Bunyip Childcare Centre’s James Robinson tells his story for Early Childhood Educators’ Day

Early Childhood Educators' Day is being celebrated around the nation on 2 September this year, to recognise the work of Australia's educators in early learning services for their contribution to the wellbeing and development of our youngest Australians. 

James from Bunyip Childcare Centre
James, early childhood educator, from Bunyip Childcare Centre

Early childhood educators do vital work and have important stories to tell, so this year, we are sharing the story of James Robinson, a passionate early childhood educator from Bunyip Childcare Centre.

James shares his story with us below:

'I became an early childhood educator because when I was younger, I always enjoyed hanging out with kids – being playful and making them laugh. 

I studied a Diploma of Justice before undertaking my Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care at Chisholm Institute of TAFE. I had first thought about working in the court system, although I was never quite sure about it. As soon as I did my first placement with early childhood, I just loved it!

I grew up in suburban Melbourne, but Bunyip, where I work, is more regional. We have a lot of outdoor space out here, which I see as a definite plus.

I love watching the kids learn and progress, seeing them grow and become caring, positive and respectful individuals. I really enjoy the sense that I might have an impact on younger generations. Working with little kids is sometimes challenging, but a good and hardworking team makes the work a joy. At the end of the day I go home feeling good.

When I first started working here there was one other male, but he left to work with older children. There were also a lot more women than men studying early childhood when I was studying, but I don't think people should be limited in their career choices by ideas of gender. I think society is going in the right direction with that.

We like to celebrate Educators' Day here. Our business operations manager bought in a big box that has a 'do not open until 2nd September' message on it. Last year we did an exercise where we had paper taped to our backs and we all wrote what we appreciated about working with each other, which was not only fun but great feedback!

I think there are good career development paths. You can start as a general educator, then move up. There are positions for educational leaders and kinder teachers, then for second-in-charge and director. There's room to grow. I think about what comes next – child protection or administration perhaps. Early childhood work can be physically demanding so some staff want to move into those areas as they get more experienced.

I feel like my experience with teachers while growing up gave me the confidence to become a teacher. The people who you interact with growing up definitely influence who you become as an adult.'

Learn more about Early Childhood Educators' Day