Shelley Carlin - Marjorie Mann Lawley Day Care Centre

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  Published on Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Shelley Carlin - Marjorie Mann Lawley Day Care Centre

Library Home  >  Profiles & Interviews
  Published on Tuesday, 15 May 2018

What is your full name?

My name is Shelley Carlin and I am 37 years young!

Which service do you work in? How many staff and children are in your service?

I am the director of Marjorie Mann Lawley Day Care Centre which caters for 52 children and has 23 staff on the books. I support part time work for my staff to ensure a better work life balance, which is why we have such a high number of educators.

What is your professional background and career experience?

I started in child care at 14 years 9 months, when my parents told me it was time to go and find a part time job. I remember thinking "what am I going to do?" Mum asked me what I enjoyed doing, and after thinking about it for a while I told her that I loved sport and playing with my younger cousins.

There happened to be a new child care centre being built at the end of my street, so I went and put my name down and got some part time work after school, mainly cleaning but sometimes playing with the children (which was way more fun). After a few months, a full time junior position was offered to me, I was so excited to leave school and earn some money.

My parents on the other hand had some concerns, as they wanted me to finish school and continue studying. After conversations with the school and as a family, we agreed that if this is what I really wanted to do I could take the job but had to work towards my qualifications at night.

I completed my Certificate II, Certificate III and Diploma and worked my way up the chain junior, senior, qualified, 2IC and then director. Which is where I can apply my true passion to make a better tomorrow for the children

What does a 'normal' day look like for you?

I enjoy child care as every day is different, you could be having a bad day or feeling a little sad but a smile, hug or even "I lobe you" can make your day.

What makes your service unique?

Marjorie Mann is unique as we are a community-based centre inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education and care. Marjorie Mann has a home like feel and I manage a team of passionate educators who all contribute to making this a very special service.

What are some of the advantages of working in early childhood education and care?

Working with children can be challenging, but the joy in a child’s face when they achieve something you have been teaching them for the first time, or when they meet a milestone, makes it all worthwhile.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing the sector?

I think one of the biggest challenges the sector faces is the stigma that we are just babysitters and the continual battle for pay equality, as this is a low paid job passionate people are leaving the industry every day.

How has your service changed to deal with these challenges?

At Marjorie Mann we strive to retain good staff and achieve this by paying above award wages. We are 95 per cent qualified and have extra educators in every room, we encourage part time work to support work life balance and we invest in professional development to make sure staff are up to date.

What advice would you offer someone thinking about a career or looking for a promotion in early childhood education and care?

I would encourage anyone who views children as unique individuals and who want to be part of making a difference to our next generation and educating our future, to sign up for your Certificate III.

It won't always be easy or fun, but it will always bring you joy, love and laughter (sometimes all three in the space of one minute). Child care is a truly rewarding industry so if you have the passion take the chance.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Friday, 24 January 2020