For more than 40 years, Debbie Joyce has worked in early childhood education and care (ECEC) – a career decision made while navigating the national parks of New South Wales.
'I started my working life with the National Parks and Wildlife Authority of New South Wales and part of my role was to conduct tours of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries with school age and preschool services,' she said.
'I found I had a natural affinity with children and really enjoyed seeing the wonder and curiosity in their eyes. This led me to pursuing a career in early childhood and completing my qualifications.'
Over the years, Debbie has held many positions across early childhood education and now works as a family day care coordinator mentoring educators in Wynnum and the south east suburbs of Brisbane.
'It is such a privilege to play such an important role in a child’s learning journey,' Debbie said.
'Walking beside children as they explore, investigate, problem solve and negotiate their way through the world and having the opportunity to scaffold their learning provides so many amazing experiences.'
All set to hang up her shoes, Debbie only lasted 6 months in retirement before recently returning to the sector.
'I thought I was ready to start the next stage of life, but I found there was so much I missed,' Debbie said.
'Helping a family to find the educator who is the ‘right fit’ and becomes an extension of their family unit, visiting educators and being in awe of how children have flourished and developed so many life skills in their care. These are the moments that fill my bucket of happiness.'
Debbie said the work of an early childhood educator was no walk in the park, every day with different learnings and challenges. A job that is worth it for the difference you could make in a child’s life.
'If the footprint that you leave behind on this earth is that you have influenced the learning journey of one child and made a difference to the adult that they will become, then that is an amazing legacy to leave behind,' she said.
Early Childhood Educators’ Day falls on 7 September and we’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you for everything you do for the children of Queensland.
Whether it be in kindy, outside school hours care, family day care, long day care or our early years places, we know early childhood educators play a pivotal role in helping children develop a lifelong love of learning.
Queensland has more than 30,000 early childhood educators, all working hard to nurture the physical, intellectual and emotional wellbeing of children in their care.
Please have a wonderful celebration and know that your efforts are appreciated by the department as well as Queensland families.
The Australian Childcare Alliance invites services to post photos of their celebrations on social media using the hashtag #EarlyChildhoodEducatorsDay and #LoveMyECEC to acknowledge the great work our educators do. See the Early Childhood Educator's Day
early learning services checklist and
resources pages for more information.