Buln Buln’s Tracy Lechte and Warragul’s Martha Smith have been recognised amongst the nation’s finest in child care.
The two educators were announced as regional winners in the 2017 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards. There were only 14 winners in Victoria.
It was Tracy’s first regional award whilst Martha has been recognised two years running. Tracy was named winner of the Bairnsdale and Gippsland region and Martha winner of the Traralgon and Latrobe Valley region.
Martha, who has been a family day care provider for the past seven years, said she was “pretty excited” to win the award.
“It just really highlights the effort that you put in day in and day out.”
Tracy, who has spent the last 15 years as a provider, said there was great excitement when she received the email advising of her win.
“I didn’t know if to cry, laugh or what to do,” she said.
Tracy was attracted to family day care after having three children. Although she wanted to become a kindergarten teacher, she had an almost 18-month-old daughter and knew studying would be difficult.
“I thought I’d give it a go and I’ve loved it ever since. All the families I have at the moment are awesome. This is their second home.”
This year’s awards attracted a record number of 2800 nominations from across Australia. Nominations could only be made by family day care families.