“I have to confess that I was an anxious child and behaved horribly at drop-off time,” says Charlie (Charlotte) Filosa, an educator at Torquay YMCA Early Learning Centre. “Fortunately for me, and my parents, my kinder teacher was wonderful.
“I trusted my kinder teacher, and she became my go-to person. She’s the reason why I’ve chosen to make my career in childcare. It makes such a huge difference having a positive role model.”
With three and a half years experience in childcare, Charlie has worked with children aged from six weeks to kinder. Although “not into studying”, she’s really enjoying her childcare diploma studies, which are almost complete.
Charlie’s philosophy focuses on safety and happiness. Every child has their own individual needs, and she wants them and their families to feel safe and respected.
“The passions I bring to my work include painting, photography and exercise,” she says. “Along with reading, these are very therapeutic. Looking after your mental health is essential for me as well as the children I care for. Resilience is important for children, learning that it’s okay to be sad, and how to deal with it.”
Her advice to families thinking about booking their children into childcare is not to feel guilty, because “the social aspects are so positive for children”. She encourages families to form professional, trusting relationships with their children’s carers: “please don’t ever feel that you’re a stranger”.
Charlie recently moved to Torquay from the Mornington Peninsula, where she’s lived all her life.
“Torquay looks like a great, tight knit community, it’s close to the beach and also the opposite: open spaces and farms.
“I’m looking forward to getting involved with the community through the Centre, having groups come in to the Centre, making excursions to farms and so on. I researched the YMCA before I applied for this position, and I like that we’re using the natural environment around us to foster children’s development.”
Charlie is also keen to get to know staff at Torquay Coast Primary School, which is right next-door to the Centre.
“Being located next to the school is really good for a smooth transition, and a really healthy way to support children moving from childcare into primary school.”