Family Day Care educator Emma Turnbull of Lilypod's Family Day Care in Freemans Reach has been named Richmond & Hawkesbury Regional Educator Winner at the Family Day Care Australia Awards.
According to the awards organisers, Ms Turnbull was recognised for her embrace of inclusive and culturally sensitive practices, and for her development of a strong educational program for the children in her care.
Ms Turnbull's day care service falls under Richmond's Collective Family Day Care scheme.
She told the Gazette she was "blown away" by the recognition of the award.
"It was such an honour to be recognised for the work we do with the young children growing up today," she said.
Ms Turnbull said she was at full capacity during Covid this year, looking after seven children per day at her home.
"The difference with Family Day Care is it is an extension of the children's home; I want them to feel like home here and treat it like their home," she said.
"There's a very close-knit group of children - I have four little ones during the day and three older ones come in later. They have a close environment together, rather than having to compete with 10 or 20 other children."
Ms Turnbull said she enjoyed working with Collective Family Day Care.
"They're a beautiful bunch of girls. They're a great scheme to be with if you're looking to become an educator, and they're great to be with if you're looking for care for your children," she said.
Family Day Care is an approved form of early childhood education and care. Qualified early childhood professionals - known as educators - register with a Family Day Care Service, and run their own family day care business from home.
Family Day Care Australia is the national, not-for-profit peak body for family day care.