Murrindindi Shire’s long-term family day care educator Heather Rennie says goodbye to this year’s children with a tear in her eye, as this year was her last in Alexandra.
Heather is moving to Pakenham early next year to spend time with her own children and her grandchildren.
Rennie has provided family day care for hundreds of children aged from 12 weeks up to 14 years in Alexandra area since starting in 1993.
“It’s not easy stepping away but it’s time for my family now,” Heather said. “Family Day Care was something I always wanted to do and I’ve loved it all these years.
“There have been so many wonderful things about my job – watching the children grow and develop, forming friendships with them and working in partnership with parents and guardians as well.
“It’s lovely to be able to walk around town, or go to the shops and see the young adults I looked after when they were little.”
Heather said over the years she focused her program on watching the children, being guided by what interested them and their curiosity.
“I’ve always worked in a way that guides children’s behaviour in a positive way,” she said. “Over the years the activities that have been most popular tended to be the more sensory ones such as painting, pasting and play-doh. The kids have all loved music, movement and dancing and also importantly, they all loved their books.”
Heather started working as one of Council’s Family Day Care educators in 1993 and spent 16 years working at council as a field officer and co-ordinator for family day care before returning to her first love as a family day care educator in 2013.
Council’s Community Services Portfolio Councillor Sandice McAulay said Heather’s care for the area’s children was well recognised within the community.
“Our family day care educators are precious to our community as they play such an important role in our children’s development,” Cr McAulay said.
“On behalf of the community, I’d like to thank Heather for her many years of work and in particular, her passion for our children and their early development.”