Dilek Atak celebrates 10 years at Big Fat Smile
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Director Dilek celebrates 10 years at Cobblers Hill Community Preschool

Director Dilek celebrates 10 years at Cobblers Hill Community Preschool

by Freya Lucas

April 14, 2023
Dilek Atak smiles, facing the camera

Dilek Atak, Director of Cobblers Hill Community Preschool in Figtree, New South Wales, is celebrating 10 years of service with early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Big Fat Smile this year. 


Ms Atak said she loves working with Big Fat Smile because of the dedication shown by her colleagues and her team’s confidence in supporting her service’s child-centric, strength-based approach to early learning and care, and recently took part in an interview to celebrate the significant milestone. 


“The early years can have the biggest impact on a child’s future social, emotional, financial health and happiness well into adulthood,” she began. 


“This requires an environment where children’s voices are heard, where we work together with families and the wider community to raise our children together, hand in hand. My purpose at Big Fat Smile is to make this difference in the life of every child that attends our centres. I know that each day I work to improve the present and the future for the children of my community.”


She began her career with Big Fat Smile in a maternity cover position in one of the preschools in the network, and once that position came to a close, she had the opportunity to stay with the company as a permanent Early Childhood Teacher. 


“As my career progressed to 2IC and Educational Leader, Big Fat Smile supported me through the Early Childhood Australia Leaderships Program,” she explained. 


“The program enabled me to hone the skills and knowledge I needed to become a Centre Director.”


In her current role, Ms Atak has the opportunity to mentor and support educators and teachers and says that supporting her team to place the child first when making decisions is of great importance.


“Thinking of the child’s individual needs, by seeing through the eyes of the child and allowing them to be an active contributor to their own learning is important,” she said. 


“It involves looking at the child’s current interests and listening to their ideas. Giving children the autonomy to choose their own activities, whether they would like to rest or play, and a choice of when to eat within routines. I feel that this approach will ensure that the child develops independence and form their own ideas and opinions.”  


To learn more about Big Fat Smile, please see here

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