Hanging up her longtime hospitality apron, Belinda East did the research on her home town, Bannockburn, which is the third fastest growing regional town in Victoria and the need for a private child care centre. So that is exactly what she did, officially opening Bright Minds Early Learning Bannockburn in September 2017 and she hasn’t looked back since!
SO… WHAT IS BRIGHT MINDS ELC BANNOCKBURN?
Bright minds ELC is a 167 place children’s service’s centre with long day care and 3 year old and 4 year old kindergarten.
HOW DID CHANGING FROM OWNING HOTELS TO AN EARLY LEARNING CENTRE COME ABOUT + to life?
We were in hotels prior to having Bright Minds and were looking at venturing into some kind of other business. With the growing population of Bannockburn, it is the third fastest growing regional town in Victoria, we thought maybe there was a need for a private child care centre. So we hung up our hospitality aprons, did some research and found that there was a high demand for a private operator to enter the market… and so it began!
HOW LONG HAS BRIGHT MINDS ELC BANNOCKBURN BEEN UP + RUNNING FOR?
We officially opened in September 2017. Before that, it took about 18 months of red tape and Government bodies to get approved. It was a long, difficult process but we just dealt with it one step at a time and eventually got there!
EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING… what do YOU love about your job?
It’s always a pleasure to go to work for me! Being part of the community and being able to help parents is definitely the thing I love most about my job! We employ around 45 full-time staff now so my job [most days] is managing staff and the issues that arise from that, if any! I do fortnightly payroll and manage the financial side of the business as well. We have a fantastic director, Jodie, who treats our business like it’s her own, a wonderful 2IC and full-time admin officer, so the centre basically runs itself without too much input from me now.
IS YOUR JOB EXCITING… or do you just look after other people’s kids all day?
Haha, don’t let my educators here you say that! The industry is very regulated so most of my staff have a Diploma or a Bachelor in Early Childhood. We tend to employ more qualified staff than what is regulated, we feel it delivers better programs and more experience gives depth to our service.
The notion of “just looking after kids” is long gone. Our staff are well trained in educating all ages of children, from the babies room right up to kindergarten. I think our 4 year old kindergarten program is one of the best, it not only educates the children through play but it also gets them socially/community aware and prepared for their schooling years.
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE… what’s planned for the future of Bright Minds ELC Bannockburn?
We are off to another busy start to the year with numbers filling up quickly again after our kinder children left for school at the end of last year. So I guess physically, there is nothing left to do to the business, it is fully set up and developed. We are constantly learning, researching, trying to improve our programs and processes, so that is always an ongoing mission which keeps us more than busy.
HOW DO I GET IN CONTACT… find out more + check out your amazing centre?
We are at 17 Archer Way, Bannockburn.
You can call 52 921 931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a tour or come have a look at our centre.
We would love to see you x