Sutherland Shire Council's childcare team is reaching new heights, with a winner and 12 finalists announced in two separate awards programs for excellence.
In September, Sylvania Family Day Care Educator Renata Stipanovic was recognised as one of Australia's finest early childhood educators, named as the Southern Suburbs and Sutherland Shire regional winner in the 2019 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards.
She is now in the running to be named as a national finalist for the national Family Day Care Educator of the Year Award.
Later this month, winners will be announced in the 2019 Excellence in Early Childhood Education Awards, with the council's 12 finalists in the running across several categories.
Finalists include individual educators, early education centres, family day care and two teams within the council's children's services unit.
Among them, the council's Early Education Centres at Moore Street Sutherland, Caldarra Avenue Engadine and Bradman Road Menai, along with its Family Day Care service.
The Moore Street Sutherland centre also has three educators who are individual finalists, along with one educator from the Fauna Place Kirrawee Centre.
The council's Family Day Care services operated by educators Renata at Sylvania and Kelly at Yowie Bay are finalists for their indoor and outdoor learning environments respectively.
Children's Services' own sustainability team is a finalist, reflecting outstanding sustainable practices and ongoing environmental learning programs provided to the children.
"I'm really proud of our childcare team and this truly is a testament to the great work being undertaken in the early education and care services we provide to many local families," Sutherland Shire Mayor, Carmelo Pesce, said.
"It reflects our quality learning programs, the environments available to the children, the partnerships we have with families, our inclusive practices and our non-negotiable commitment to the highest standards of safety and quality.
"Our talented educators work incredibly hard, day in and day out. They go over and above when it comes to the care and connection they have with the children and families. They focus on the individual care and development of every child."
Winners will be announced on October 26.