In this month’s spotlight on culture, we showcase three of our exceptional Educational Leaders who work tirelessly inspiring Educators and helping to continuously improve the quality of our Petit Early Learning Journey services. We invite them to share their stories and what makes a good Educational Leader.

Our team members come from diverse personal and professional backgrounds. While some Educators forge a career path straight from high school, others choose to change careers later in life, bringing with them different experiences and strengths.

If you are curious about changing careers or want to know more about the career paths available in early childhood education and care (ECEC) or why our people feel that a position as an Educational Leader is a fulfilling and worthy profession — read on.

Meet our exceptional Petit ELJ Educational Leaders:

  • Karin from Petit ELJ Murwillumbah (NSW)
  • Agnes from Petit ELJ Kew (VIC)
  • Ashleigh from Petit ELJ Port Douglas (QLD)

They mentor and support other Educators, strive for quality improvement in their services every day and best of all, share a goal to make children’s lives better.

 Karin inspiring other Educators to improve quality outcomes for children.

Karin Hill, Educational Leader, Petit ELJ Murwillumbah — inspiring other Educators to improve quality outcomes for children

Q: What aspects of the Educational Leader role do you enjoy the most?

“As Educational Leader at Petit ELJ Murwillumbah, I get to improve outcomes for all children in the service. By collaborating with all Educators to improve their pedagogy and practice, I support all children and their families.”

“I most enjoy inspiring Educators to work collaboratively on a goal as a service and then slowly see things changing and improving. Then, one day I turn around and notice that the goal is now embedded in practice.”

“I also love working one-on-one with Educators, especially after a reflective conversation when there is an ‘aha’ moment, when something new and murky suddenly becomes clear.”

“You can see the Educators’ eyes light up and you can see they have found some new inspiration. You just know they’re about to take their children on an amazing learning journey with them.”

Q: What are the most important responsibilities of an Educational Leader?

“My role is responsible for ensuring the practice and pedagogy of all Educators reflects the philosophy of the service. Petit Early Learning Journey’s philosophy is founded on current research and best practice, and when everyone works towards a common goal, the service flourishes. This is reflected in providing the best outcomes for children.”

Q: What motivated you to join the ECEC sector?

“Growing up, I was always frustrated when adults would speak for children and make decisions for them, without taking the time to listen. Children are capable and complicated, listening to them and learning from them is a gift. One that I get to enjoy every day.”

Q. What did you do before you joined the ECEC sector?

“After studying my Bachelor at University, I moved to England, where I worked in schools for 6 years and gained my qualification recognition in Primary Education. I met my husband there and together we moved back to Australia to start our family. It was then when I began working in early childhood settings”

“I came to realise that I enjoyed mentoring and inspiring Educators and helping to guide their pedagogy. This led me to my current role as Educational Leader.”

Q. Advice for prospective Educators considering this career path?

“Find a company like Petit ELJ that values the role of the Educational Leader. Somewhere that supports you with time, training, and professional development. Where you can grow as much in your role, as you support others to grow in theirs.”

Agnes observing a child, advocating for children’s rights by mentoring quality Educators.

Agnes Teo, Educational Leader, Petit ELJ Kew — advocating for children’s rights by mentoring quality Educators

Q: What aspects of the Educational Leader role do you enjoy the most?

“I enjoy sharing the joy and sense of achievement with both children and Educators most when they celebrate their learning successes and experiences with my support.”

“I love those special moments spent exploring and discovering new learning experiences with children as much as I enjoy professional discussions and the mentoring sessions, I have with Educators at Petit ELJ Kew.”

“These special moments recharge me as a leader and a mentor affirming that my role makes a difference in children’s learning journeys and Educators’ professional development.”

Q: What are the most important responsibilities of an Educational Leader?

“I feel the most important responsibility of an Educational Leader is to advocate for all children’s rights to quality education and care. To deliver on this responsibility, I must be able to lead, support and mentor Educators and teachers to be professional, intentional and engaging in their programs and practices.”

Q: What motivated you to join the ECEC sector?

“After becoming a parent, I could see the importance and defining role early childhood education and care has on my child’s learning journey. Each child needs a voice and a support for them to thrive in their early years. Early Childhood Educators play an important role in nurturing and growing children’s confidence and a love for learning.”

“I was inspired to be a part of this rewarding and important role in children’s learning journeys, and I have not looked back since.”

Q. What did you do before you joined the ECEC sector?

“My professional background before joining the ECEC sector was in business marketing. I have always loved interacting and engaging with people. I really enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the corporate world but when I had my child, I wanted to be more present in his early years.”

“My exposure as a parent to the early childhood education and care sector was meaningful and it inspired me to become a part of it. I then made a commitment to learn more about the sector and qualified for the role as an Educator.”

