writingsReflections of a new In-Home Educator

Almost all my working life of some 34 years I have worked with parents and children. The children have been of various ages: 3 months to 4 years when I was a nanny; 3 to 5 years as a Preschool Director; Kindergarten to year 6 as an OOSH worker (holiday and after school care for a short period); 17 & 18 year olds as a TVET teacher at TAFE and then with adults, teaching Chil Studies at TAFE.
All the years and all the experiences have brought me to this period in time when I now have the opportunity to share some of this experience and some of this knowledge with a family who is opening my eyes to first-hand experiences of being a child and growing up in a world of hardship, uncertainty and inconsequence.

I am a new In Home Educator of a family with a mum and 4 children from East Africa. What a privilege it is to be a trusted part of this family. I am in awe of the drive and determination of this mother to educate herself so that she may succeed in a world vastly different from the one she was raised in. After 20 months of living in Australia as a refugee, she has learnt English to such a proficient degree, that she now has her car licence, uses a computer with considerable skill, converses with anyone – either face-to-face or on the phone, interprets for other African woman at a local Support Agency and discusses with me, numerous reflections she has about her past and hopes for her future and the future of her children (However, Australian Slang, she says is like another language and very difficult to learn!).

The children I care for (and their mum) love all the activities I bring to the house. Books, paper for drawing, pasting and cutting, puzzles, play dough and everything/anything else I bring are enthusiastically examined and played with. Any cooking experiences are also a source of whole-hearted participation, the results consumed with always some left for mum to eat when she returns home. In time, mum would like to learn to cook what the children and I cook and I look forward to ensuring this happens.

Excursions enable the children to interact with different and interesting people while participating in new experiences. Visits to the Library for story time and craft, the park, playgroup and any other venue which is of interest can be good fun too.

I relish the opportunity to witness the blossoming of this family. Coffs Harbour Family Day Care is a wonderful support for me and together we can provide the means for all the family to grow. Mum and I are at the beginning of a partnership that can make a difference to us both.

Ann Carr

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