25 year milestone for Tracey’s rewarding career

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When Tracey Shalders’ children were young, she was looking for a career where she could work from home and receive an income.

Tracey had worked for 11 years as a hairdresser, but was seeking a change so she could combine raising her children with a new career path.

She discovered Family Day Care and it has provided such immense satisfaction that she continues in the childcare industry, in which she has notched up a milestone of 25 years, working from her Finley home.

Tracey is now part of the Intereach FDC team and is grateful that the organisation is “always there when you need support or just a sounding board”.

She says the highlights over her 25 years in the industry are

“watching the children achieve new goals or milestones, and seeing the joy on their faces when they accomplish something”.

“And knowing you contributed in a small way to their growth and development,” Tracey says.


She has developed a close rapport with her children who “become an extension of your own family”.

“Over my time as an educator, I have been included in special events and birthdays, as well as camping holidays. I am now looking after the children of children I cared for in the past. That is very satisfying,” Tracey said.

Naturally, in a career spanning 25 years, Tracey has seen many changes. Some of these have provided challenges, including changes in regulations and the National Quality Framework which has increased the administrative requirements.

“I prefer spending time with the children than on administration, but I understand why the changes were necessary.”

Throughout her career, Tracey has progressed from being an unqualified carer to completing a Certificate III in Children’s Services when this was mandated, alongside other qualifications in areas such as first aid and food handling.

“The Certificate qualification provided me with new insight into aspects of childcare and promoted a desire to engage in further courses to improve the service I offered,” Tracey said.

“I am now referred to as an educator, and understand the importance of working with my FDC families to allow each child in my care to reach their full potential.”

Tracey does not know the exact number of children she has cared for over her 25 years, but says “it would be well over 300”. They have given her the joy and satisfaction that comes with a successful career in education.

If you would like to know more about this rewarding career, why not contact the team at Intereach on 1300 488 226 or visit www.intereach.com.au.

Intereach supports children and families, older people, people living with disability, mental health and carers.