“Empowering children during their first five years of life so they can conquer the world” is what drove Ms Paige Taylor to persevere in obtaining her degree online while also juggling full-time work.
Paige grew up in Riverstone in Sydney’s North-West and is the youngest of five children.
She prides herself on remaining in the Riverstone region her whole life, feeling like “one of the originals” from the area.
Being the only girl with four older brothers, Paige found herself creating imaginary characters during her younger years. Her mother was supportive and even prepared food for her imaginary ‘friends’ when it was mealtime.
Growing up in this large family laid the foundations for Paige’s future career as a children’s educator. She reflects fondly on the support provided within the family network.
“I am very proud of my family and what we have achieved, together and individually,” Paige said.
“Throughout our school years, we’ve topped our classes and some of us have gone on to start our own businesses and worked our way up to the top in our respected fields.
“I am very grateful to be part of such a tight-knit family.”
Paige was interested in babies from a young age, which saw her collecting many dolls to play with.
These childhood interests stayed with Paige influencing her career in children’s education.
“I would take my baby dolls everywhere with me and not much has changed since,” she said.
After completing high school Paige took a couple of gap years which allowed her to consider what she wanted to do in the workforce.
“I had a few years in between high school and starting uni to get clear on what I wanted to do and where I wanted my career to go,” she said.
“I spent time studying my Certificate III and Diploma in Early Education, and it was during this time that I knew I wanted to continue extending my knowledge and experience to provide the best possible care for children.”
Paige commenced work as an early childhood educator at Fit Kidz the Early Learning Centre in Dural a few months prior to starting her Certificate III studies.
Working in this role fostered her growing love and interest in children and their development. She felt compelled to further her skill set and knowledge in education principles, so she applied to study a Bachelor of Education at Charles Sturt.
“As I loved my job and the hands-on experience I was getting I didn’t want to give that up to take on further study,” she said.
“I applied to study my course, online, in the hopes I could do both.”
Paige said it was particularly isolating completing her degree during the COVID-19 pandemic as not only was she studying online, alone, but her workplace was also interrupted.
“COVID-19 caused our workdays to be cut back which created a huge hurdle for me, socially,” she said.
“The course was great but combining work and study time, at home, added to the sense of cabin fever after a while.”
Despite the challenges presented during this period, Paige was determined to get her degree and is proud of herself for pushing through the hard times.
Her dream is to be the best educator she can be in the years to come.
“Providing the best possible care and education to children is what it’s all about in the end,” Paige said.