The votes are in and we've narrowed down the South Burnett's best childcare educator down to three superstars. Photo/Holly.
The votes are in and we've narrowed down the South Burnett's best childcare educator down to three superstars. Photo/Holly.

FINALISTS: Vote for South Burnett’s best childcare educator

THE people have spoken and we've narrowed it down to the South Burnett's top three childcare workers. Beloved by the kids they care for and their doting parents, the Times wanted to get to know Kell Philp, Susanne Tones and Kayla Jarrett a little better.

With years of experience and a genuine love for the South Burnett's little residents, it's safe to say our kids are in good hands.

The hunt for the overall winner is almost over as we ask our readers to cast their final votes for their favourite childcare worker in the poll below.

Make sure to cast your votes soon as this poll will close at 9am on Friday, November 20.

VOTE HERE:

Vote for South Burnett’s best childcare educator

This poll ended on 20 November 2020.

Current Results

Kell Philp, Kingaroy Childcare Centre

80%

Susanne Tones, Little Peanuts Early Learning Centre

0%

Kayla Jarrett, Little Peanuts Early Learning Centre

20%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The South Burnett Times spoke to the three finalists on why they believe they were nominated and why they love their role within their local community.

Take a look at what they had to say before you cast your votes below:

Kell Philp, Kingaroy Childcare Centre

With more than 20 years experience in childcare, Kell Philp has had the opportunity to see many of her little ones grow into adults, and continue to reflect the life lessons taught to them by herself and the staff Kingaroy Child Care.

"I look at the kids that are now grown up and are successful adults. Kind and loving adults. I'd like to think that some of that kind-heartedness comes from what we've taught them here," she said.

"I would hope the votes I got reflect the work we've all done. To create a happy place that kids and parents enjoy coming to."

Having branched off to work in child protection for a number of years, Kell said she has learned a great deal about how to best communicate with young children and a deeper appreciated for her career in early education.

"I'm a different childcare worker than I was 15 years ago. That time away gave me so much knowledge and I just see things from an entirely different perspective," she said.

"Listening is key and that's what I try to do with the kids. Each year we have little motos that we use with the kids, and this years it's 'if you don't listen, you'll miss out'."

Kell said her favourite part of the job are the "little victories" accomplished by the children. She said nothing is more satisfying than seeing them learn and develop, based on the knowledge she has given them.

"Our job isn't just playing with kids all day. There's a lot of hard work, a lot of elbow grease, but we all do it so we can provide this awesome environment for kids."

"This is my second home. It's such a nice job and such a lovely centre."

Kell attributes her success and her passion for her job to her mother, who sadly passed in May.

"I worked with her for 10 to 15 years in childcare and she's the one that inspired me."

Senior Educator Kell Philp with Acting Director Nikki O'Neill. Photo/Holly Cormack.
Senior Educator Kell Philp with Acting Director Nikki O'Neill. Photo/Holly Cormack.

Susanne Tones, Little Peanuts Early Learning Centre

Susanne has worked in childcare for nearly 14 years, having loved nurturing little ones from a very young age, starting with babysitting at just 13-years-old.

"I've already loved children. They've always gravitated towards me," she said.

Despite being a difficult job, requiring a great deal of care and long hours on your feet, Susanne said she finds the work incredibly rewarding and enjoys nothing more than seeing the children grow and flourish.

"I'm very nurturing, so just making sure they're all happy and healthy is really rewarding. And we're teaching them, so seeing them learning new things and saying their first words in the nursery is very special," she said.

To succeed in early education a person should have a genuine love for the children in their care and a personal investment in their development. Susanne loves seeing the little ones learn and grow, and the knowledge that Little Peanuts is having a positive and lifelong influence on the person they will become.

Susanne said there is a lot more to early education than people might think, requiring patience, concentration, and endless amounts of energy.

In addition to caring for the children's emotional and educational needs, staff must ensure the child's individual needs are being met - including their unique daily routines and requirements.

Little Peanuts likes to include the parents as much as possible and take their ideas on board. If there is something specific a parent wants their child to learn, Susanne said the centre can make that happen.

"Little Peanuts is the best centre I've ever worked for, and I've worked for four different centres," she said.

"Louise Taylor, the owner, supplies us with resources and always supports us, and the parents are incredible too. They always include themselves in the program and communicate well with us. It's just really organised."

"And all the educators here make a great team. We work really well together."

Educator Kayla Jarrett, Lead Educator Susanne Tones, and Henry. Photo/Holly Cormack
Educator Kayla Jarrett, Lead Educator Susanne Tones, and Henry. Photo/Holly Cormack

 

Kayla Jarrett, Little Peanuts Early Learning Centre

With just three years in childcare, Kayla has already gone above and beyond in the role. As an older sister, Kayla said she has always loved children and knew from an early age that she wanted to work in childcare.

"I love children, being around them, and watching them grow up," she said.

Working with Susanne in the nursery, Kayla is exceptionally organised and has played a major role in helping Little Peanuts with their digital development, which assisted the children in their early education and enables parents to see what their child is up to throughout the day.

She said over the past year Kayla's confidence has grown immensely, and she now sings to the children, reads them stories, and is wonderfully creative when it comes to thinking up fun and education activities for them.

Kayla said she loves "coming to work each day and watching them grow", encouraging them as they learn to speak, walk, and play.

To be an excellent early educator, Kayla believes a person should be nurturing, caring, and always be looking for new activity ideas for them. She invests a part of herself in every child and when they graduate to the Little Peanuts Kindy, is happy to see how far they've come but always sad to see them go.

Kayla is extremely optimistic and always does what is asked of her well and without complaint. Especially for such a young person, she has a genuine love for her job and it reflects in the children's development and fondness for her.

South Burnett

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