Affinity Shining Star: Jes Hurst

A career with Affinity Education Group can lead far further than you ever imagined, as our latest Shining Star Jes Hurst shares.

Jes is one of the 70% of Affinity’s Assistant Centre Managers who have been promoted internally by the company, after showing potential and passion in their role. 

Jes is currently acting Centre Manager at Tadpoles Early Learning Samford, her ‘home centre’ where she has been warmly welcomed back by educators and 68 families after spending a training period at another much larger childcare centre owned and managed by Affinity.

But Jes’s journey to becoming a much-loved educator and one of our newest Assistant Centre Managers started when she was only 15 years old, and made the decision that early childhood education was the career for her.

“By 2005 I enrolled in my Certificate II & III in Early Childhood Education & Care, and then was offered an assistant educator role in a kindergarten room in Brisbane,” Jes explains. 

"Affinity has nurtured my career through allowing me to participate in their Shining Stars mentor program, which led to me creating an Educator Reflection Diary now available to Affinity's educators nationally, and by offering me a variety of career progression opportunities in the years I’ve been working for the company,” she says.

"They offer their staff more opportunities than any other early childhood company I know of, from their learning hub, where you can complete self-paced online learning, to as much training and professional development as you desire - you really only have to ask!”

Affinity’s Head of People and Culture, Linda Carroll, says the company is very proud of what Jes has achieved, which highlights Affinity’s unique approach to identifying and nurturing talent and passion.

"We work closely with our people at every level, not only through personal visits to our childcare centres by our CEO and executive team, where we take the time to talk and ask questions, but through our operations team who are completely connected to the centres in their area,” explains Linda.

“Our policies put our people first - we want to help every individual working for Affinity to realise their full potential. We’re proud that 70% of our Assistant Centre Managers are promoted internally by Affinity, because it shows people with potential get noticed fast, nurtured and trained, supported to take on further studies, and recognised for going above and beyond to deliver great outcomes for their childcare centres and the children in their care,” she says.

Jes lists her Affinity colleagues and managers as well as families and children as her greatest 'support crew'.

“Being able to connect with people, and learn from them has been a highlight in my journey as an ECE. And now I have commenced this acting Centre Manager role, I see that my career wouldn’t even need to stop here - I’m excited to see where this might lead!"