We caught up with the new Florey School Age Care director, Amanda Flemming, for a chat. In just a couple of 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’ve been at BCS since October. I’ve been a school age care director for 19 years. I’ve done one full term at Florey since starting with BCS. I started in term four at Florey. In term one of this year we are working to have more programmed activities. We are working to get the children’s input into the menu and the program. I’m really excited about an upcoming art project in the community, I think that will be something fun for the children to have a bit of an excursion.
What do you do as Florey School Aged Care director?
I manage four to five staff underneath me and 40 to 60 children a day. I do the programming, all the admin side of things; communicate with families and the school. We do so much. The day-to-day running of the service, making sure all the children are there and are accounted for, following up on any incident reports with families. At the moment the families are learning the Kiosk system. I’m the person who is in trouble if anything happens.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy school age care because you can see them grow from little people in Kindergarten right through to year six and beyond because you can still see them. Normally they have siblings who come through as well. You can have normal conversations with them and you can ask them questions, and you can explore the world with them. In school age care they are individual people who have their own opinions and know their rights and know what they want and can challenge the educators just as much as we can challenge them.
Why is school age care so important?
This is a really important part of children’s development. It is just as important as long day care. We are that next point of call between school and home and over the years it has developed into quite a big industry. I’ve got a 60 place program but there are ones out there that have 150 place programs. It’s also about giving the children that extra person or that extra place to feel connected and feel they have somewhere to go, and feel like it’s that home before home because 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 those socialising skills a lot of children struggle with. It’s about learning how to make a sandwich or how to do the washing up. Some children don’t know how to cook so giving them that experience that they can take home and do with their families is great. It’s important to build the relationship from the beginning, that trust relationship with school aged children.
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