Our Educators

At Kapooka Early Childhood Centre we recognise our staff as being our most valuable resource.

  “They are our Kapooka” (Bentley – aged 4, 2011).

Our educators are dedicated and caring individuals who share a genuine love for children. They understand the importance of staff continuity and consistency and the emotional and social benefits this provides to young children, their families and our service as a whole. Our educators' professional and personal experience, work ethic, maturity and communication assists to facilitate a very high standard of education and care.


Our educators' professional qualifications vary and are outlined below.

The Education and Care Services National Regulations require at least one educator to be on the premises at all times with the following qualification.

  • Child Protection training,
  • Asthma and Anaphylaxis
  • First Aid training.                (All our educators at Kapooka Early Childhood Centre possess these)


Teaching Director

Donna Worner – Monday to Friday (Full-Time)

Graduate Certificate (Special Education) Flinders University – South Australia

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) Charles Sturt University - Albury

Associate Diploma in Social Science (Child Studies) TAFE NSW Riverina Institute

Service to KECC – 21 years

Personal Philosophy extract

“Let children be children” for childhood is precious and time like the swinging pendulum, moves on with indifferent pace, bringing new tomorrows and an ever changing face. So let not time pass childhood by without leaving a little history to trace.” - Donna Worner & Ivy Mary Dallas, mentor, friend and poet (1925 – 2011)



Renee Smeeth - Monday to Friday (Full-Time)

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) - Charles Sturt University

Children’s Services Diploma – TAFE NSW Riverina Institute

Service to KECC – 10 years

Personal Philosophy extract

“I consider children as unique individuals who are powerful contributors to their own learning. For this reason I value purposeful learning experiences that touch the children’s curiosity and motivates them to pursue and explore their innate love for learning. I believe children learn best through play based environments that are natural, authentic, open ended and inviting.”



Lisa Smith – Monday to Friday (Full -Time)

Certificate III in Children's Services - TAFE NSW Riverina Institute

Studying Diploma in Children's Serivces

Service to KECC - 4 years

Personal Philosophy extract



Jayne Harris – Monday to Friday (Part -Time)

 Associate Diploma in Children’s Services – TAFE NSW, Riverina Institute

 Service to KECC – 2 years

Personal Philosophy extract

"Play is an essential element in the lives of young children. Play enables and fosters children's social, emotional, language, cognitive and physical growth in the most naturalistic way."





Jessica Knox – Monday to Friday (Full-Time)

Certificate III in Children's Services - TAFE NSW, Riverina Institute

Studying Diploma in Children's Services

Service to KECC –  6 months

Personal Philosophy extract

"I believe children should be encouraged to be independent learners and be involved in experiences that help them develop self-confidence, empathy towards others and respect for themselves and others."


Amy Tier - Monday to Friday (Part-time)

Diploma in Children's Services

Studying Bachelor of Education

Service to KECC - Joined our team in January 2019

Personal Philosophy extract

"I believe children learn best when they are part of a supportive and nurturing environment. It is critical that as educators we form secure relationships with all children as this allows each child to develop confidence and feel respected for who they are. When children feel that they are part of a caring and supportive environment, they are able to recognise others feelings and develop the skills and understandings they need to interact in positive ways with others."



Additionally, our management committee values the importance of Professional Development. The preschool educators attend several workshops and conferences each year. They visit fellow educational services to reflect upon and learn new practices. During these visits they establish strong networks with other early childhood professionals. They also reflect on their own practice as individuals and collectively as a team. They believe learning is a lifelong process and gain increased skills and ability as they learn.  

“When people use the term “professional development,” they usually mean a formal process such as a conference, seminar, or workshop; collaborative learning among members of a work team; or a course at college or university. However, professional development can also occur in informal contexts such as discussion among work colleagues, independent reading and research, observations of a colleague’s work, or other learning from a peer.”

(Source - Why Professional Development matters, Hayes Mizell, Learning Forward, 2010)