Family Day Care Educator Melissa Dreger has been officially recognised for her service in home based family daycare.
Ms Dreger officially received the 2017 Excellence in Family Day Care Award at the Town Hall on Monday, winning the award for the second time in a row.
As the Ballarat and Central Highlands winner, she said 14 others had won regional awards and one would be chosen for the state title on September 25. She attributed her method as working well in a partnership with the families whose kids are in her care, including coming up with goals for their children.
“Family daycare has virtually taken over my home. Family fit in around daycare. I’m passionate and dedicated to what I do. The children have a plethora of learning activities,” Ms Dreger said.
“They have an arch studio that they develop learning and literacy skills in. The children are involved in everything from cooking, to excursions to buying gifts for children in need at Christmas. Some of the children are authors and illustrators of their own books.
“We go outside we get messy. We sing, we dance. We reflect on the day, our attitude, dispositions and how we learn form our mistakes. It’s about building that compassion and empathy in children.”
Ms Dreger began her career in the childcare sector 13 years ago, after the birth of her own baby caused her to change her career as a restaurant manager.
“Over the next few years, I see myself still running my humble family daycare and creating magical memories with children,” she said.
Community Development director Neville Ivey said Ms Dreger is a very humble individual who is consistent day in and day out in the level of support she provides.
He said as the City of Ballarat’s Family Day Care program is not centre based, it provides flexibility for parents and a more intimate setting. Educators under the program have won the regional award every year for the past six years.