‘Amazing journey’ of care spans 20 years

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After 20 years of caring of local children, Gina McGrath has retired as an Intereach Family Day Care provider. 

Gina started her Family Day Care with Intereach  on December 4, 1999 when her son, Shane, was in Grade 3 and her daughter, Melinda, was only in Kindergarten, as she loved working with and educating young children.  

She retired exactly 20 years to the day, on Wednesday, December 4. 

At a farewell function organised by Intereach staff, Gina reflected on her career in Early Childhood Education. 

“We used to be labelled ‘babysitters’ or just ‘childcare minders’, but after the introduction of the Early Years Learning Framework and the training delivered by Intereach and external organisations, we can now proudly call ourselves ‘Family Day Care Educators’,” Gina said. The EYLF describes the principles, practices and outcomes that support and enhance young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school. 

Gina has worked hard to ensure the children that come to her are getting the valuable skills for life which are often taught through play-based learning.  

“I have been a teacher, mother, father, nurse, role model, programmer, negotiator, social worker, cleaner etcetera. This can be all in one day,” she said. 

Over her 20 years’ service, Gina has enriched the lives of more 100 children through her Family Day Care. 

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“Some of the kids who I’ve cared for are now graduating university. It makes me proud knowing that in some small way I helped them achieve that outcome.”

Gina McGrath - Intereach Family Day Care provider

Gina is now looking forward to spending more time in the garden with her husband, Maurice, as well as renovating their house and enjoying more travel. 

“I must give a massive thank you to my husband for all the love and support he has given me over these years. He is such a wonderful man and he enjoys seeing the children as much as I do. 

“I would say the last 20 years have been the busiest years of our lives. We will miss the children coming in and out of our home, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, doing the things that we always wanted to do and exploring different places,” Gina said. 

At the farewell function in her honour Gina also gave special mention to her Intereach co-educators and support staff. 

Thank you for all your ongoing support, understanding, guidance, mentoring, training, advice and tips.  It really helped me a lot to become a better educator and grow professionally. 

“My Family Day Care experience over 20 years was an amazing journey and I will treasure this for the rest of my life,” she said. 

Intereach staff congratulated Gina on her 20 years of service, wished her all the best in retirement and made special mention of her commitment and dedication to ongoing professional learning to provide the highest quality education and care to families and their children. 

If you would like more information about Family Day Care or any of Intereach’s many community services, phone the toll free number 1300 488 226 or visit www.intereach.com.au 


Image : Family Day Care program manager Rebecca Fitzpatrick (left), Family Day Care educator Gina McGrath, Child Development Coordinator Marie Broadbent (right)