Hobbit Long Day Care and Preschool has been in operation for close to 40 years. We speak to Director Anthony Possil about the wonderful service and experiences on offer at Hobbit.
Tell us about your team …
We are very lucky to have a motivated group of trained staff to complement our wonderful (newly painted) facilities. We have one early childhood teacher, two Diploma trained teachers and two certificate three trained staff who all have several years’ experience in the Early Childhood field.
We have successfully kept staff long term at Hobbit, which is something that is hard to do in this field. This has helped build better relationships with families and children. Kristy, our Early Childhood teacher, has been here since 2001and will often comment on children that are now in high school.
Our second room leader Ang has worked in long day care for over ten years. We also have some great room assistants (their title does not do them justice) in Judy Mounter, Karen Bramely and Jennifer Irvine, who is a trained primary teacher.
Tell us about your role as Director?
I have been the Director at Hobbit for the past three years. Previous to that I worked as room leader at Hobbit for two years and before that at Tiny Town for five years.
People always mention that it must be different being a male working in this industry, but I would like to see myself as no different to a female in this position, however weird that sounds. Being a male in Early Childhood does have some advantages, as does a person from a different culture or of different beliefs in that it allows the children to see things in a another light, as my perspective may be a little different. I think it would be great for more males to seek out a career in this industry, especially with so many families being from single parent backgrounds these days.
I have worked very hard to make myself approachable and really get to know each family, and have them involved, especially since we are a community organisation. Other than that, I have a wonderful staff who help Hobbit run smoothly.
How many children does the centre cater for?
We are licenced for 35 children; that is broken up into two rooms.The Gumnut room caters for children two to three and a half years and the reschool room is for children three and a half years to school age. Both have a fully functional interest based program. We also have an after school care facility that allows us to take five children after school up to the age of 12.
Tell us about a typical day at Hobbit Preschool?
We open at 8am and are outside. We have recently knocked over our old shed, leaving much more open space. We have loved the warmer weather, with much more water play happening. Our large fort has recently received a lick of paint and has been well used. The rain has been good for our best ever veggie patch, that we have been eating through for the past few weeks and hopefully will be able to do for a few more months.
Morning tea and group times happen at 10.15, with indoor provisions from 11.00 until 12.00 with art / craft, construction, pretend play and for the older children our new Letterland program, that really helps with children’s interests in letters and writing. Lunch is at 12, followed by quiet time. We then enjoy indoor provisions, afternoon tea and outside play, closing at 6pm.
We have meals similar to school, with children bringing their own morning tea and lunch, with an area for cold items. For afternoon tea each child brings in a piece of fruit that gets cut up and divided. We provide milk and sunscreen and a Hobbit hat for all children.
Thank you Anthony.