Meet Our Trainers

Lara Jennings
Owner/Founder - Education Nerd

 

 

Hello! I'm the founder of Offspring Education and I am a self confessed education nerd. I love all things education because I know that when children have an education that allows them to reach their full potential then we will have a better world for it. After completing my Bachelor of Education I taught in primary and secondary schools for a number of years. My love for Early Childhood came about from having my own children and seeing for myself just how important those first 5 years are for a child's learning and development.

I love talking to educators about their philosophy and how that impacts what they do in their practice. I love challenging the norms of education. 'Why' is such a powerful word. I want to know why we do things. And then I want to know how we can do them better. And that is how I run my workshops and consultations with educators, with the outcomes for children at the forefront of my mind. If only all levels of education could be as child-centred, flexible and developmentally appropriate as early childhood!

When I'm not doing any of the above I am hanging out with my two beautiful and crazy children, my husband, my cat and my dog. My favourite pass time is sleeping, reading a good book is a close second and peppermint chocolate is the closest thing I can think of to heaven.

 

 

Brenda Ward
Professional Development Facilitator

 

 

Hi, my name is Brenda Ward and I am an Inclusion Professional for KU Children’s Services.

For the past twenty years I have been fortunate enough to have experienced Early Childhood in many facets, from managing a community based long day care service, to co-ordinating LDC/OSHC/Inclusion Support Program at a local state government and most recently, a Trainer at Victoria University, teaching in the Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education & Care.

During my Early Childhood career, I have been fortunate to be working alongside highly skilled professionals who have mentored and influenced my journey. In particular, I found children to be the most influential, as I believe we can learn from children as much as we can teach children, especially when we just be with children. I am in awe of children’s curiosity, discovery and connection with the world around them.

I believe families and early childhood educators have such an important role and am very passionate about empowering early childhood educators and professionals, families and services towards independence and self-reliance through the provision of high quality early childhood services.

I tailor my workshops and consultations in line with educator and service needs, with a focus on reflecting on current service philosophy, policy and practises to ensure these encompass high quality for all children, families and educators.

In my spare time, I love being with my family – my husband, five year old son and four year old daughter outdoors enjoying nature – going for a walk, bike ride by the lake or outing. I also love indulging in anything sweet…


 

Sally de Wijn
Occupational Therapist & PD Facilitator

 

 

Sally undertook her Bachelor Degrees of Occupational Therapy and Psychological Sciences at La Trobe University, this cemented her love of wanting to help and work with children with special and additional needs. Sally is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia as well as APHRA. Sally has completed post graduate studies in Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT), with Play Therapy Australia, and is working towards Clinical Membership of the Australia Play Therapists Association.

 

Sally works with children to develop their skills and increase their abilities within their daily life. Sally has a special interest in children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and after finishing her Play Therapy training also has an extended interest in children’s mental health.

 

Sally's workshops are geared toward providing educators and teachers with a unique understanding and insight into children with additional as well as practical tools that can be implimented into practice easily to provide cruicial support to children with additional needs.

 

Sally is a big advocate for letting children be children, and not making them grew up too quickly. If there is a puddle on the footpath Sally will be the first one to jump in it – followed by all the children around. Sally believes in the power of play and thinks growing up is over rated and is determined to be a child forever.