“I completed my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, and then worked my way up to this position from a casual co-Educator role. I have always loved learning from others, and I believe that my work experience has enriched my skills and capabilities as an Educational Leader.”

Q. Advice for prospective Educators considering this career path?

“Being an Educational Leader is a rewarding role but one that is also challenging. You constantly need to listen, reflect and support children and Educators. It is a role that will require you to learn as you are continuously teaching and mentoring others.”

“Personally, it is a role that has helped me grow the most as an Early Childhood Education professional and I wouldn’t change it in any way.”

Ashleigh, an Australian Educational Leader, playing with toddlers and inspiring Educators on their professional journey.

Ashleigh Gruber, Educational Leader, Petit ELJ Port Douglas — inspiring Educators on their professional journey

Q: What aspects of the Educational Leader role do you enjoy the most?

“I enjoy building positive relationships with families, their children, and Educators. It is rewarding to see other Educators that I mentor striving to be the best Educator they can be.”

“Part of the Educational Leader’s role is to observe and support Educators as they grow on their professional development journey, just like we do with the children in our service.”

“Another part that I enjoy is collaborating with our services’ teams to create their learning environments. I believe the environment is the third teacher and it plays a major part in the children’s learning journey.”

Q: What are the most important responsibilities of an Educational Leader?

“I think it is most important to build your relationships with all Educators and families and help contribute to making environments feel warm and welcoming. Other responsibilities include:

  • Creating a positive culture for Educators and be approachable so that Educators feel comfortable in having professional conversations.
  • Having collaborative conversations with Educators regarding their practice and experiences you observe.
  • Listening to Educators’ concerns, supporting their goals and helping them come up with solutions and strategies with problems they face together.
  • Continuing to support the team on their practices and collaborate with Educators to ensure that they understand and effectively implement the cycle of planning to enhance programs and practices.”

“Early childhood is always changing and as Educational Leaders we need to continue to research and develop new sound knowledge of the ever-changing system and extend this knowledge to our teams.”

Ashleigh supporting children's interests in gardening and inspiring Educators.

Q: What motivated you to join the ECEC sector?

“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to support children’s learning and help them grow. A particular interest of mine is creating inviting play environments where children can have meaningful experiences. I enjoy observing them discovering new interests. Now as Educational Leader, I get to encourage other Educators to grow as role models and educational leaders and inspire their passions.”

“It is obvious when Educators care about the new knowledge and skills that children are acquiring. We can learn so much from teaching and observing them. Children have a natural curiosity and a love for learning that brings them so much happiness and we share in their experience too.”

Q. What did you do before you joined the ECEC sector?

“I originally studied to be a Dispensary Assistant in a pharmacy in Yass, even though all I ever wanted to do was early childhood education and care. One and half years into my first career, I decided that even though I was enjoying it, my heart was still set on a career path in early childhood.”

“My new journey started with a Certificate III while gaining employment in the ECEC sector. My certificate was almost completed when I took on the opportunity to become a Lead Educator. I then went on to complete my Diploma.”

“Then, I transferred to Port Douglas with Petit ELJ to become the Lead Educator in the Baby Boulevard studio. I then had the opportunity to take on the role of the service’s Assistant Director. Astrid, Petit ELJ Port Douglas’ Centre Director has been an invaluable mentor along with Petit ELJ’s Educational and Practice leadership team and KGLearning, one of Petit ELJ’s professional partners.”

“I then went on to become both Assistant Director and Educational Leader. I love being in collaboration with KGLearning and digging deep into Petit ELJ’s online training and professional development sessions. They have helped me to grow and strive to be the best Educational Leader that I can be.”

Q. Advice for prospective Educators considering this career path?

“I am someone who wants to inspire other Educators, who wants to lead by example, to be a role model to a team who wants to come to work every day to teach, learn and grow in an inspiring environment and be a part of the ever-evolving journey we are on as Early Childhood Educators. I think anyone who wants to pursue this as a career needs to have this inspiration.”

Quality Educators and children gather in a group.

Become a quality Educator with Petit Early Learning Journey

Do you aspire to become a quality Educator? One who is mentored by exceptional Educational Leaders who thrive on continuous improvement, professional development, and who share the goal of helping young children to learn and grow?

At Petit ELJ we hire inspiring Educators, Lead Educators, Early Childhood Teachers, Educational Leaders, Centre Directors and Chefs who thrive on collaboration, mentorship, reflection and professional development.

Our teams are motivated by Educational Leaders passionate about delivering meaningful quality outcomes that improve children’s lives and love for learning.

Are you ready to join the Petit ELJ family?

Apply now to a service near you.