Kindy owner grows with job
REDLYNCH kindergarten director Belinda Jarvinen says she is "ecstatic" to be nominated for a national teaching award after joining the industry at just 15.The mother-of-two has been nominated for Early Childhood Educator of the Year in this year's Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards.
"It's always nice to have someone verify the work you are doing is worthwhile," she said.
Mrs Jarvinen started her career in early childhood in Brisbane as a teenager and moved to Cairns 11 years ago.
"The best thing is just watching the individual personalities and watching them change over the years.
"(Children enrol) at three years old and before you know it they are going off to Prep.
"They almost become like your own children, you always get a bit teary when they move on."
Mrs Jarvinen worked at Redlynch Kindergarten for almost a year before an opportunity came up to buy the centre two years ago.
"It has gone from strength to strength ... It's a team effort."
This year, 48 children are enrolled and Mrs Jarvinen said parents are already booking places for 2016 and 2017.
The Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards will announce winners at a ceremony on May 3.
They will share in more than $75,000 in prizes including $40,000 in training grants.
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Class act: Belinda Jarvinen is thrilled at her nomination. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS