Educator Spotlight: Sharon Taylor

‘It’s like a home away from home,’ says Sharon Taylor from her veggie-filled garden in Mount Riverview. From this nurturing home, Sharon operates a child-centred and sustainable family day care service.

Sharon reveals her ideas about child care and what she loves about being a Blue Mountains Family Day Care educator: 

What’s the best thing about being a Blue Mountains Family Day Care educator?

The lifestyle, working from home, not being stuck behind a desk and, to some degree, getting out of the house, such as when I take the children on excursions. There’s a sense of freedom, to be my own boss, and operate by my own philosophy.

What is that philosophy?

It’s very child-centred. And I have a Marte Meo practitioner qualification. It’s about respectful communication to support the children’s social, emotional and communication development.

What do you offer in your service that’s different to other day care?

Mine is a family home based service. The children interact with the routine of my household and they’re involved in the usual routine of the day and this supports their sense of belonging. It’s like a home away from home. For the families I attract, this is what they want. They don’t want a centre-based childcare, particularly with the children who have been with me from babies. I become an extended member of their families and even go to their birthday parties. I’m still in contact with one of the children, who is now at university. I’m showing my age!

What do the kids love about Family Day Care?

Kids love the sense of belonging and the sense of connection with other children. They feel as comfortable here with me and the other children, as they do in their own home.

What’s the best thing about working with kids?

The joy they bring and the constant learning they inspire in me. They’re constantly looking at the world in a different way.

What are some of the ways you make your service more sustainable?

There’s the green bowl that all the children know is for the organic waste and that goes into the worm farm in the garden which fertilises the veggie garden. Then there are simple measures such as not using any disposable hand towels and wipes. We now use reusable dry bags to send any wet clothing, rather than plastic bags.