Look into the sparkling eyes of the children we nurture, and you’ll see it there: a bright and glorious future brimming with possibilities. At Goodstart, we see just as much potential in our young team members as they strive to reach their own personal and professional goals. One such person is Erin Kristof, who’s at the beginning of a rich and rewarding career. As a newly qualified Educator, Erin relishes the support she gets from her team to develop her skills and confidence. Best of all? Erin gets to do what she does best: help give children the greatest start to life.
A safe and welcoming environment
Not many jobs involve getting cuddles every day. But Erin Kristof’s does! It’s just one of the many wonderful benefits of being an Educator at Goodstart Early Learning.
“I love making the kids happy and building that connection with them,” Erin says. “During my placement, one of the boys in the toddler room was quite upset. The other Educators tried to get him to settle, but nothing worked. So, I called his name, and he came straight over to me for a cuddle. Moments like that are so special and make you feel great.”
Warm and bubbly, Erin is a natural fit in the nursery room at Goodstart Reservoir. You can see it in her playful interactions and strong bonds with the children. But surprisingly, Erin did not always want a career in early childhood education!
“Originally, I wanted to be a vet. But once my brother had his children, I loved babysitting my niece and nephew and realised I wanted to do something around working with children.”
Encouraged by her sister-in-law, the Centre Director at Goodstart Epping, Erin completed her high school work experience with the Epping team. And sure enough, Erin made up her mind: she would pursue a career in early learning.
After completing her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education, which included a placement at Goodstart Rosanna, Erin was delighted to be offered an Educator role at our Reservoir centre. And she’s been supported every step of the way.
“Everyone has been so helpful and welcoming, especially my Centre Director and Educational Leader. They’ve invested in my development and answered all my questions beautifully. I couldn’t ask for better support.”
Developing healthy, happy individuals
Being an Educator in the nursery room means creating a safe and engaging space for children aged six weeks to 18 months. Erin is dedicated to delivering fun and enriching learning experiences that help develop children’s fine and gross motor skills, language, creativity and social awareness.
“I love the younger age group - they’re just so bright and happy. They’re a lot of fun to be around. We encourage them to interact with each other and get them outside as much as possible. They love it outside, especially water play - we set up a shallow tub with a bit of water, and they have so much fun splashing around. We have a lot of creative play with art, music and dancing - all fun learning activities that spark children’s imagination so that when they’re older, they can be strong, creative individuals.”
Erin lets her creativity come to the fore as she implements new ideas and play-based learning activities. But flexibility is also important, so she takes into account each child’s unique personality, interests and needs.
Most importantly, Erin can see the impact of her work - on children, families, and the community.
“It means a lot to me when parents thank us for what we do. When the children are happy, it makes me happy. It’s rewarding knowing we’re helping them gain the skills, knowledge and confidence that will help set them up in the future.”
A team that works together
An avid outdoors person, Erin’s weekends are action-packed. You’ll often find her water skiing, kneeboarding, fishing or camping - great outlets after a busy working week! But at Goodstart, Erin says she never feels burdened, and always has a friendly colleague to turn to for support.
“There’s always great communication between everyone. We’ll check in on each other and take turns doing certain tasks. It’s a wonderful team.”
The future’s bright for Erin, who plans to continue to grow in her role and seize every opportunity to learn. And if you’re interested in beginning a career in early childhood education? Erin says you can’t go wrong at Goodstart.
“It has a great reputation with a big focus on professional development and trying new things. If you’re bright, bubbly and motivated to make a positive impact, I think you’ll find it a really rewarding career.”