Number one! Top child care centre, educator named
THE Northern Rivers is home to many wonderful child care educators and centres.
The Northern Star is running its Best of Northern Rivers 2019 series, and readers were asked to nominate a child care educator who goes above and beyond in their role, and the best child care centre.
When The Northern Star put a call out to find the best child care centres in the region, people inundated the post to nominate Nestle In Goonellabah and one of its educators, Sarah Clydsdale.
The "committed" Ms Clydsdale went on to receive the most votes in our online poll, with those that know her singing her praise.
Ms Clydsdale felt overwhelmed to have so many colleagues and parents recognise her work and dedication as a child care educator.
She has worked at Nestle In Goonellabah for a more than a year and has been in the industry for more than eight years.
Goonellabah Nestle In Preschool and Early Learning Centre was also the winner in The Northern Star's best childcare centre poll.
Ms Clydsdale works in the 0-2 year old room.
"My background is working with school-aged children. I wanted to work with younger children so I retrained myself as a mature-age student to get back into the industry,' she said.
"It was always my dream so I made that happen.
"My favourite thing is sharing those milestones with children, especially when a baby takes those first steps or rolls over for the first time.
"It's really important to be a part of that and share that with families."
Before Nestle In, Ms Clydsdale owned her own after school care business.
"I had a change of scenery from that and decided to go back to working with younger years. I've gone from older children talking to you all day to babies."
She said it felt wonderful to be recognised in her field, and said she noticed the nominations were a mix of parents from her previous business to parents of Nestle In.
"It's nice to be acknowledged from a variety of people... I was pretty proud of that," she said.
As for what makes a good child care centre she said it's all in "how the team works".
"Because it's a family-owned business, the owner Lisa Martin really has her heart and soul in the business, and that's what attracted me working here in the first place as I had come from that background.
"I think she's really in touch with all the families and all the children and that's the most important thing."
Reader Carla Evans said "the educators are amazing" at Nestle In Goonellabah.
"The centre is perfect - all food supplied and drinks. The owner is amazing as well she runs two centres and is perfect. I'm so glad I chose Goonellabah as my son has settled in perfectly."
The centre with the second most votes in the poll was Jumbunna Community Preschool and Early Intervention Centre Inc - Casino, and Kookaburra Early Learning Centre - Casino in third place.