MercyCare / News / Caring for a generation of children is child’s play for these educators

Caring for a generation of children is child’s play for these educators

There is definitely something special about our Wembley Early Learning Centre and the educators think so too. Nine of the Wembley educators have been at the centre for more than 13 years!

Some have even been at the centre for two or three decades or more, including the longest serving staff member who this year is celebrating her 35th year at the centre.

Anna Germano began working at our Wembley site in 1985 when it was known as the Catherine McAuley Child Day Care Centre.

While she spent a year in an office job immediately after high school, once she completed her studies in child care and joined the team at Wembley, she knew this was the industry for her.

She said while structures, procedures and policies within child care may have changed throughout the past four decades, what was at the heart of her role would always be the same.

“The children come first and if they are happy then it all flows,” Ms Germano said.

Living locally means she has been able to see many of the children she has cared for grow up around her, often running in to families at nearby shops and cafes.

Ms Germano has even cared for two generations of the same family more than once.

She said moving between the different age groups at the centre and taking part in workshops and training have kept her work interesting.

“There are always new ideas to bring to the role,” Ms Germano said.

MercyCare Early Learning Services Manager Rosina Smith said having long-term staff like Ms Germano at the centre helped build a positive environment for families.

“For children, there is huge comfort in seeing the same faces at a place, day-in and day-out,” she said.

“Continuity of care allows children to form secure attachments and provides them the ability to form connections and build relationships.

“Such relationships help children to be confident and competent learners, children will attempt new challenges and are more resilient when things ‘go wrong’,” Ms Smith said.

“It is thanks to our dedicated staff that MercyCare can support families and children through this important phase of life and continue working towards our vision for people and communities to thrive.”

Wembley educators: Prema Xaveridas – 15 years, Renae Malcolm – 14 years, Alex Kurz – 13 years, Anna Germano – 35 years, Katrina Lightbody – 17 years, Felicity Santoro – 27 years, Mandica Kampic – 23 years and Kim Wilhelm – 15 years. Not pictured – Assunta McKenzie – 21 years.