Moments to cherish

Erin Gehrig has always loved children and being a witness to their growth and development. As a teen, she undertook voluntary work experience at an early education service and following this set her sights on working in the industry. Erin began working for St Nicholas Early Education at its Chisholm centre in 2018, before joining the Maitland operation when it opened its doors earlier this year. She draws on almost a decade of experience in the industry to mentor her colleagues on St Nicholas’s programs and practices.

What Catholic school/s did you attend?

St Paul’s Primary School, Rutherford, and All Saints’ College, St Peter’s and St Mary’s campuses in Maitland.

Why did your parents choose a Catholic education for you?

For the core values it promotes, such as respect and integrity.

What attracted you to working for St Nicholas Early Education?

The professional growth St Nicholas Early Education offers its educators throughout their career. St Nicholas places a high value on professional development and supporting educators in achieving their career goals. I was also impressed by the modern facilities St Nicholas offers, along with its authentic approach to documentation.

What do you wish more people knew about supporting children’s growth and development?

The biggest insight I wish more people recognised is the value of play in children’s lives. By engaging in play, children are not only exploring, negotiating, and discovering the world around them, but developing the foundation for lifelong skills. As children engage in play-based learning, they are immersing themselves in activities they enjoy by using their natural senses, which ignites their curiosity for the environment around them.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

I really value the relationships I develop with the children and their families. It is so rewarding seeing their smiling faces of a morning and being able to support their growth and development. I cherish being a part of children's lives and becoming their champion. I love witnessing children’s “I did it” moments where they experience the satisfaction of mastering a task they have worked hard at. They are beautiful moments to watch and be a part of.

What career goals do you hope to achieve?

I want to continue to grow in my role at Maitland as we gain occupancy, finish my university degree, and one day become a director of a service.

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Alexander Foster

Alexander Foster is the Digital Communications Officer in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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