Bright future ahead for ECEC Scholarship recipient Samara Lake

With over 20 years of experience in the sector, educator Samara Lake has received a scholarship to study Early Childhood Education and begin the next chapter of her career as she continues making a difference to children’s learning and development.

A recipient of the NSW Government’s Early Childhood Education Scholarship, Samara Lake is continuing to make strides in her career as she completes a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Charles Sturt University.

Having wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree for some time, Samara shared that the scholarship has helped turned her dream into a reality by helping to fund course fees, textbooks and technology resources.

“This scholarship provided the security net I was looking for,” she said.

“I know this degree will provide the stepping stones to successfully open avenues for my career progression that have previously been out of reach.”

Samara is well aware of the life-changing impact early learning professionals have on children, families and communities, still reflecting on and valuing her own experiences as a preschooler.

“I have such vivid memories from my time at preschool, the friends I made and the activities that I loved like dancing, painting, and sewing.”

“After 22 years of living my dream as an Early Childhood educator, I still love every single day and the relationships I've built over the years.”

Currently working at Gumnut Cottage Long Daycare Centre on Darug Country, Samara is passionate about collaborating with families to support best outcomes for children and being a part of children’s learning and development journeys for years to come.

“These relationships go beyond work relationships, they become family.”

“The most rewarding part of my role is the relationships we build as educators – we know how important it is that children have safe and secure relationships to develop a strong sense of belonging, community and to engage with learning,” Samara said.

Samara is also a big believer in nurturing educators’ career development goals and encourages other educators to seek opportunities to upskill and grow.

“Educators advocate for children's learning and progression every day; we should be doing this for ourselves, capturing and celebrating our own learning and milestones.”

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