Gina Barrios is our Early Childhood Teacher at Imagine Childcare & Kindergarten in Southport. She has been an important part of the Imagine family for the past seven years. Here, she tells us why she loves working at Imagine Childcare and a little about our Kindergarten Program and her role as an ECT:
“Hello, my name is Gina and I am the Early Childhood Teacher at Imagine Childcare & Kindergarten in Southport. I moved to Australia 17 years ago from Colombia and Imagine Childcare has been my second home for the past seven years.
I hold my Bachelor in Education, a Postgraduate in Educational Management, and a Diploma of Sensory Motor Stimulation.
I worked in a variety of different roles after I graduated university 22 years ago. These included in a school environment as a Prep Teacher, Before and After School Care, and Kindergarten Teacher.
My role as a Kindergarten Teacher is my great passion. I am very lucky to work at Imagine Childcare with a team of Educators who share my passion and love inspiring a love for learning in children and making a difference in their lives.
My Kindergarten Program is based on learning and teaching through play, investigation, problem-solving, communication, thinking, physical activity, and emotional and social development. My broader vision of education is to inspire all children to reach their potential using a variety of methodologies, exercises, and experiences.
Imagine Childcare was the first centre I went for an interview at when I moved to the Gold Coast. I looked around the centre, and the wonderful people who worked here and I felt so welcome. Imagine has now been my second home for the past seven years and I am so happy. It is a second home for all our families and children too, and I feel so blessed to work in such a warm and nurturing environment. Everyone is so welcoming and amazing. We are a big family.
I have had such an amazing experience here. I feel valued every day at Imagine Childcare. The opportunities I have had here are wonderful. For Educators, the Management Team are so supportive ensuring we have new materials and resources to support our practice and this benefits our children, ensuring they are getting the best learning experience possible.
Imagine is also so supportive with training and development. and this is an important benefit not only as an employee, but also for our families, as you can be assured our Educators will have the best training to support your child’s individual needs throughout their learning journey
As an Early Childhood Teacher, I am so proud of the Kindergarten Program we have here at Imagine Childcare. We have such close ties with local schools and even schools further away where our children will attend for Prep. We visit the schools for Open Days, talk to the Teachers and the Principals, and really find out from them what their expectations are for the children who will be attending after Kindergarten.
Through our Kindergarten Program, we ensure that the children are prepared for their transition to school. They will learn important skills from how to sit on the mat and sit at the tables for activities, to how to converse with the Teacher and socialise with their new Prep friends. They learn routines and how to complete important tasks independently.
It is so wonderful going into the schools and the children still remember you from when you were their Kindergarten Teacher. They will say “Miss Gina, I remember this activity or experience you have shared with me!” It’s an incredible feeling playing such an important role in children’s learning and development.
I feel valued and blessed every day when I have families tell me that their child is so happy at “big school” and that our Kindergarten Program has helped support this transition.
Our Kindergarten Classroom Educators are all a big family. We enjoy setting up the rooms and sharing skills, learning, and experiences with each other. It is so wonderful working with people who share your passions and hold the same values.
We put a lot of thought into our activities to ensure the children are enjoying play and also learning through this. For example, we set up a beach clean-up activity which the children and families loved. The children learnt about the importance of keeping our beach environment clean and rubbish free. They enjoyed immersing themselves into the experience and learnt through this. It was so great to have the families tell us that their little ones took a bag to the beach when they go, so they can “help keep the beach clean”.
I would recommend Imagine Childcare to families and Educators who would like to be a part of a centre who will become your second family.”