Ask Jo Davison about her job and you could walk away inspired to seek a new career. The Dunedin educator joined PORSE six years ago and loves it so much, she’s brought five friends on-board!
She is quick to list the benefits, from flexibility to spending quality time with her own children, Ruby (six), and Jonty (four).
“I always tell people how amazing PORSE is – you can be a stay-at-home mum and earn a good wage,” says Jo.
“I’m not paying for childcare and I get to experience everything with my children.”
Jo first discovered PORSE when looking at in-home childcare options for her daughter Ruby, but after being made redundant while on maternity leave, she turned to the organisation for a career change instead.
It’s a far cry from her previous life as a corporate businesswoman.
“I was managing a multi-million dollar business and had 200 staff under me, but when the redundancy came I made a lifestyle choice for my family.
“I really like what PORSE has to offer – the simple sign up process and free training is a drawcard.
I’m still running a business, but now I’m a stay-at-home mum too.”
Jo took just six weeks off with the arrival of her second child Jonty before 'easing' back into work.
“I had one boy with me part-time and then my own baby so it was the perfect way to get into the swing of things. There aren’t many jobs where you can do that.”
A real passion for children and education has led her to share the positive experience with others by referring them to PORSE.
Her friends have different reasons for following her path, but all are happy they did.
I always tell people how amazing PORSE is – you can be a stay-at-home mum and earn a good wage, says Jo.
One referral was a grandmother who, later in life, found herself as a primary caregiver for her daughter’s three- year-old twins.
“I told her to come for a coffee and a chat, she brought another of her daughters along, and they both decided to become educators. I explained she can look after the grandchildren and earn a living.”
Another moved to PORSE from a different organisation after seeing Jo out and about one day.
“The mother of a child I care for signed up because she saw what a great family-friendly career it was versus the career she had prior to becoming a mum, and my best friend just moved to Dunedin from Auckland, so she’s the most recent one.”
As an experienced educator, Jo firmly believes home is the best place to grow young minds, and always aims to challenge children.
“We go out every morning and come home for lunch, while younger ones sleep the older ones prepare for school with maths, learning and reading.
“You just don’t get that kind of one-on-one in a kindergarten where there might be 40 children and four teachers.”
The job of an educator is not easy, but the rewards make it all worthwhile, says Jo.
“I open my door at 6.30am and I don’t close it again until after 5pm, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
“There’s such a great sense of satisfaction in being part of a child’s learning and development – I get to see a lot of ‘firsts’ which is really special. I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.”