Would you like to help give children the best start to life? Olga Shields is a Child and Family Practitioner who is passionate about building strong connections so that children and their families may thrive. Find out why Olga chooses to make a difference as an Allied Health professional at Goodstart Early Learning.
Shaping our future generations
For Olga Shields, every day is an opportunity to help children reach their full potential. And it all starts with nurturing trusting relationships in a safe, learning-rich environment.
“I’m passionate about working in the early years, and I’m really proud of the relationships I’m making,” Olga says. “That connection creates a safe space for the children and the Educators I'm working with. I feel proud because I’m seeing the progress in the child, but I’m seeing the development in our Educators as well.”
Olga is one of our compassionate and purpose-driven Child and Family Practitioners. Based in South Australia, Olga works across multiple Goodstart Early Learning Centres to ensure the children in our care get the services and support they need to have the very best start in life.
“My role is to work alongside Educators to implement relationship-based approaches that support children’s social and emotional development, wellbeing and inclusion,” Olga says. “Our service is all about relationships, so we spend a lot of time growing relationships with Centre Directors, Educators, families and children to build trust and safety.”
We know each child is wonderfully unique, and they learn and develop at different paces. Olga is part of a team of Allied Health professionals who educate and guide Goodstart’s people to identify children who could benefit from early support. By building our team members’ capabilities, Olga is contributing to a better outlook for Australia’s children.
“I truly believe that Educators have one of the most important roles in our society: shaping and educating our future generations. My hope is that by sharing knowledge and working together, we, as Allied Health professionals, can add further value to the already wonderful job Educators do on a daily basis, and this makes me feel really excited about the future.”
Are you searching for a meaningful career, supportive culture and the chance to grow? Join our team of allied health professionals today!
A job that changes lives…
As a respected mentor, Olga spends a significant part of her day on the floor with our Educators, role modelling practices related to a child’s specific goals.
“These might include supporting children with the transitions in and out of care, improving their relationships with both their peers and Educators, and developing their social skills - things like turn-taking, entering in to play, maintaining play and engagement,” Olga says. “My favourite part of the day is being on the floor with the children and Educators, seeing their smiling faces and the relationships they’ve built.”
Olga also coaches Educators to reflect on their practices to build their confidence and skills. “It’s a multidisciplinary approach, so I also work with other members of the child’s team, such as the Centre Directors, other Allied Health team members and, of course, the family. I really enjoy that part of my work.”
For Olga, working as a Child and Family Practitioner with Goodstart is more than just a job - it’s a calling that changes lives and gives her a deep sense of purpose.
“I feel proud to work for a not-for-profit organisation that’s values, purpose and vision align with my professional identity and values. Goodstart’s commitment to supporting all children and families, particularly our most vulnerable, is incredible.”
A place that works for you
As a busy mum, flexibility is a must for Olga. At Goodstart, she relishes having control of her calendar as she works across multiple centres. Olga also values the learning and development opportunities on offer.
“At Goodstart, professional growth is valued. We have access to professional development opportunities in-house and externally, access to regular clinical and managerial supervision, and other supports to tap into.”
Working as part of a multidisciplinary team means Olga is constantly learning from other early learning professionals. This helps her make an even greater difference in our safe, welcoming environment.
“Our team is incredible. They’re passionate, strengths-based and supportive people, and each person brings their own set of skills. They’re really open to sharing their knowledge to support our personal and professional growth, which allows us to support children in a holistic manner. You really feel like a valued team member, where your strengths are known and celebrated, and your voice is heard.”
And if you’re a new graduate or someone considering a meaningful career change? Olga’s advice is simple: “If you’d like to make a difference, please come and join our Allied Health team at Goodstart – we’d love to learn from you!”