Deniliquin is home to one of the state’s best childcare educators after Angela Coffey was named the regional winner in the 2017 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards last week.
Now in its sixth year, the awards acknowledge the incredible work done by family day care educators each and every day, as well as showcasing the amazing bonds shared between family day care educators and the children they work with.
Miss Coffey — who is a registered childcare educator with Intereach FDC — has operated her own business, Angela’s Family Day Care, from her Deniliquin home for the past year.
She has more than 15 years’ experience in the early childhood sector and was nominated for the accolade by the parents of the children she cares for, and she said she was ‘‘shocked’’ to be named the winner.
‘‘I’m very humbled to have been nominated by the families — it’s a nice surprise,’’ she said.
Miss Coffey’s service sees her care for seven families a week, with children enrolled in single or multiple days.
She said her small group sizes allows her to offer ‘‘more of a personal touch’’.
‘‘Caring for only four children a day, compared to 25 or so, allows you to be more spontaneous and flexible as the children develop interests,’’ Miss Coffey said.
‘‘As soon as an interest comes up I can put something in their program straight away — it’s personalised and helps me take on a holistic care approach.
‘‘This approach allows for more than just their physical needs and lets me bond and connect with them.’’
Family Day Care Australia chief executive officer Andrew Paterson says the awards continue to gain momentum each year, and shine a light on the important role that family day care plays for families all across the country.
“This is an opportunity to highlight the special contribution that educators like Angela make to the lives of the children in their care,” Mr Paterson says.
“To be named regional winner is a testament to not only Angela’s dedication to providing quality early childhood education and care, but also to the relationship that Angela has with the children in her care.”
Miss Coffey now goes in the running to be named as a national finalist in the awards.
‘‘I’d like to thank the coordination unit staff for the support I received when starting my business and the ongoing support I receive on a day to day basis,’’ she said.
Nominated supervisor Rebecca Fitzpatrick said she was proud of all the educators nominated in the 2017 awards, but said Miss Coffey’s achievement is a tremendous effort.
‘‘Angela’s involvement in the service and her commitment to providing quality education and care to children and families in the Deniliquin is outstanding,’’ she said.
‘‘The coordination unit was delighted to have had Angela join our team 12 months ago and this accolade is a testament to her contribution.’’
National finalists will be announced on September 25, with the National Educator of the Year to be announced at the Excellence in Family Day Care Awards Gala Dinner on October 28.