G8 Education Early Learning Centres raise more than $180,000 for children with brain cancer

September is childhood cancer awareness month and G8 Education is partnering with the Children’s Hospital Foundation, to raise awareness for children’s brain cancer.

Brain cancer claims the life of one Australian child every nine days – more than any other disease.

One of Australia’s largest early childhood education and care providers, G8 Education, has rallied its 440 centres, 10,000 strong team and 50,000 families across Australia to help change that statistic and join the fight against children’s brain cancer.  

G8 Education joined forces with the Children’s Hospital Foundation to participate in a virtual marathon fundraising challenge, 42k Your Way. The national network mobilized, and set a goal to raise $150,000 for the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre – Australia’s only dedicated paediatric brain cancer research centre. Close to 250 centres across the network participated in the challenge, collectively walking, running, rolling, skipping and dancing their way to a total of 56,832kms this August.

The result? $181,252 raised for the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre, inclusive of a generous $20,000 corporate donation from G8 Education. This equates to just over 50% of the overall 42k Your Way fundraising revenue, doubling the impact of the campaign.

Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Lyndsey Rice said: “The Children’s Brain Cancer Centre unites the best of the best in paediatric brain research to bring new hope to children diagnosed with brain cancer. Despite advances in other types of childhood cancer, survival rates for brain cancer have made little progress over the past 30 years. The Children’s Brain Cancer Centre aims to change that. We are so grateful to G8 Education staff and families for their incredible support of 42k Your Way and their commitment to improving survival and survivorship for children with brain cancer.”

Cheque handover for 42k your way

Today, Parkinson World of Learning hosted a breakfast BBQ and welcomed G8 Education’s campaign Ambassador Isaac to join the celebrations.

Isaac was just four months old when his parents noticed he had shaky eyes. At his four-month check-up, doctors raised their concern about his eyes and the rapid growth of his head.

After many tests and scans, Isaac was diagnosed with brain cancer, he had a large tumour at the centre of his brain which was causing hydrocephalus which causes swelling in the brain. Isaac’s tumour is inoperable, but with treatment, including chemotherapy to shrink the tumour he is currently stable. However, unfortunately this could change at any time.

His proud mum Luarna says her son, who turned six this year, “hardly ever cried” through more than a year of chemotherapy, which shrunk his tumour by half. “He’s a beautiful boy. He made the hard times a lot easier to get through.”

Although the tumour – a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma – has stopped growing, Luarna says Isaac’s future is uncertain.

Funds raised by G8 Education centres will give hope to families like Isaac’s for a future without brain cancer.

G8 Education, CEO, Gary Carroll said: “Our purpose is creating the foundations for learning for life and health is a vital part of this. We know many team members across our centres – and many Australians in general – have connections to this cause. It has been incredible to witness the commitment of our team during this initiative, and I am extremely proud we have exceeded our target and have raised $181,252 for the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre to help fund vital research.”

Jodie Elliott, Centre Manager at G8 Education’s Nurture One Kilmore, lost her four-day old daughter Hollee to brain cancer in 2018.

“I lost my beautiful daughter Hollee at just 4 days old from brain cancer”.

Hollee was born with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour on her brain stem which doctors deemed inoperable.

“She was born and she was the most perfect little girl,” said Jodie.

“Looking at her you wouldn’t know there was this tumour growing inside her.”

Jodie, her husband and their son Harry made the most of the four days they had with Hollee.

“Hollee slept on my chest every night of her life, and it’s there she also went to sleep for the final time. I had dosed off, my husband woke me up and said she had gone. It was horrible.”

After her passing a biopsy of Hollee’s tumour was sent to the United States for further testing and to be used in research to help find a cure.

“Research is vital in improving survival rates in the future which is why I am so proud that G8 Education has gotten behind the 42k Your Way initiative,” said Jodie.

“The Children’s Brain Cancer Centre is helping support Australian children and Australian families.”

“You never think it will happen to you, until it’s happening to you. And it’s when you’re thrust into that situation that it’s comforting to know Australia is home to the best research and researchers in the field.”

