Lee-Anne Most's parent community have been enthusiastic about her win in the 2015 Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards, and her colleagues at Glendale Early Education Centre have been equally supportive. One of the families presented her with a bottle of wine while her colleagues threw a party in celebration not only of Lee-Anne's win, but also the nominations of three other staff members Leanne Tindall, Jo Kenny and Linda McPherson.
The parent who nominated Lee-Anne, Tracey Evans, said Lee-Anne is perfectly suited to her job and is "So inspiring that I couldn't let her not be nominated!". In her nomination form, Tracey shared how grateful her family is for Lee-Anne's "amazing insight into individual children".
"We feel so lucky that our child has been in her care for a few years – we believe she has made a positive contribution to her development and continues to do so each day. Our daughter considers Lee-anne as a significant, special person in her life because of the care she has received."
Lee-Anne is modest about her national win and sees it as a team victory. The programs that Lee-Anne implements are team-run programs and she acknowledges the passion that each staff member has for early education and care.
Vicki Geach, Glendale's director says the flow-on effect of Lee-Anne's win has been a very positive influence on the motivation of all the centre's staff. "To get that recognition and verification from an outside party has been really positive and inspiring to the whole team", she said.
Lee-Anne also acknowledges that it's been very positive and validating for parents. Families feel encouraged and even more secure that their children attend a service that has received this level of recognition.
Since the announcement of her win, Lee-Anne has been able to promote Glendale EEC during an interview on Radio ABC Newcastle. Speaking on live radio was challenging for Lee-Anne who, although eloquent, is very humble by nature; but with part of her prize being a customised promotional plan for her service, she'll soon find promoting herself and her team to the media a piece of cake!
Lee-Anne is still contemplating exactly how she will use her $9,000 in training and professional development grants but is likely to go to an overseas early childhood conference or on a study tour.
Four of Glendale's staff members were nominated in the Early Education & Care Awards this year, with Lee-Anne and her co-worker Leanne Tindall sending a written submission for the next stage of judging.
Vicki says she and Lee-Anne would both love to be part of the Awards again in 2016. "It's been incredible to have our passion recognised with this award for Lee-Anne, so we are hoping that the centre receives nominations in all four categories next year!"
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