Local childcare centres named WA finalists in Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards


Smileys Childcare Centre staff Sarah Skilandis, Shari Edwards and Gabrielle Sear with Kaleigh Carlyon and Lyla Pritchard. Picture: Matt Jelonek          d468636
Smileys Childcare Centre staff Sarah Skilandis, Shari Edwards and Gabrielle Sear with Kaleigh Carlyon and Lyla Pritchard. Picture: Matt Jelonek        d468636

THREE local childcare centres have cemented themselves as some of the best in the state after they were named WA finalists in the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards.

Smileys Childcare Centre in White Gum Valley is no stranger to the accolade, having won the state title last year in the Early Childhood Educator of the Year category, an award they are up for again alongside the Rising Star.

Hilton’s First Steps Early Learning and White Gum Valley’s Little Learners Early Development and Education Centre are finalists in the Early Childhood Educator and Early Childhood Service categories respectively.

Smileys Childcare Centre’s Emma Crabtree said the recognition was a credit to the hard work of finalists Gabrielle Sear and Sarah Skilandis.

“As a centre we are extremely proud to have educators that pride themselves in being at such a high standard and is something we 100 per cent support them in,” she said.

“The fact that we have two educators from Smileys and one from our sister centre First Steps Early Learning is amazing; to be able to showcase nationally the hard work the educators put in on a daily basis and have them represent our centres is such an honour.”

Little Learners director Ken Scott-Hamilton said they were “delighted” with the recognition.

“We believe that the finalist nomination is reflective of the commitment, dedication and passion of all of the staff as they continuously strive to improve and who offer high quality care, inclusive, educational and learning outcomes for the children,” he said.

“To be shortlisted out of 1700-plus National nominees to one of only five state finalist’s for Early Childhood Service of the Year is amazing and whatever the outcome we are delighted.”

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