IT WAS almost inevitable Cheryl Ivey and Billie-Jean Armstrong would end up in childcare as both have large families.
The two Mount Isa women are the most recent graduates of a Children's Services program run in conjunction with the Mount Isa Mines and North West Queensland Indigenous Catholic Social Services to boost the city's childcare sector.
Ms Ivey will take a place at the newly opened Mary Mackillop Childcare Centre, while Ms Armstrong will take up a post at Mount Isa Day Nursery and Kindergarten.
``I have six boys of my own, and I'm a grandmother to 27 grandkids,'' Ms Ivey said.
``I can honestly say they were my inspiration to study and become a qualified childcare worker.
``There's never a dull moment working with children, every day is different but ultimately, the key is making sure our kids feel welcome and safe.''
Ms Ivey said there were challenges associated with the job, but when the kids ran to her in the morning for a hug it was all worthwhile.
Ms Armstrong said for her, it was a jump from administration to childcare and she hadn't looked back.
``I'm so glad I took the chance on this new career - I wouldn't change a thing,'' she said.
``I've been at the centre about a year now and I love it.
``Everyone has been so welcoming and I've had an opportunity to work with and meet so many great people.''
She said she had spent time working with children of all ages and her favourite part of the job was setting up experiences and activities for the kids.
Both women said they were continuing study to further their careers in the sector and had high hopes for the future of the city's services.
``It can be challenging juggling eight-hour work days, five days a week and my study, but I have a great teacher and support from my centre director and colleagues,'' Ms Armstrong said.