Mrs Walsh, from Goodstart Osborne, is among four exceptional educators in South Australia selected for Australia’s biggest award in the early years’ education sector.
“What I love most about working in early learning, apart from helping children learn and grow, is the genuine, reciprocal relationships with families,” Mrs Walsh said.
Mrs Walsh started studying her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in 2014, before joining the centre as an educator in the nursery room a year later.
“I absolutely love working in the early childhood sector. I believe children are curious from infancy and have the desire to learn from their environment and those around them, and this is part of my personal philosophy that I take pride in every day.”
Mrs Walsh said she focuses on helping children feel safe, secure and supported in their learning environments.
“I work closely with families to create a caring, loving, environment, where every child’s abilities, interests and routines are respected and followed,” Mrs Walsh said.
“I love what I do and the relationships that I’ve built over the years, we basically feel like one big family.
“I’m extremely humbled to be nominated, and I’m very grateful people went out of their way to acknowledge the work educators do every day.”
Centre director Amy Boundy said, the team are extremely proud of Mrs Walsh’s accomplishments.
“Leonie is a passionate, motivated educator who always has the children’s best interests at heart,” Ms Boundy said.
Mrs Walsh has plans to continue her studies in the future to deepen her understanding of child development and complete a Diploma of Early Childhood Education. She also hopes to become room leader developing educational programs and mentoring other educators.
The 2017 Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards state winners will be announced on 23 May with national winners announced 16 June.