Teagan Brady now enjoys working at TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre as an early childhood educator.

INSPIRED by her own early learning experiences, Teagan Brady has returned to her childhood kindergarten to educate the next generation of children in the Whittlesea township.

Since opening its doors in December 1992, TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre has strived to enrich the lives and identities of children and families, with an aim of promoting each child’s sense of belonging, being and becoming.

It is the first and longest-running childcare centre in Whittlesea and has a dedicated team of early childhood educators, some of whom have worked at the centre for more than 20 years. The centre also has a history of working with and supporting the local community.

Ms Brady had little idea she would one day be an employee at Whittlesea Children’s Centre after attending childcare there from the age of one through to kindergarten.

Today she cares for children between the ages of two and three in the centre’s Kangaroo Room.

“I began attending TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre from 1999 and the best thing I remember about being there as a child was all the opportunities to learn, explore and to make friends. In fact, two of my closest friends in my now-adult life are from my time when I attended childcare there,” she said.

Teagan Brady as a child in 2003 wearing a white fairy dress and enjoying playtime with friends at TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre.

Operated by TRY Australia Children’s Services, a not-for-profit organisation managed by one of Victoria’s oldest charities, TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre offers long day care as well as an independent kindergarten program.

As part of the broader community, the centre has built relationships with local families that extend beyond the walls of the centre.

Relationships with families was one of the many reasons that drew Ms Brady back to the centre.

When asked what she valued most about working at the centre, Ms Brady said it was ‘the children, staff and the community’.

“Everyone knows everyone – it is like a family. The staff and families get to know each other so well,” she said.

As part of a State Government incentive to encourage workers into chosen study and work fields, Ms Brady received a university scholarship into a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education, which she is currently studying.

Among other fields of study, education is an area the government has placed importance on.

“Through working at TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre, I have been able to complete my Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, all the way through to doing my Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education,” Ms Brady said.

“I think I have always known [I wanted to be an early childhood educator].

“School and learning are the way to my heart. I think I am going to be a lifelong learner. I never want to stop.

“I actually did a year nine work placement at TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre and from then on, I just knew it was the right path.”

The staff at TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre comprise a balance of ages and many years of experience. In fact, some current staff members cared for Ms Brady as a child.

“Fiona, Tracey and Lorraine were all present for the later years of my early learning, and looked after myself or my brother. And Jo who currently works in the kinder room, was in the kinder room when I was there as a child,” Ms Brady said.

Ms Brady said she believed each child was unique and she was passionate about being able to see and help develop little personalities.

Like other staff, she said she strove to build collaborative relationships with families and to create personalised educational experiences and provide a fun and safe environment for children.

For more information about childcare or kindergarten at TRY Whittlesea Children’s Centre, people can call 9716 2153 or email whittlesea@try.org.au.