Finding balance

The Y’s commitment to a flexible and adaptive workplace

Life can be a whirlwind of responsibilities, commitments and unexpected surprises. We get it. A career at the Y means you’ll have the flexibility to meet the demands of a busy life and be supported to grow at your own pace. We talked to three of our people about what flexibility means to them and how they’ve found the balance between a fulfilling career and an enriching life.”
More than just numbers

Alex Ham joined the Y in 2018 but has worked in early learning for several years. As a Teacher at our North Bendigo Preschool, she says the Y has backed her every step of the way.

“The Y is very supportive, especially if there are personal things going on. For example, I need to go to physio, and I can only ever go on Fridays because my physio doesn’t work on Mondays when I have my day off. They’re so flexible here. I’ll just let them know what’s going on, and it’s never been an issue.”

At the Y, we understand that life, especially in the past couple of years, has been full of unpredictability and challenges. That’s why we’re committed to accommodating the diverse needs and circumstances of our people.

“They’re always striving for that,” says Alex. “And it’s not just about numbers here. During COVID, some other centres put stress on their staff because of the ratios. Whereas at the Y, they really care about their Educators’ wellbeing. That makes a big difference to the way we work.”

A supportive and caring work environment can make all the difference in your professional journey. By prioritising the wellbeing of our team, we aim to go beyond just the numbers.

Understanding life’s commitments

At the Y, we acknowledge the juggling act of life, filled with responsibilities and unexpected surprises. For family-orientated individuals like Ben Leerson, Area Manager at the Y, flexibility means the ability to look after loved ones without compromising his professional responsibilities.

“They’re very accommodating, especially if you’re a family person and have to do school pickups or have children sick at home. They make sure that you’re able to work from home. Or, if you need to take that time off, someone else can step up and replace you.”

We commit to supporting all our team members in all aspects of their lives. What does this mean? Our flexibility isn’t limited to those in higher positions — it’s a principle that runs through every level of our organisation.

“The flexibility the service provides is not only for its management team but also for every staff member. When we’re looking at the rosters, we work with the teams to find out what works best for them. With the session model, we’ve aimed to create an environment that is flexible for all team members, from Educators and Teachers to the management team.”
Growing in harmony

For Emma Mcnamara, starting her career at the Y has been a total game changer. As a trainee at the Y Preschool in Mallacoota, she can study at her own pace while gaining real-life experience on the job.

“The Y has been really helpful in terms of my studies. They’ve given me time while I’m at work to focus, so I get paid to study for a few hours, which is really nice!”

Being at the Y offers Emma flexibility and support as she carves her own path towards an exciting future. And if she wishes to take her studies further, she can continue beyond a certificate and pursue a diploma, all the while being supported by the Y.

At the Y, your development is really important to us. In partnership with the Department of Education, you’ll enhance your knowledge with the latest in best-practice training programs. And we’ll work with you to ensure you can pursue further study and development opportunities in a way that suits you. For Alex, investment in her learning at the Y is invaluable to her personal and professional growth.

“I love learning, so I do a lot of professional development,” Alex says. “I did the ECA (Early Childhood Australia) Leadership Program last year, and that was great. The Y always helps Educators engage in learning, and they provide us with several opportunities to keep growing, which is a high priority for me.”

At the Y, it’s not just about a job — it’s about embracing the transformative journey. We want you to realise your dreams while shaping your future with us. We believe flexibility truly paves the way for success.

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The Y acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and future.

View our full Commitment Statements here .

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