Bellambi day care mum wins for patience and fun

Nurture: Family day care award winner Casandra Walsh (centre) hard at work on Friday. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Nurture: Family day care award winner Casandra Walsh (centre) hard at work on Friday. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Casandra Walsh laughs when asked about her presumably high patience levels.

For the past nine years, the Bellambi mum has cared for littlies in her own home as a family day care educator, a role she has embraced with gusto.

Ms Walsh said she was surprised and excited to be named Illawarra and South Coast regional winner in the 2014 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards.

She credited her win to the great kids in her care, but Family Day Care Australia said her dedication and extra efforts to create an exciting and educational experience for the youngsters had a fair bit to do with it.

"The [awards] showcase the innovative practices of family day care educators like Casandra who are committed to delivering the best learning and development outcomes for the children in their care," Family Day Care Australia chief executive Carla Northam said.

"It also shows that they hold a very special place in the hearts of the families who nominated them and this is a rare opportunity for these families to say thank you."

Ms Walsh's little crew, typically four kids aged five and under, is regularly seen out and about at libraries and school events and Ms Walsh has even turned her home into a fun haven for her little charges.

"I've been trying to build on our sustainability, so we went out and bought a big chicken coop and we've been watching the chickens grow and now we're waiting for eggs," she said.

Being able to distract and entertain the kids was vital, but patience scored pretty high on the list too, Ms Walsh said.

"You've got to [have patience] and you've got to know when to step in and when not to, you've got to pick your battles."

Ms Walsh is now up for both a state and national award.

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