How G8 Education is celebrating Early Childhood Educators’ Day

Thirty-six Educators across the country will be recognised for their excellence in G8 Education’s annual Standout Educator Awards as part of the provider’s Early Childhood Educators’ Day celebrations.

Families and colleagues nominated Educators for their work across six categories – Community Engagement, Family Engagement, Safety, Sustainability, Mentoring and Outstanding Practice.

“Our team of Educators and Teachers are our greatest asset, and it will be wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate them and their incredible contribution to our communities as part of Early Childhood Educators Day,” said Gary Carroll, G8 Education CEO.

“I look forward to congratulating our 36 winners and thanking all our Educators and Teachers for their ongoing dedication and passion in delivering the very best outcomes for children and delivering our purpose, creating the foundations for learning for life.”

More than 6,500 nominations were received across the six categories, with comments from colleagues and families including praise for Educators championing children as capable learners, their exceptional support, passion, inspiration and their development of quality connections.

“My team and I had the pleasure of reviewing the shortlist of nominations and it was wonderful to read about the impact our educators and teachers are having on children, families and colleagues,” said G8 Education’s Head of Early Learning and Education, Ali Evans.

“We talk about this profession as having a profound societal impact, in how education shapes life-long learning. This is well and truly captured reading the personal stories of these nominations.

“A career in early childhood is truly something worth celebrating. It is a chance to make a positive impact in a child’s life, and your own.”

G8 Education hopes all Educators and Teachers across the country enjoy a very happy Early Childhood Educators’ Day!

G8 Education opens five centres in Western Australia in 12 months

G8 Education has listened to Western Australian families’ cries for more early learning services, opening five new centres in 12 months.

G8 Education is preparing to open two new Great Beginnings centres in Baldivis and Canning Vale which will provide 219 places for children.

This is in addition to the 298 places G8 Education has added to the greater Perth area in the past 12 months, having opened new centres in Southern River, Golden Bay and Victoria Park.

“We’ve heard the calls from families and are looking forward to being able to provide greater access to quality early learning and care for Western Australian families,” said G8 Education Chief Executive Officer Gary Carroll.

“These centres will be our fourth and fifth centres we’ve opened in Western Australia in the past 12 months, with more in the pipeline for the next two to three years.”

It is forecast the demand for Long Day Care services in Canning Vale will increase by up to 20 per cent from 2020 to 2025*.

In Baldivis, the need is even greater, with population projections estimating the number of children attending Long Day Care services will increase by 8 to 12 per cent per annum until 2025.

Western Australia Regional Manager, Leigh Harding, said she is proud to meet the needs of working families and by providing quality care.

“I am proud that our centres provide working families with quality education and care that allows them to go to work with the peace of mind that their child is learning in a safe and nurturing environment,” she said.

Great Beginnings Baldivis Centre Manager Amy Beveridge agreed, noting that the centre will be focused on providing a flexible program and schedule to ensure a seamless transition between home and centre for both child and family.

“It’s important to adapt our way of working to the schedules being followed at home, so we become an extension of that rather than complicating things for our families,” she said.

“My team will also be led by the interests of the children in the development of our program and encourage maximum engagement and independence from the children.”

Kelly Van Meekeren, Great Beginnings Canning Vale Centre Manager, said creating an inclusive environment is critical in setting up children for success in their learning and development.

“We know that children need to feel accepted and settled in order to be open and ready to learn,” she said.

“We will be focusing on creating an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated, accepted and supported.”

Great Beginnings Baldivis and Canning Vale offer education and care for children six weeks to six years, from 6.30am to 6.30pm, five days a week.

The centres are also hiring, with Ms Harding encouraging local educators, or anyone considering a career change, to contact the team to find out more about the open opportunities.

“Our Study Pathways Program supports people at any stage of life to start their career in early learning,” she said.

“We recognise that our people are our greatest asset, which is why we are committed to investing in our people and rewarding our team by providing access to supported professional development, discounted child care and retail and wellbeing offers.”

If you’d like to learn more about Great Beginnings Baldivis and Canning Vale visit the website to join the waitlist or call 1800 517 086.

G8 invests in development to fight workforce shortage

As the early childhood education and care sector grapples with a workforce shortage crisis, G8 Education is investing in the next generation of educators with 74 school-based trainees starting in Queensland services over the past week.

