100, not out

Staff from Doveton ELC have collectively worked 100 years at the centre.


AN EARLY learning centre nestled in the heart of Doveton has just clocked up 100 years of experience.
The 10 staff members at Mission Australia’s Doveton Early Learning Centre have a collective century’s worth of experience at the facility, nurturing children from throughout Doveton and the surrounding suburbs for decades.
Mission Australia’s Doveton ELC has been a pioneer in supporting migrants new to the region who are looking for a friendly and reliable child service, centre manager Venicia Fonceca said this week.
“The families that send their children here are mostly migrants, so English will be their second or even third language,” she said.
“We encourage these families to know more about early childhood services in the area and we help educate them.
“Our children are in an early developmental stage and we invite cultural discussions with parents and also educate them on how their children will stand up for themselves in the big wide world.
“Building partnership with families is very important.”
The ELC, found at Liquidamber Street in Doveton, is planning to celebrate the milestone with a special multicultural day complete with dress-ups, food and dancing.
The centre, which caters for over 80 children, will also benefit from an $80,000 donation from the Abbott Foundation which will be used to build an Outdoor Discovery Garden at the ELC, for which construction is expected to begin in September.
Ms Fonceca has worked at the Doveton ELC for 13 years and she said its longevity was due, in part, to the staff’s “shared passion” for early childhood education.
“I’m convinced that it’s that shared passion that means our staff provide the best possible start in life for the children, and it’s also what keeps us strong and keen to keep working together for such a long period of time,” she said.
“The consistency of the staff group is also another benefit for the children – it helps with their well-being if they’re comfortable and familiar with the same staff.
“We know that if we can provide children with quality preschool education and learning opportunities early in life, their chances of success in school and adult life are significantly boosted.”
Deputy Manager Melissa Simpson, who has worked at the ELC for 14 years, said parents were encouraged for their children to use the centre because of the experienced staff.
“I’ve worked in other places where staff come and go, and not everyone puts in after hours or goes to all the meetings, but here we all work together for each other, which makes it a special place to work, and a special place for the children,” she said.