Barbi Clendining | firefly hr

What's your 30-second elevator speech?

You’d think after a couple of years I would have this down pat? But our business Firefly HR and what we do continues to evolve. Firefly HR works in the Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) space which is commonly unknown by name, but when people think about it – most are aware of it and use it themselves for their children, perhaps went themselves as a child, etc. OSHC is in nearly every Primary school in Sydney and most in NSW (and Australia wide). It is quite a large, yet unknown about, profession. We are looking to help change that at Firefly HR, we want to promote OSHC as much as we can and to raise awareness to what a wonderful profession it is. It is not just a place children go after school, but it is an extension of school as such, it is a place with a learning Framework (like a school curriculum) that has outcomes focused on the social and emotional development of children. Children are often in OSHC for just as long as they are in the classroom (5 hours a day in each). It is a place that OSHC educators can make a positive difference and impact on children, yet in a less structured environment to the classroom. 

I wrote to the Premier yesterday as they are working in our unique niche and wrote a little something like this:

I have been in Out of OSHC for 12 years, 11 of those as a Director of the same OSHC service and previous to that a Primary School teacher. Due to having a young daughter, now 15 months, I resigned from my position of Director in August of 2020 to focus on family and building our business.

Currently I am the Co-Founder of Firefly HR, the only OSHC specific recruitment company for OSHC in Australia. I started Firefly HR with my husband with the intention to positively help impact the OSHC industry. Our mission is always around providing quality of care to children, which we believe can be done with quality educators. We strive to continue to find and develop educators in the industry.

Our business has grown from recruitment for OSHC to also provide consultation, guidance, support, and professional development. We are so passionate about the industry that we even often provide free professional development and resources. Recently we have provided 3 free live OSHC Think Tanks (webinars) on a range of topics with highly regarded professionals in their field which 200 – 350 people attended, free in person meet ups call OSHC Collective to encourage educators to share with each other and learn / grow, free informative blogs (two recently out for new OSHC educators to help develop their knowledge from the start), free resources such as indepth educator position descriptions, and even host the only OSHC podcast called OSHC After The Bell. We have just recently launched a YouTube channel to go with the podcast as it is often used as professional development by educators and services in the industry. We connect with those in a variety of organisations, in all states, to ensure our knowledge is up to date and helps us to evolve and grow. We connect to organisations all through NSW, not just Sydney.

With all these projects, we have had nothing but positive feedback from OSHC educators, centres and organisations. We fill we are unique in that we talk to all types in the OSHC industry from juniors entering the industry to General Manager’s / CEO’s.

Who inspires you the most to be the best you can be as a person?

My husband and Co-Founder, James. You’d think that working with your spouse might be a bit too much – but he motivates me daily and is a positive influence in what I do each day.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business, and the areas you specialise in?

Out of school hours care (OSHC) which I covered in my long blurb above (apologies on the length). It is hardly known about, but should be. It is the care for children before and after school, which many of us may of used, are using, or will be using. Parents don’t realise they can have an impact on OSHC and what is provided at their childs school or expectations you can have it is a regulated industry.

Can you tell me about one of your client success stories?

For us it is seeing growth and progression, as we primarily work with recruiting – there is nothing more rewarding than hearing how much a candidate is loving their new role, the client is loving them too and it’s just such a positive outcome. Seeing how much they can develop with a positive employer and develop and grow to great leaders – nothing can beat that.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Motive Coworking?

Flexibility! We were planning to work from home before covid, so had already been looking for a space to go when needed (working together with a dog and baby at home sometimes gets a bit too… busy). Motive got recommended to me by a local group and it’s been great. We can book as we need it, I record our podcast and webinars there now and it’s perfect!

What does life look like outside your business profile? What do you like doing for fun?

We love living on the beaches, heading to Bayview is always a favourite with the family, the beach, the lagoon (we are pretty lucky for choice) and going out and about in our area.

Is there anything you would like to share? Or anything you’d like to offer help with?

Always happy to help if we can on anything.

Bonus Question: If you were a sandwich, what sort of sandwich would you be and why?

Pineapple – just pineapple on a sandwich, cause YOLO!

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