Jessica Harrison marks 40-year milestone as an FDC educator
After beginning her career as a family day care (FDC) educator in 1981, 64-year-old Mildura mother and grandmother Jessica Harrison will retire at the end of this year, having worked with over 200 families.
“That’s the special thing about FDC. You don’t just get to know the children, you develop a bond with their entire families, and vice-versa,” Mrs Harrison said.
“I also couldn’t have done this for so long without the support of my husband Col,” she added. “He has been as much a part of this journey as me. Our whole family has.”
The thought of retiring is “bittersweet,” with the Harrison family looking forward to holidays and space, but no longer operating FDC will be “a big change”.
“You get attached to the children and the families along the way. And there’s been a lot of them over the years,” Mrs Harrison said.
Mildura Rural City Council Community Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Councillor Cyndi Power congratulated Mrs Harrison on her incredible milestone, saying that she has touched the lives of hundreds of local children over the years, and provided a safe and fun place for them to learn, grow and develop.
“FDC educators are a special breed and Jessica is no exception,” Ms Power said. “We wish her all the best as she transitions to retirement later this month.”
Thanks to FDC, the couple’s two children Michael and Laura always had playmates in the house growing up and formed life-long friendships along the way, with the family attending the 21st birthdays and weddings of some of the children they have cared for, and even looked after some of their children.
Mrs Harrison is one of 31 registered FDC educators currently caring for children in the Mildura Council and Wentworth Shire areas. Her final day as an FDC educator will be on Friday 17 December.
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