Sutherland Shire Council Children’s Services does it again! And again! And again!

What a whirlwind few weeks it has been at Council’s Children’s Services.

First Educator Renata Stipanovic, was named as the Regional Winner for Southern Suburbs and Sutherland Shire at the 2019 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards. An amazing achievement for such an inspiring and motivated educator.


Then, 12 educators and services were not only nominated, but finalists in the 2019 Excellence in Early Childhood Education Awards, including those at Caldarra Avenue in Engadine, Bradman Road in Menai as well as their own in-house Sustainability Team. They were put forward for their contribution to outstanding sustainable practices and ongoing environmental learning programs. Such great credit to the exceptional care and education they provide on a daily basis across The Shire.


But it was the night of 26th October that shone for them as three of the nominations took out these prestigious awards!

Moore Street Sutherland Early Education Centre won in the category for Large Community Metropolitan Service Excellence Award.

The diverse team at Moore Street is proud of the culture they have created. With long-standing educators providing continuity and quality educational experiences, they place a strong emphasis on catering to each child’s individual needs. The centre feels like an extension of the family home, and as well as having strong connections to the Sutherland area they also honour local Aboriginal culture.

The experiences they offer are varied and encourage children to engage both in the natural world around them and the relationships they have with each other. Being able to choose where they play and participate is a massive part of the program where educators can follow their interests.

Kelly Hedderman, a Family Day Care Educator based in Yowie Bay, won the award for Excellence In Outdoor Learning Environment.


Kelly is absolutely inspired by and passionate about being outdoors in nature using her magnificent outdoor space as the provocation for the children’s learning opportunities. It’s a well-resourced area, with something for every part of their interests and development; whether it’s role play and social experiences through a mud kitchen and cubby house, or physical skills with the tree swing and play equipment.


And of course, they learn about being sustainable and protecting the environment by gardening and caring for plants. She also encourages the children to engage in their natural world, whatever the weather, rain or shine.


It’s clear to see how Kelly won this award through her passion for not only this wonderful environment but her dedication to the children in her care.

And Renata Stipanovic did it again, taking out the award for Excellence in Indoor Learning Environment.

Based in Sylvania, Renata is a Family Day Care Educator providing care and education to 4 children in her home. She has an incredible environment that is built upon sustainability, loose parts play and repurposing household objects. Her indoor space is mostly fitted out with natural furnishing and resources and she has designated learning stations for different experiences – puzzle, role play, construction.

Her passion and eye for detail often take her and the children on an adventure or investigation, often out and about in the community.

Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce said the Educators were very deserving of the top awards.

“I’m really proud of them and it truly is testament to the great work they are doing, day in and day out,” said Mayor Pesce.
“This recognition reflects their quality learning programs, the environments available to the children, the partnerships they have with families and their non-negotiable commitment to the highest standards of safety and quality. They go over and above when it comes to the care and connection they have with the children and families,” he said.

Shire Talk wishes to congratulate Moore Street Sutherland Early Education Centre, Kelly Hedderman and Renata Stipanovic for their wins at the 2019 Excellence in Early Childhood Education Awards; and to the entire Sutherland Shire Council Children’s Services Team for their nominations.

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