Life is about to get a little quieter at Kerry Dorling's Bunyip home.
Having found the time to care for her own family, plus more than 150 children for other families through her career, retirement was a tough call for Kerry.
Kerry's love of babies led her to become a Family Day Care educator and carer.
"At the time we had just moved. My son was 5 years old and my daughter 6 months.
"I found myself in a country town, with two young children and not knowing anyone. I had been told about Family Day care and it seemed like a good job for me."
The years since have delivered enormous satisfaction for Kerry, creating special friendships with the families and other educators and watching children grow and learn.
James was the first child Kerry ever looked after. At the time he started with her, he was a similar age to her daughter, full of cheekiness and high spirited. Now, James is almost 32 years old and Kerry still runs into his mother from time to time.
"We are still friends, I actually ran into her up the street a few weeks ago. I know James is doing really well and it is so rewarding hearing about the young man he has become."
Watching Kerry with the children, the affection is instantly obvious, "I can't sit on the couch for book time without at least one child sitting on my lap, and they just love it."
The small group size - she currently cares for only 4 children at a time - makes this connection possible, and is what sets Family Day Care apart from centre based programs.
Because of this close connection, good-byes are one of the toughest parts of being an educator. "Seeing the children grow up and move onto school knowing that you have contributed to their learning journey makes it all worthwhile," she said.
So what will Kerry do with all her spare time?
With 6 grand-kids aged from 1yrs to 18 yrs old, we are not sure how much 'spare' time Kerry will actually have...
Whilst educators like Kerry are irreplaceable, we are lucky to have a network of like minded educators ready to fill her shoes.
Find out more about this program by calling one of the team on 1300 946 337 or enquire online.