Toni from Goodstart Bundaberg, George Street, Queensland
Toni is the new centre director in this early learning service and was transferred to this long day care centre from Brisbane about five months ago. Toni didn’t really know much about Bundaberg or the centre but was keen to find out as much as she could about the community, she would call home for many years to come.
As a new leader, Toni really wanted to understand her team, to build meaningful relationships with each and every educator, to strengthen everyone’s sense of belonging, and support professional knowledge and practice. She was striving to promote ongoing learning and embed the results of this in her day-to-day practice.
Toni started with the team at staff meetings: watching the videos, reading through the articles and workbooks together. She focused on building foundations and clarifying their collaborative goals and aspirations.
Professional Learning space
“I realised I needed to think about allocating more time and creating an environment that enabled meaningful professional learning and reflection,” says Toni.
“The service did not have a space that was dedicated for Professional Learning and conversations – we needed a Professional Learning space.”
Toni spent time exploring the online resources and printed off a number of e-books, relevant posters and information sheets. “We all worked hard to create this professional learning space and we love it!” says Toni.
Benefits of Be You
“We have been looking forward to the launch of Be You and to continue our professional learning through this new, integrated mental health framework,” says Toni. “This new platform will create numerous opportunities for us to connect not only with other early learning services but also with schools. I can’t wait to hear their stories. My colleagues and I will really benefit from these national professional networks, shared reflections and I am sure we will make many new friends through Be You.”
Toni recognises that being able to refer families to the Be You resources across the age range will assist in promoting mental health within the community.
It will also be very beneficial to use one website and resource bank alongside other schools. “The fact that we are actively engaged in mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention will support us in our efforts to connect with local schools, to find ways to advocate for the wellbeing of children together, and to potentially collaborate with schools on shared projects”, says Toni.
“Be You will help us strengthen our connection with schools and hopefully to advocate for our professional identity. Overall, I feel very fortunate that I am able to do the work I do in my community – with the help of Be You and our Be You Consultant I am sure we will achieve great things."