Winners of National Family Day Care awards announced
The winners of the annual Excellence in Family Day Care Awards were announced at a Gala Dinner held in Adelaide recently, with three winners named from more than 5,000 nominations.
Excellence was recognised across three categories:
- Educator of the Year: Stephanie Hoy, West Country Family Day Care Scheme, South Australia
- Coordinator of the Year: Chamalee Prathiraja, Communities@Work Family Day Care, Australian Capital Territory
- Service of the Year: Nature Alliance Family Day Care, Western Australia
Now in their twelfth year, the awards showcase the unique benefits of family day care (FDC). The awards also highlight one of the largest national networks of women in small business, turning their passion for educating and caring for children into a rewarding career, supported by an incredible network of Coordinators and Services, all working towards the goal of bettering early years education options for Australian children.
The Gala Dinner also included the announcement of Star Award winners. The Star Awards program recognises educators, coordinators and services that are new to the sector and those who have shown dedication over a number of years. Two star award winners are selected from each of the award categories (educator, coordinator and service).
The Emerging Star Award
The Emerging Star Award recognises an educator, coordinator and service that is relatively new to the FDC sector (or their role), but has managed to make a big impact in their time.
In 2023, the Emerging Star Award was awarded to an educator and coordinator that commenced their role/business no earlier than 1 January 2021. For services, the award will be presented to a service that commenced no earlier than 1 January 2018.
The Perpetual Star Award
The Perpetual Star Award recognises an educator, coordinator and service that has contributed to the FDC sector for a significant period of time and continues to thrive. The Perpetual Star Award is awarded to an educator, coordinator and service that has worked in the family day care sector for more than 15 years.
2023 Star Award Winners
Emerging Star Award Winners
Educator – Courtney Fijolek, Connections Family Day Care, Western Australia
Coordinator – Maxine Burr, Family Day Care Tasmania, Tasmania
Service – Fraser Coast Family Day Care, Queensland
Perpetual Star Award Winners
Educator – Merrilyn Hannaford, Hills Murraylands Family Day Care Scheme, South Australia
Coordinator – Deanne Burr, Greater Hume Children Services, New South Wales
Service – Dubbo Family Day Care, New South Wales
“This year’s winners demonstrate essential and unparalleled dedication to their roles in the early childhood education and care sector,” said FDC Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Paterson.
“Having been selected from over 5,000 nominations, it is a testament to the irreplaceable role they play, as well as the broadscale relevance of the awards program.”
“This year’s awards continue to play a key role in recognising the achievements of those working in the family day care sector on a national level and provide an opportunity to promote the unique benefits of family day care to Australian families,” he added.
Learn more about the work of FDC Australia here. The Sector extends congratulations to all winners, finalists and nominees in the 2023 awards program.
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