NZTC qualification: Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) Upgrade.
Current role: Manager of the integrated Browns Plains, Acacia Ridge and Beaudesert Early Years Centres and Kindergartens in Brisbane.
Best thing about studying through NZTC: I learnt how to do action research and have been a very strong advocate for it ever since.
Biggest achievement while studying: Working full time while studying.
Positions of influence
Since gaining her degree from NZTC in 2006, Bev Book’s career trajectory in the early childhood education (ECE) sector has been nothing short of impressive. The Australian resident has held numerous leadership positions including head teacher, centre director, National Manager for ECE with the Benevolent Society (Australia’s oldest charity which advocates for young children), and she’s currently the manager of a chain of Queensland Community Hubs that work with vulnerable children and their families. As a centre director, she led her team to win the prestigious Australian Family National Service of the Year Award in 2011.
Strong belief in the early years
Bev’s drive to see top quality care for children in their early years was cultivated by her time as a primary school teacher in London and Auckland, where she recognised that many of the children in her classes would have benefitted from intervention earlier. “Children have taught me some of life’s most profound lessons. It was a natural step for me to leave primary school teaching and study towards an early childhood degree, knowing that the more I taught, the more I’d learn,” said Bev.
NZTC degree a selling point
Bev believes that her NZTC degree has provided her with a solid foundation in early childhood knowledge and practice. “Studying my degree at NZTC in New Zealand certainly gave me the very best start; something that has been a significant point of difference on my CV in Australia. The flexibility of the action research projects allowed me to feed my interest in leadership and management, it’s something I still do today,” she said.
Skill set overflowing
As a manager leading educators and family support workers, her skills are being put to good use in helping to build strong teams that support their clients towards positive outcomes. The centres are essentially “one-stop shop family hubs” with everything from free drop-in infant health services to free playgroups, cooking and art classes, parenting and family support services, and financial education. Her team members need to be highly communicative, engaged and purpose-driven.
NZ – leading the world in ECE
Despite having firm roots in her role in Australia, Bev believes New Zealand is an ideal place for students to pursue a career in ECE, regarding the country as a “world leader in early childhood education.”
“The government in New Zealand has long understood, acknowledged and supported the impact of top quality ECE on the lives of children, evidenced in the implementation of Te Whāriki (New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum) a long time ago,” she explains. “Many other countries could learn much from how this has been achieved. With government support – the sky is the limit.”
Onwards and upwards
With all this talk of politics, one might be forgiven for thinking a career in parliament could be on the horizon. “My family have always called me the next advisor to the Minister for Early Childhood Education. I have no time for the politics of politics, but perhaps that is the next step! I know that I want to continue to be inspired and do great things in my community.”
NZTC’s Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) and Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) graduates are eligible to apply to the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) for early childhood teacher status in all Australian states and territories. Click HERE for more details.