Joshua wins award for caring for children

JOSHUA Morris, Queensland's trainee child carer of the year, has a fan club at the Palm Beach child-care centre he works at - the children and staff.

The 20-year-old, an acting group leader with several assistants who look after 21 toddlers at the Kids on 4th Child Care Centre in Palm Beach, was awarded the Assistant/Trainee of the Year title by Childcare Queensland recently after being nominated by his employers at the centre.

The award entitles him to a two-year scholarship with the Queensland Early Childhood College worth $3000 so he can finish studying for his Diploma in Child Care and Childrens Services.

Joshua joined the centre, which caters for up to 99 young children a day, almost two years ago and quickly established himself as a popular member of the female-dominated staff there.

In their employer reference for him, centre licensees Jan Harris and Jacqui English described him when he joined them as "very quiet but diligent".

"The children of course loved the way he was so good at kicking the ball around the playground with them - Joshua is an accomplished player of the guitar and didgeridoo ... these attributes together with his quiet, caring nature are a wonderful asset to the whole centre," they said.

Joshua was studying hospitality at university and working toward a teaching degree when he decided he wanted to work in the childcare industry because he could not afford university tuition and wanted to make sure he would like a teaching-type career.

"I didn't want to stay at uni for four years and find out I didn't like it so I thought I'd try child care - and it's pretty cool and lots of fun," he said. "My future is in child care and eventually teaching.

"I love it - working with younger children is more challenging but more rewarding because little kids learn new things such as songs ... whereas the big ones have already been taught the basic fundamentals of life," he said.

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