Educator in the spotlight: Preethi Katekar

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  Published on Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Educator in the spotlight: Preethi Katekar

Library Home  >  Profiles & Interviews
  Published on Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The Australian early education sector is comprised of a range of people with diverse personal and professional experiences, but with one goal in common, to do their best to provide high quality early education and care experiences for our children.

Every month we shine the spotlight on an outstanding educator to showcase the wonderful work happening within our community. This week meet Preethi Katekar from Springvale Service for Children in Victoria.

What is your name and where do you work?
My name is Preethi, (Preety, as referred to by some of our four year old kinder children in our early childhood care) and I have been working in the child care industry for the past six years.

I work at Springvale Service for Children located at the heart of the culturally diverse suburb of Springvale, Victoria. We offer a large variety of services, including long day care and sessional kindergartens, a toy library, a bilingual library, a maternal child health nurse, play groups, etc...

We have nearly 30 staff working in both the long day care and kindergarten services and we are a huge service, connecting with and rendering varied community services together.

When I started my career here in Australia, I was a in hospitality, while pursuing my Diploma studies in early childhood.  I was also a mother of two young children, trying to navigate work- family balance.

When I began my early childhood career, I was really looking for an opportunity to learn new things and be inspired by the work of others. That's when I have found my passion for caring and educating children.  

What does a normal day look like for you?
Our normal day starts with organising and getting the room ready, greeting and communicating with the families.

This has been very different this year with the many changes in our procedures. My enjoyment of engaging and communicating with children through playing, learning, and interacting means that children can thrive and be the best they can be.

My role as sustainability champion has seen me get involved in driving our vision for a sustainable future with children families and colleagues. We have seen huge changes in our practices regarding sustainability and I have supported its growth throughout the year.

What makes your service unique?
The diverse nature of our service is evident as you walk through our corridors and through the experiences we provide for children. We hear a multitude of languages throughout the day in teacher/conversations and exchanges between our educators and families.

Advantages of working in early childhood education and care?
Smiles and loves: The ways the younger ones create a strong bond with their smiles, love, trust, and relationships, just fills your hearts. Early education is a fun and enjoyable career that lets you build amazing relationships. 

I'm very proud to watch children grow and develop, child care is a growth industry, offering flexible working hours, it enables career progression and is a fun and enjoyable career, while also making it possible to have a young family. 

Some of the biggest challenges facing the sector?
The child care sector has its own rewards as well as challenges. At the moment it's been about adapting to change in a very fluid time.  Our team has had to be very dynamic in our thinking and continue to support our families and children, while also considering our own wellbeing.

How has your service changed to deal with these challenges?
We have focused on emotional resilience and well being initiatives  for staff, children and families.

How does the early childhood industry need to change to adapt to these challenges?
I think there should be additional funding into wellbeing programs for early childhood.

What advice would you offer for career or looking for a promotion in ECEC?
Gain as much knowledge as you can as you going forward into your career.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Monday, 29 March 2021