Early childhood education sector vacancies are at an all-time high, with 1,557 positions currently advertised online across Queensland.

On average, it currently takes 57 days to fill a vacant position, with demand expected to spike in September/October due to normal enrolment and vacancy cycles.

In order to combat this growing demand, G8 Education is investing more into its sector-leading Trainee and Study Pathway programs to grow and develop its team.

Of the school-based trainees who have completed the program with G8 Education and graduated with a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, 41 per cent have gone on to permanent employment with G8.

According to G8 Education’s Chief People and Transformation Officer, Tabitha Pearson, the school-based program has more than doubled in size over the past two years due to workforce demands.

“This is such a crucial program given the current workforce environment,” she said.

“We understand our educators and teachers are our most valuable asset, which is why we are committed to developing and supporting our current and prospective team through our sector-leading study pathways programs from school-based traineeships right through to Bachelor Scholarships.”

Joseph Cooper, who has just started his school-based traineeship at The Learning Sanctuary Tarragindi, said he is very grateful for the opportunity to start his career in early childhood education while he is still at school.  Joseph Cooper with Assistant Centre Manager Matthew Vernon

“I had an amazing teacher in grade three, Mr Hanson, and ever since then I’ve wanted to be a teacher,” he said.

“I always doubted whether it was an achievable goal, until I heard about this traineeship opportunity.

“Judging from my first few days at the centre, early learning seems like a perfect fit for me.

“I love watching the children interact and problem solve, and it’s a really fun and welcoming environment to work in.”

The fully-funded two-year school-based traineeship program sees students work alongside a mentor at the centres who can assist students with their studies and development.

G8 Education is one of Australia’s largest early education and care providers, with centres from Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast accepting students as part of this major traineeship intake.

G8 Education also offers traineeships to mature aged workers, as well as supported Diploma and Bachelor Study Pathways Programs to employees.

To learn more about how to apply for a traineeship or position with G8 Education, visit the Careers Website.

Kamilaroi Educator led NAIDOC Week celebrations at G8 early learning centre

Proud Kamilaroi woman, Miss Barbie, has led children and her fellow educators at Prestons World of Learning in a range of NAIDOC Week celebrations as they build upon their knowledge of Indigenous culture this week.

Since joining the centre two years ago, Miss Barbie has been actively sharing her culture with her community and working to embed Indigenous education into centre practices.Kamilaroi Educator leading NAIDOC week celebrations at G8 early learning centre

“For me it is important to create a space where children, families and my colleagues can ask questions freely in the interest of learning more,” she said.

“Since joining the centre I have introduced daily acknowledgements of country and consistent Indigenous education practices across all rooms.”

The centre’s NAIDOC Week celebrations will be focused on Indigenous totems and storytelling, beginning with a full centre smoking ceremony performed by Miss Barbie.

“The smoking ceremony is a really important part of our celebrations and recognition of NAIDOC Week,” she said.

“The preschool room will be creating their own picture book about the local Gandangara totems of magpies and crows.”

“The nursery room educators will also do a live story telling where the children can interact with live earth elements like mud and sand as the story is told.”

World of Learning is part of the G8 Education network, one of Australia’s largest early learning providers dedicated to its purpose of creating the foundations for learning for life.

G8 Education’s Head of Early Learning and Education, Ali Evans, said NAIDOC Week provides a great opportunity to extend on existing practices with cultural and community-based learning experiences.

“NAIDOC Week is about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and knowledges and that is exactly what Miss Barbie is leading her children and team to do, not just this week but consistently through embedded practices,” she said.

“As educators and teachers we are in a unique position of shaping our leaders of the future, and it is learning like this that will make for a more socially just and united Australia.”

Miss Barbie said she is grateful for the opportunity to share her knowledge with her centre community, particularly during significant times like NAIDOC Week.

“For me NAIDOC Week is about kinship and spending time with family to share stories and ask questions,” she said.

“Luckily for me, I also have a similar, deep connection with my centre community, and I feel fortunate to have the chance to share my culture with so many people.”

To learn more about Prestons World of Learning visit the website, book a tour online or call 1800 413 995.