A dedicated family day care educator for almost 16 years, local Tara Utting has been recognised as one of the nation’s finest early childhood educators.
Ms Utting was recently announced as the Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula regional winner in the 2018 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards.
Put simply, Tara says she loves working with children.
“I enjoy watching them grow and develop, they are spontaneous and come up with funny sayings that make you laugh,” she said.
“Being a family day care educator takes patience and empathy. You really have to love your job and the children.”
Tara says it’s important for families to know that their children are being loved and look after at family day care just as they would be at home.
“The home environment is great for families wanting a smaller care setting opposed to a childcare centre which can be overwhelming with high numbers of children,” she said.
Ms Utting regularly takes children out to local playgroups, playgrounds, and story time at the Whyalla Public Library.
“I have also set up excursions to our local aged care facilities, emergency services and events organised by our local family day care office,” she said.
“Networking is also important for educators and children. We love catching up with friends and families we meet while out and about.”
Family Day Care Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Paterson praised Tara for her work in family day care.
“The Excellence in Family Day Care Awards highlight the special contribution that educators like Tara make to the lives of the children in their care,” he said.
“To be chosen as a regional winner is not only a reward for Tara’s dedication to providing quality early childhood education and care, it also underlines the relationship that Tara has with the children in her care.”
Tara now goes in the running to be named as a national finalist in the awards, with the finalists will be announced on August 6.