Warrandyte Director leaves amazing legacy, retiring after more than 35 years of service
Warrandyte Childcare and Preschool Centre Director, Jenny Lynch will, at the end of this month, retire after more than 35 years of dedicated service, educating and caring for the children of Warrandyte and surrounds.
One of the most important legacies Ms Lynch leaves behind, and one which is greatly enjoyed until this day, is the planting and development of gardens at the service, with mature trees now providing shade, movement and colour to the grounds on which the children play.
“That is one thing that hasn’t changed,” she shared.
“It’s a lovely playground that we have got, and children can be children out here. “They can get wet, they can get dirty, take some calculated risks, but they have the support of educators.”
When asked about her motivation for her work to develop the outside space, she said it drew from her own memories of childhood, “playing and being given that freedom.”
“I was given that opportunity as a child and I suppose that is at the core of what I do because I have such fond memories of childhood myself. “
Part of the joy of working with children, she continued, was being able to “sit back and watch, and every day see something happening for the first time.”
Continual professional development has led to her team having a holistic approach to education, and being open to trying new things.
“The whole time I have been here I have studied, I started off with a certificate and ended up with a degree. “ I’ve strived to keep my own knowledge fresh and up to date and I have worked with a lot of students.”
Although the fundamentals of her role haven’t changed, and “children are still children”, Ms Lynch has seen many changes throughout the years.
“Paperwork has increased immensely,” she said, “and regulatory things have become more complex. There is a greater emphasis on education than when I first started.”
Describing herself as “married to her job” retirement comes with some reservations, as it’s been such a big part of her life.
Ms Lynch is, however, looking forward to re-establishing her vegetable garden and travelling, when safe to do so.
“I’ll also get into some craft; I want to learn how to weave. I’m looking forward to having the time to do that.”
When reflecting on her time as an early childhood professional on the whole, Ms Lynch describes it as “a real privilege” to have met so many families and people over the years.
“I have experienced some really joyful times with families, but there have been other times where there has been tragedy, and you share that, and I think that is a real privilege that you have been able to be there to support people in those times,” she explained.
“It has been fabulous.”
Over her time at the service, Ms Lynch has touched the lives of over 1000 children and their families, leaving a lifelong impression, and will be remembered for creating an environment for all children that allows them the time and space to be children, to get dirty, wet, walk around without shoes and take calculated risks in a supportive environment.
Her last day at the service will be Friday, April 30.
To access the original coverage of this story, please see here.