Affinity Shining Star - Chrissy Graham

How far can you take your career in early education? Earlier in 2019 Affinity Education Group recognised the hard work and dedication of Chrissy Graham. Since then Chrissy crossed the stage at the University of New England with her Degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education. 

We asked Chrissy to share her journey so you can see what a career with Affinity could mean for you.

"I began studying my Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) in 2013, the same year I began working at Daisy's Child Care Centre and Affinity took over the ownership of the business," says Chrissy. 

"When I began my work and education journey my daughter, Alexis, was six weeks old and I decided to follow my dream of becoming a teacher and leave the real estate industry, which I had worked in for ten years previously." 

"I had initially enrolled in a Primary School Degree and was working in Administration at Daisy's. However, after my first trimester I changed to a Dual Degree as I really enjoyed seeing the educational development in the younger years and I wanted to learn more about it."

Within six months Chrissy became the Lead Educator in the Alpine Daisy's Preschool Room and juggled this role as she studied and had her other two children; Xander and Beatrix. 

"I really valued the opportunity that studying early childhood education gave me as I was able to learn so much about child development, which I found interesting. Affinity were very supportive of my career goals - I was able to take my children to work with me and watch them grow as I worked and studied," Chrissy says. 

Affinity's value of 'Living the Team Spirit' really came into effect as Chrissy continued her studies.

"I cannot thank all the team I have worked with over the years at Daisy's enough, especially our Centre Manager, Liz, for all the guidance, suggestions and counselling. They have pulled me through all the teary "I can't do it" and "I will fail" moments I have had," says Chrissy.

"Affinity's Area Manager Karen, and Management team - CEO Tim Hickey, State Manager Wayne Meredith and COO Shane Dann, took a personal interest in me, and I thank them for their support over six and a half years and the flexibility to walk my own path. The team have all made the process so much easier and I cannot recommend the Affinity Education Group more highly as a supportive organisation to work for, especially when juggling study, work and family.

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Chrissy says the opportunities her Degree has presented for her personally and for the center are extremely valuable.

"Because I completed my early childhood practical experience placements at Cooma North Preschool and Little Stars in Berridale, our relationships have blossomed and we now support eachother on a range of professional development initiatives, excursions and in implmenting our Reconciliation Action Plan," says Chrissy. 

"My placements in the local public schools have also provided Daisy's, and myself, with strong relationships with the teachers and the wider school community, allowing us to enrich our transition to school program and have a more meaningful and regular year long interaction with the schools.

I am also better able to provide feedback for more authentic learning experiences for the children at Daisy's and a better understanding of what is needed for school readiness as they prepare to move onto their next stage of life. This reflects the lifelong learning approach," she says.

Chrissy's own lifelong learning journey will continue.

"I want to develop my teaching skills further, as I believe in the teaching profession you always need to learn more, as there is new information out there and research that helps our practice every day to grow. In a few years time I have a goal to complete my masters degree also," she says.

Chrissy - you're a true Shining Star in early education, and we're proud to have you as part of our community.

Make your career in early education count like Chrissy's - we're hiring Early Childhood Teachers and Lead Educators for 2020, right now. Take a look at our current vacancies and get in touch with our friendly HR team.