Affinity Shining Star profile: Jahmilla Looney

“I love seeing the look on children’s faces when they discover and learn”

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. When I went to university I chose to start my studies in Early Childhood to gain more practical experience, and began working in the industry in 2005. 

During the first few years of my career I juggled working and completing a traineeship in Children’s Services alongside starting a family of my own. I approached Village Kids in South Townsville in 2010 and began working as a casual educator covering programming. Here I started studying for my Diploma alongside working part-time, and when my youngest child started school I took on the position as centre cook for a period to align with school hours. 

I completed my Diploma in 2014 – which felt like a long time! I then took on the position as Lead Educator in the Toddler room and started studying for my Bachelor. After two years I was offered the role of ECT, and here I am now into my second year in the role and third year of my Bachelor which I aim to complete, fingers crossed, by the end of 2018. 

What do I love most about my job? Simply being around children. I love seeing the look on children’s faces when they discover and learn something new, or when they tell you something that excites them.
For me, the attraction of working in an early learning centre environment as opposed to a school environment, is that the children are free to learn what they want to learn rather than what is prescribed by the curriculum. 

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It is important to me to give children plenty of autonomy and choice in their learning, and to achieve that careful balance of structured learning and free play. 

I am delighted to have been chosen to take part in the upcoming New Zealand Study tour that our owners Affinity Education Group have arranged as a professional development opportunity for a group of ECT’s through the Affinity Learning Academy. 

As told by Jahmilla Looney.

Visit the Village Kids South Townsville website to find out more about Jahmilla's centre or find a Lifelong Learning Centre near you.

Watch the Lifelong Learning approach in action.