CABARITA educator Ruth Tierney has been recognised for her commitment to children's development after winning the Lismore and Far North Coast regional Family Day Care Educator award.
Ms Tierney, who has more than 25 years of experience in the field, was nominated for the award by her daycare mothers for her "nurturing soul” and supportive learning methods.
The national finalists for the Family Day Care Australia Excellence Awards will be announced on Monday.
The Daily News spoke to Ms Tierney about her work:
Why did you want to become a family day care educator?
I like children. I was a young mum and that was what I was used to doing.
I'd always been around children - I'm one of 10 in my family.
Every day is different and every day comes with its own rewards and challenges.
What does winning the regional award mean to you?
It's an honour. These girls who have mostly nominated me, a lot of them I had as children and I've got their children now. For me that's the honour, to have their children.
Why is family day care an important part of a child's development?
The difference between centres and family day care is the personal attachments that you get and the care.
Some children I've had for four or five days a week for five years.
I've worked in centres, and I'm certainly not against centres, but staff come and go, changes of shift, and you can't have the same sort of connection.
There's 80 carers in the Tweed alone and we've got five in Cabarita. It's not a small thing, people just don't know we're here.
The difference in family day Care is that we're family.
We might not be blood related, but we're part of the community.
For more information about the Northern Rivers Family Day Care, phone (07) 5587 5300