We caught up with the new Florey School Age Care director, Amanda Flemming, for a chat. In just a few short months Amanda has impressed a lot of people with her knowledge and experience in school age care.
How long have you been here at BCS?
I have only been at BCS since last October however I’ve been a school age care director for 19 years. I’ve completed one full term at Florey since commencing with BCS. This year we are working towards have more programmed activities. We are also working with the children to get their input into things like the menu and the program. I am really excited about an upcoming art project in the community, I think that will be something fun for the children to participate in an excursion.
What do you do as Florey School Aged Care Director?
I lead a team of four to five Educators and together we look after 40 to 60 children each day. My role includes completing the programming, all the administration, and I communicate with families and the school. Our role in general involves a great deal: the day-to-day running of the service, making sure all the children are present and accounted for, following up on any incident reports with families, etc. At the moment the families are learning the Kiosk system for logging attendances. Ultimately the responsibility of this going well rests with me.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy school age care because I get to watch the children grow from little people in Kindergarten right through to year six if they are still part of the program and beyond. Quite often children have younger siblings who come through as well. I feel I can have normal conversations with the children and I can ask them questions, and together we can explore the world together. In school age care the children are individuals with opinions of their own and they know their rights and they know what they want and can challenge the educators just as much as we can challenge them.
Why is school age care so important?
The age that children are when they attend school age care is a very important part of children’s development. School age care is just as important as long day care. We are that next point of call between school and home and over the years school age care has developed into quite a big industry. I have a 60 place program however there are other providers who have 150 place programs. School age care is also about providing the children with that extra person or that extra place to feel connected and feel like they have somewhere to go, and also to feel like it’s a home before home as parents are working longer hours. I believe we can build life skills at after school care because it is the skills you don’t learn in a classroom. It is about learning those socialising skills a lot of children struggle with. It is about learning how to make a sandwich or how to do the washing up. Some children don’t yet know how to cook so giving them that experience that they can take home and do with their families is a great experience. It is important to build the relationship from the beginning and to build that trust relationship with the children.
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