The business faces of Cowra: Susan Callaghan

Susan Callaghan

Susan Callaghan

As part of our continuing series, the Cowra Guardian recently caught up with the Director of Carinya Early Childhood Centre and Cowra Early Childhood Services, Susan Callaghan.

We chatted to Susan about her nearly three decade career in the sector and what has changed in the industry throughout the years.

How/why did you begin a career in early and middle childhood education and care and how long have you been working within the sector?

I have been working within the sector for almost 30 years after knowing for as long as I can remember I wanted a career working with children.

I considered working with school age children, however fell into an early childhood course in Wagga and have never looked back.

My career has predominantly been within early and middle childhood settings however also spans into teaching and mentoring other professionals within the sector and community engagement work.

What inspires you most about working with children in the early and middle childhood years?

The relationships with children and families are the most rewarding.

Knowing your relationship with them can make a difference to their wellbeing, growth, and learning.

Sharing my knowledge and experience and supporting their decisions and challenging them to try new experiences and reach their potential.

Inspiring and being inspired by my colleagues is also a highlight within my everyday work within the early childhood sector.

There are some clever, motivated professionals doing some great work within the early years space.

Without naming names, are there any memorable children you've looked after/taught that stand out to you and why?

I couldn't mention just one or two - there are so many amazing children reaching their own individual goals.

I guess the most inspiring experiences with children are those when you witness a child conquer a fear, master a new skill or have a belly laugh with you about something that has happened.

How has early/middle childhood changed over the years?

Children haven't changed! Society and lifestyles have definitely changed.

And the administrative requirements have certainly changed.

From when I began in early childhood, there are more families working longer hours and lifestyles are faster pace.

This emphasising the importance for early childhood environments to be stable and nurturing for children and families.

The regulatory requirements and record keeping has increased considerably and we have had to be smart in how to meet requirements and keep processes simple.

What would be your advice for people looking at a career in early or middle childhood?

Do it! It will be the most rewarding choice you make.

Come and have a chat with me - I'd love the opportunity to guide you into a successful career in early childhood.

Tell us something about yourself that people may not know about?

I led the introduction of above award wages within Cowra Early Childhood Services - an initiative the sector and its professionals deserve.

Now to advocate to the government for universal change, respect and recognition.

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