There are three Before and After School Care programs run by Belconnen Community Service (BCS), and we can thank our wonderful staff for making them great. People like Matt, from the St Matthews Before and After School Care program, work hard to give the children the best experience they can. We caught up with Matt to talk about his time working with BCS.
How long have you been working at BCS
I started at BCS in 2016 as a casual employee, and then gradually moved up to become an educator. It’s been great. I worked at Florey and Charnwood before coming to St Matthews Out of School Hours Care. I actually went to school there so I know a few of the teachers. Now I’m back working with the teachers who taught me, and they’re helping me with my job, which is kind of cool.
As an educator I help to foster the children’s learning journey, ensuring their experience in Out of School Hours Care is a good one. I initiate games and encourage them to think about activities they would like to do. It’s about building strong relationships with the children and building their social interactions so they can have the best experience.
Did you always want to work with children?
Growing up I never thought about working with children. I was sporty and thought about a career in sports journalism, or something similar, but I was really active so I thought this job would be good. I started when I was 18 years old and I realised then that this is really what my passion is. Now I’m studying to be a teacher. I’m doing a bachelor of Primary Education and Health and Physical Education, so I still have that sport aspect. When I started the job I did what I knew best which was playing games outside. I could relate to a lot of the children with sport and built relationships that way. I have always wanted to bring in a sports team – that would be cool for me too.
Do you think it’s important to have more men working in the industry?
Yes. There are a lot of young boys who like having a male there and the girls enjoy it too. Being able to get both female and male roles in the industry is important. It’s seen as a stereotypical women’s job but I think the children can benefit from a male as well. There’s no reason both men and women can’t work in this industry.
What’s been the best part of the job?
When I first got into the job I instantly loved it. It is amazing watching the children grow up over the time you’re there. I’ve been here for three years and over that time I have seen children go from kindergarten to Year three and have built relationships with not just the children, but the families as well. You can have a big impact. It’s not about changing them, but being able to help the children interact well with everyone else – it is really rewarding. The families always come and say thank you for your help. This one child has just left and he has had such a big impact on me. The children have helped me grow as a person and it’s going to help with my teaching.
A highlight was when a child left the school and his mum told me he was going to miss me the most. It was a big moment. It is really rewarding because I’m just doing my job, but I’m doing it well enough that it’s impacting people’s lives. I think it is one of the most rewarding jobs being able to go to work and help young children. I didn’t know how rewarding this job would be when I took it. Now I’ve come out with great relationships and on my way to becoming a teacher. You go home feeling good about yourself in this job.
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