Tag Archives: ECEBC

A Daughter, a Mother and Educator

20150510_150120I was invited to speak at the Stroller Brigade for Childcare today by the local branch of ECEBC. Below is the speech I gave at the event.

I come to you today as a daughter, a mother, an early childhood educator and a proud member of ECEBC.

As the child of two working parents I can speak first hand  at how child care was an integral family support for my family. Because of childcare both of my parents were able to return to work, provide for our family and be contributing members of the economy.

As a mother I know the struggle to find care for my children with qualified educated educators. I know the disappointment of never getting off the waiting list and having to make hard choices when options run out.

I know the sadness of handing in my resignation because I could not find or afford child care.

As an early childhood educator I have seen how getting a spot can transform a family’s life. How knowing their children are cared for by qualified educators and being able to return to work, can lift a family up.

For these reasons I personally support and endorse the $10 a day child care plan.

Early childhood educators have a specialized education and knowledge about young children. We dedicate our lives to life long learning. We know how to tie shoe laces, we know how to make an ouch feel better. We know how to tell a story with the gusto of an academy award winning actor. We know the complexities of play and understand the learning that happens there, and we know how to push that learning in new directions. We know how to provide and facilitate new learning. We know how to expand on the questions of young children.  We know how to support  families when they are low and down. We know how to give a hug when needed. We know how to say I see you. We know all these things yet many of us, dare I say most of us earn below living wages, receive no benefits and quite often don’t even get sick days. Which seems ridiculous to me as we put ourselves in rooms with 20 children with runny noses every day as our career.

It is for this reason that ECEBC supports the $10 a day childcare plan.  We believe the 10$ a day childcare plan will give living wages to the dedicated educators in our field. It will retain educators in our field. It will boost our economy by allowing more people to go back to work and creating more jobs for early childhood educators. Most importantly though it will acknowledge and invest in our youngest citizens. Thank you.

Some more images from the rally

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Celine Beattie and Joanne Gordon speaking to the crowd on the issues facing young parents and early childhood education students.

 

A group of us standing up for child care
A group of us standing up for child care
Our youngest supporters
Our youngest supporters
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The men of childcare

 

If you want to learn more about the plan please go to the ECEBC website to read more.

 

 

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Get a Big Group

A while ago I posted Get a Group, in which I talked about how eight of us get together to discuss our ECE practice. But now I want to talk about how fabulous it is to Get a Big Group…..say 350?!

Danielle and I just returned from the annual Early Childhood Educators of BC Conference where ECE’s from all over our province gathered in Vancouver for 3 days. There were presentations, workshops, meetings, slide shows, and a gala dinner, but as my good friend and colleague Sarah always says “It’s not about what happens in the sessions, it’s about what happens in the hallways”.

The diversity of presentations was amazing and I didn’t  hear one negative comment about any of them, but it was the conversations at breakfast, over coffee, in the corridors and over wine in the evenings that really fascinated me.  It was in these places that I heard retired ECEs wonder how they could volunteer to engage ECEs in ongoing dialogues to reflect on practice, it was here I heard instructors from colleges 500 miles apart discuss how to support students in practicum when the setting is challenging. I heard a young ECE talk about how she she is changing her practice to better reflect her personal values, and another share how she is trying to get rid of the plastic toys in her centre. I talked with people who were trying to bring ECEs and primary teachers together to share practice, and another who wants to do research on using pedagogical narrations as a tool for assessment. I heard about challenging licensing regulations so aboriginal communities could build a fire and share traditional culture with children, and I heard about work being done to attract males to our field.

Passion is an overworked, over-used term and I’m hesitant to use it here. But there was passion in those corridors, in those conversations. The connections being made, the ideas, the information, the challenges and the struggles that were shared were serious and joyful, determined and heartfelt.

I came away with admiration for my fellow ECEs. We are consistently under paid and undervalued, we work in basements and church halls that were never intended for children, we work more hours than we are paid because we want to change that bulletin board or try that new idea, we make due because we have no funding, we do advocacy on the side, and education on evenings and weekends. And yet  those corridors were filled with passion for our work, belief in the importance of what we do and a commitment to keep learning.

I am always proud to be an ECE. Being in that Big Group made me even more proud.