What does it take to thrive in early childhood education? Paige Fisher says it’s creativity, care and a sense of fun!
It’s the simple things in life - the slow crawl of a caterpillar, a butterfly in flight - that can spark the greatest wonder in a child. Paige Fisher feels a similar sense of awe as she sees the children in her care learn, gain confidence, and spread their wings. Our trainee Educator has found a safe and supportive place at Goodstart, where she’s already making an incredible difference. Paige has big plans for the future - and we can’t wait to see her soar.
Imagining what’s possible
The natural world offers endless opportunities to spark a child’s imagination. One of the most captivating creatures is the butterfly. Delicate yet bold in colour, the butterfly has a fascinating lifecycle. Not many people get to see its magical transformation in real time, but Goodstart Ingle Farm trainee Paige Fisher created this special experience for the centre’s pre-kindy children.
“The butterfly project was awesome,” Paige says. “I sourced the egg, larva and chrysalis so that the children could see the different lifecycle stages. We watched the caterpillars grow, and the cocoons transform and release these big butterflies. The children were so surprised to see something the size of a grain of rice become so beautiful! They got to hold the butterflies on their fingers - they absolutely loved it. It was such a cool experience, and to do that on my own was great.”
At Goodstart, we see similar transformations every day - amongst the children we nurture as they reach new milestones and amongst our team members as they build their careers. Caring and driven, Paige is early in her career, but she’s already making a big impact.
“I like to have my own little projects,” says Paige, who is studying her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. “The Educators and Centre Director here support and trust me to create good experiences for the children. Working in the industry while studying means I get hands-on experience and opportunities other trainees might not get. And you can never have a bad day when you work with children! They’re so smiley and bubbly - every day is a great day.”
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Preparing children for school and beyond
Paige’s day typically begins at 7.45am when she welcomes the pre-kindy kids to the centre, setting them up for a fun-filled day with a hearty breakfast. As the Key Educator for a group of highly energetic three to four-year-olds, Paige guides her children through some gentle yoga stretches before getting stuck into obstacle courses, construction play, puzzles, games and more.
Constantly thinking of new learning activities, Paige’s sense of fun and enthusiasm lights up the Ingle Farm centre. She’s turned the pre-kindy room into a space station decked with a rocket, space suits and aliens, conducted an “eye test” with the children using magnifying glasses, and shared her childhood love of Dr Seuss during reading time.
Early childhood education is vastly different to Paige’s previous career in hospitality. Yet, she has well and truly found her place at Goodstart - and it all began with an eye-opening experience in remote South Australia.
“I started in hospitality, but then I did some volunteer work in the APY (Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) Lands. I spent a month in Yalata and got my clearance check so I could work with the younger children. It really sparked my interest in working with young kids. I thought, ‘I could totally do this as a career!’”
Since joining the Goodstart family in 2020, Paige has seized every learning opportunity available. Balancing study and full-time work can be a challenge, but with the support of her team, Paige never feels burnt out. She’s also been involved in several key initiatives, including her centre’s Reconciliation Action Plan and Quality Improvement Plan. But what Paige loves most of all is the vital role she plays in the early years of a child’s life.
“I don’t think early learning gets enough credit for the amazing outcomes it creates. It’s so much more than looking after children. There’s an incredible amount of planning, curriculum and education involved, all the way from the nursery to kindy. We nurture those important sensory and cognitive skills, foster relationships, and help children learn about the world.”
Paige has achieved so much in her two years at Goodstart, it’s difficult to choose just one stand-out! But perhaps her proudest moment is when the children she’s helped nurture graduate to primary school.
“Just this week, some of the children have come to the centre to show off their school uniform before their first day of school. It’s a little emotional seeing them go off to school, ready for their next adventure. But knowing I’ve been part of their growth and supported them in their learning, that’s super rewarding. You feel like you’ve done a good job.”
A pathway for success
Paige has a strong vision and path for her future. Once she completes her Certificate III, she plans to study her Diploma of Early Childhood Education and continue her learning from there.
“Changing my career from hospitality to early childhood education is the best thing I’ve done. It’s helped build my confidence, and there is always someone you can lean on for guidance and support. This is a permanent career for me. I’m focused on working towards the future, so my goal is to one day be a Centre Director. I just love what I do. I’m excited to come to work, and some days I don’t even want to leave, so I hang around a bit longer!”
With Paige’s drive and determination, the sky is the limit at Goodstart! And we can’t wait to see her continue to flourish. Her advice to anyone thinking of a career in early learning? Be yourself - and bring a sense of fun!
“They say it takes a whole village to raise a child, so it’s good to have people with different skills and personalities. The most important thing is to be comforting and warm, and to be someone who can have a bit of fun! These children look up to you so much - they’re excited to see you, they want to play with you. Yes, they will want you to get wet during water play, and they will spray you with the sprinkler! So, be fun, be nurturing, and you’ll have an amazing experience.”
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