Ma­jor turns to car­ing for kids

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

New Zealand Army’s first Maori fe­male ma­jor has marched into a new ca­reer as a child­care ed­u­ca­tor with PORSE in Mor­rinsville.

Carol Tar­rant, of Mata­mata, spent 20 years in the army with one ca­reer high­light in­clud­ing a tour to Sin­ga­pore where she was one of the lo­gis­tics of­fi­cers in charge of with­draw­ing the New Zealand De­fence Forces out of South East Asia.

How­ever, the mil­i­tary of­fi­cer wanted to spend more time with her own chil­dren so she be­came an in-home child­care ed­u­ca­tor.

‘‘I had both my chil­dren while I was in the army but I knew I couldn’t soldier on as a pro­fes­sional of­fi­cer and be a full-time mum, so I left and started in-home child­care.

‘‘I’ve al­ways loved kids and fig­ured if I had my own chil­dren at home why not have a few more and make a ca­reer out of it.’’

Carol said she feels very work­ing with chil­dren.

‘‘I’m so pas­sion­ate about chil­dren’s learn­ing and en­sur­ing they can learn in a safe, nur­tur­ing en­vi­ron­ment, but I also re­ally be­lieve in the home-based child­care model. There’s a magic to the one on one con­nec­tions I have with my chil­dren.’’

Her ap­proach to child­care couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent from her reg­i­mented army per­sona, but it did teach her two things: or­gan­i­sa­tion and the im­por­tance

ful­filled of ‘hav­ing a plan B’.

‘‘I used to be ex­tremely dis­ci­plined with time, but work­ing with preschool­ers has cer­tainly mel­lowed me,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s still a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion go­ing out but I guess I know a thing or two about lo­gis­tics. I’m now far more re­laxed and know that no two days will be the same.’’

The 54-year-old runs a prac­ti­cal-based PORSE pro­gramme, where chil­dren are taught life skills with a fo­cus on so­cial com­pe­tence.

‘‘I love tak­ing the chil­dren out and about and see­ing them ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments in the com­mu­nity.’’

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