MEET OUR DIRECTOR
My name is Lee Gane, I am the Director of the Australian Education and Care Workforce Professional Body (ECW).
• A passionate, dedicated and highly experienced Education and Care professional with substantial experience and an understanding of strategic and operational business practices, service provisions, Education and Care legislation, Regulation and NQS;
• A transformational leader with a strong belief in participatory leadership practices that support the growth and transformation of emerging leaders and professionals in the sector;
• A professional with the rare ability to determine context of a business within wider economic and social environment and thereafter develop businesses with strong, collaborative workforces and sustainable Education and Care programs that achieve excellence in Early Childhood Education and Care; and
• An ability to critically reflect on own practices and work collaboratively together leading or within a team for business performance and outcomes.
My heart and soul is in Education and Care, my children have all grown up now and along the way I too have grown not only in years and experience but in my deeply held view that providing quality care, rich natural learning environments and deeply reflective practitioners is essential for the health and well being of our children and our future as a nation.
I was drawn to Education and Care nearly 30 years ago, firstly as a parent helper when my son started preschool and then choosing to pursue a career in the profession when he started his formal schooling. Initially this was because I was working evenings and weekends and did not spend the time with him that I wanted to and later, it was to be able to spend more time with my two younger children.
I have held many positions over the years from Assistant and Group Leader to Director, Early Childhood Teacher, Validator, Authorised Supervisor and Approved Provider, I am a consultant, coach, mentor trainer and workplace assessor. My heart and soul is in Education and Care. My children have all grown up now and along the way I too have grown, not only in years and experience but in my deeply held view that providing quality care, rich natural learning environments and engaging deeply reflective practitioners is essential for the health, well being and education of our children and our future as a nation.
This has always been something I feel very strongly about. I believe deeply that we can do so much more and that something needs to change, which motivates and drives me to do better and to be better. We need to come together to act now, to speak up and be the change we want to see not only for ourselves and our profession but more importantly for the children, families and all of our futures.
The health, well being and education of children is an enormous responsibility that is recognised widely and speaks to why the profession is so heavily regulated. However, while the need for a highly skilled Education and Care workforce is recognised, the work we do is not necessarily acknowledged or even valued. We have all heard the phrase “glorified babysitters” and comments like “you just play with the children all day” or “your Early Childhood teaching degree doesn’t make you a real teacher if you don’t teach in a school”. Many in society do not recognise the importance of our work with children. We are undervalued and we are losing quality professionals every day because of the demands of the job, the lack of recognition and minimal financial remuneration. Despite all of this, many of us battle on because we truly understand the significance of the work we do and the impact on lifelong outcomes for the children. We want to support children to be the best they can be: to be happy, healthy and successful in life.
How do we do that, when as a workforce we feel undervalued and under-appreciated, often feeling like you are carry the load on your shoulders alone? That is partly because we are so disjointed as a profession, spread across many sectors, working in our silos of LDC, FDC, SAC, Kindergartens or Preschool (depending on where you live), In home care, Budget-based, Occasional or Limited hours care. The silos don’t stop there. Our work too, can be very isolating – place-based, geographically, commercially and fear of judgement by others to name a few. However, there are courageous professionals willing to step up and share their practice knowledge with us all. It is through this sharing of practice stories that we can all grown and learn -not only to provide the learning opportunities for children that are authentic, rich and meaningful and to meet the NQS, both are very important -but to provide you with a shared knowledge of quality practice; to support you to become a reflective, confident education and care practitioner who can see that the relationships with children are the foundation of the work you do.
My hopes and dreams are that together we can grow in knowledge, skills and ability – thereby alleviating our feelings of isolation and some of the stress and pressure we feel under this enormous responsibility. Together we are stronger, together we can become one strong voice dedicated to elevating the Education and Care profession, your wealth of knowledge, expertise and practice wisdom.