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Mentoring to build better practice

Introducing new or improved practice into any organisation can be challenging. In pursuit of best practice the team at Parkes Early Childhood Centre decided to acquire the aid of an external consultant.

For Lindy Farrant-Jayet, centre director, the ultimate goal of a consultant was to help strengthen the process for planning and documentation in line with their commitment to provide the best possible care and outcomes for children.

“We were very focused on getting the right organisation and person that fit the criteria of the mentoring that we were planning,” Lindy said.

In search of the best person for the job Lindy came across Stella Timpano, Gowrie NSW’s head consultant. Stella, who is one of the sector’s leading consultants, was able to bring with her 19 years of experience in early childhood, as well as proficiency in delivering high-level support and strategies to a number of providers across the state. 

“Stella’s role was to motivate, inspire and mentor our nine person teaching team, with reviewing our programming policy and practice,” Lindy said. “From the moment we met Stella her approach was always focussed and conscientious.”

Stella spent time finding out the specific needs of the centre and conducted background research in order to compile a comprehensive professional learning package for all the educators in the centre.

“During the two-day visit to Parkes ECC I spent time becoming familiar with the centre and their current processes for planning and documentation in order to find ways in which they could improve,” Stella said, adding “All educators were very enthusiastic and open to my ideas.”

She also regularly liaised with the Director and Educational Leader to ensure that the professional learning package was reflective of the centre’s needs.

Lindy said Stella’s mentoring was critical towards the ongoing work of programming policy and practice.

“Not only does Stella bring a depth of early childhood knowledge but she is able to transfer her knowledge and passion to all team members in a respectful and personable manner,” she said.

“Stella re-ignited our passion for documenting authentically and empowered our team to be confident and value the skills we already possessed,” Lindy said. 

Since their training in March, Stella has continued to regularly contact the centre to check on their progression. “As we consolidate our programming policy and practice we will definitely invite Stella to return to our centre to further our knowledge and skills,” Lindy said.


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