By Steph McNicol
Bee You Family Day Care educator Tamara Ruffin has been recognised nationwide for her excellence, winning one of just five regional awards in Australia.
The 2019 Excellence in Family Day Care Award declared Ms Ruffin the regional winner for Shepparton and Goulburn Valley last month.
Ms Ruffin said she didn’t expect to win the award and she was still trying to let it sink in.
“I didn’t expect this at all, I’m so overwhelmed. I have such a wonderful group of families supporting me and I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.
“They mean the world to me and their children mean the world to me. I’m so blessed to be recognised but everyone plays a part in this.
“I’m very proud. I have two beautiful girls and to be acknowledged as a mum for helping the community is a blessing to me. The community has all been a part of it.”
Ms Ruffin said she was nominated by several families for the award.
“Everybody in Family Day Care receives nominations from their families and each year people can nominate someone for the award. I was very lucky to have multiple nominations from the families at my day care,” she said.
Ms Ruffin said one of the challenges was managing the day care on her own.
“I run it by myself from home, so it can be difficult. But I do receive mentorship from Murrindindi Family Day Care which makes it easier,” she said.
“It also makes it easier to connect the kids to the community when we go for walks to the park or participate in programs like The Bush Bus. It also gives me a chance to talk to other educators and connect with them.
“But we don’t talk about the struggles so much, we also celebrate each other’s achievements and support each other’s wellbeing. When the children see that, it also supports them.”
The Excellence in Family Day Care Award celebrates the uniqueness and diversity of family day care and highlight the benefits of choosing day care as an early childhood education.