lucky to have a great one.”
Kerrie started with a background in child minding just as the sector transitioned to the National Quality Framework.
She did a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in 2012 and three years ago finished a diploma which she had juggled with work and raising her own family.
Kerrie’s professional growth has seen her embrace change and tackle technology such as the Kinderloop secure communication platform which Corangamite Shire services use to communicate directly with parents.
“Everything’s going non paper these days. You’ve got to embrace the technology,” she said enthusiastically.
“You can take videos or photos and send them to parents straight away.
“The parents aren’t sitting at home wondering “How is my child coping?’. If you can send them photos it sets their mind at ease.”
She also used technology for her submission to the Excellence in Family Day Care Awards.
“I did a video and snapshots of children and what they do in my childcare.”
Regional winners will be announced on Tuesday 24 August.
National Finalists will be announced on Monday 13 September with the National Winner announced on Saturday 30 October.
Council Child Care & Family Day Care Pedagogical Lead Michelle Maraldo said the nomination was very well deserved.
“She has come a long way. Kerrie has put a lot of effort into learning new things and welcomes change.
“She wants to bring more of the Koori curriculum into her programming.
“We wish her the best and hope for a positive result.”
The awards are run by Family Day Care Australia, an independent, not for profit national peak body that promotes family day care in delivering high quality early childhood education.