Major turns to caring for kids
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.’’