Pimpama educators’ commitment and care rewarded
The transition from home to an early learning environment can be a challenging one for children with autism, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or sensory processing issues.
But when Gold Coast mother Jessica Miller took her children to Goodstart Early Learning Centre Pimpama
she said her children thrived among staff who showed amazing commitment, care, love and dedication.
Mrs Miller has four children including three who attend the centre with a combination of autism, OCD, ADHD, sensory processing sensitivities and severe developmental delay.
To show her appreciation for the centre’s support for her children, she has nominated the centre for an award at the 2018 Australian Early Education and Care Awards
The Australian Early Education and Care Awards celebrate outstanding contributions in child care. They aim to encourage Australians working in all sectors of early childhood education and care to aspire to excellence.
Mrs Miller said her children faced more challenges than most moving from the home environment to an early learning centre.
Her oldest son Charles, 5, has autism, OCD, ADHD and sensory process sensitivities. Abigail, 3, has autism, OCD and sensory processing sensitivities and Tobias, 2, has autism and severe developmental delay.
“When Charles first started he was fairly non-verbal. His teacher went to lot of effort to use Auslan signing with him and ask what signs we were using at home so that they could use them at the centre,” Mrs Miller said.
“She printed out signs for the other educators to use, we took advice from the occupational therapist and the staff use a combination of signs and talking with him so his language now has improved so much.
“Abigail really needs a connection with someone she can trust. She has a close bond with her teacher, but in the past I was the only person who could calm her down if she was upset.
“Tobias very much likes his own company and tends to isolate himself. His teacher is very good at letting him have his own space, but he still participates.”
Mrs Miller said the communication with the Goodstart team had been above and beyond her expectations.
“They’ve been very accommodating and going out of their way to keep me informed,” she said.
“It really feels like a family.
“Charles and Abigail have made really strong connections with the educators there. They talk about them even when we are at home. They look forward to going there and spending time with them which is really nice.”
Pre-kindergarten room assistant Renae Tinning (left) and Senior Educator Kaihla Wadsworth with Abigail.
Centre Director Heidi Bridges said Goodstart Early Learning Centre Pimpama prided itself on social inclusion and supporting children and their families with additional needs.
“Our centre vision is that relationships create endless opportunities. We strive to make a difference and are humbled that we have done that with this family,” Ms Bridges said.
“We all want a place where we feel a sense of belonging and I am glad to say that we have provided this environment for Charles, Abigail and Tobias. It is truly special to watch children thrive and develop when they are supported.”
Ms Bridges said the centre welcomed Mrs Miller’s nomination and thanked her for recognising the team’s efforts.
“Our team are very touched by the nomination and grateful for the recognition.”