FROM morning to afternoon, Alicia Fieldgate and Amy Smith are surrounded by children.
It’s a situation that would make many cringe, but for the Amici Early Learning Piara Waters pair, spending the day playing, teaching and interacting with children is a fulfilling part of their day.
The pair’s dedication to the area’s children has seen them nominated in this year’s Australian Early Education and Care Awards, Ms Smith in the Early Childhood Director of the Year category and Ms Fieldgate in the Rising Star category.
Ms Fieldgate said she was honoured with the nomination, especially given childcare hadn’t even been in her long term plan.
“I have always loved kids and wanted to work as an education assistant in a school but when I saw I could do a traineeship to work and study at the same time I thought it was perfect,” she said.
“I would finish my diploma and might be able to use what I gain to help with an education assistant course, but I fell in love with working with the younger children, finished my diploma and didn’t look back.
“I find it so rewarding to watch children grow and develop in the early years, I love watching them through their development as they learn to walk and talk, make friends and build relationships and you get a sense of pride knowing you have been apart of that development.
“I feel very honoured-I do my job for the privilege of being able to mould the minds of the children in the early years and it never crossed my mind that the things I do on a daily basis would get me recognised for an award.”
Finalists will be announced on April 19, with state winners announced on May 23.