Hi! I am a child care provider, working within a quality daycare setting, within a quite priviliged environment. We are situated within a post secondary setting, providing care for children of students, instructors, employees of the institution, as well as families of the general population in our city.
I feel very priviliged to work in this center, we are a unionized group of child care workers, we enjoy several wonderful benefits, and generally have good rapport between staff and the director, and the assistant director, as well as with the families who operate the center as a parent board of directors.We receive many opportunities to attend training workshops, and generally grow to enhance our work with the children.
I've worked within child care for about 23 years, and having gone through some ups and downs in my feelings towards my work, I find myself generally happy and feel fulfilled and rewarded usually by the time spent with children. Truly they do say the darndest things and are truly beautiful!
Sometimes the hardest part of the work has been living at almost poverty level for many years, on the very pitiful wages, so that I think having come through feeling happy and fulfilled by the work is quite an accomplishment, and perhaps also a measure of how rewarding it can be in spite of some small hardships. Actually most daycare workers I have known and worked with have been creative, inspired individuals, putting in many unpaid hours of preparation, for the love of teaching small children, on sometimes pretty meagre pay, often supplementing the supplys of their center from their own pocket. We often spend our free time reading about ECE; taking extra classes to improve our work and knowledge of ECE; attending various workshops; sewing items for our work such as doll clothes, blankets, children's dressup, and making flannel stories, or teacher made games, etc.
This is because we believe our children deserve good care, and we have pride in our profession I believe.
I feel very lucky to be working now in child care with so many resources, and so much research being done into this profession. There is always something new to learn about teaching techniques; about how children best learn; about child development; about children's rights; about fun and zany activities to do with the children; about language and development; about child nutrition; about health and well being; well it seems I could go on...
I also feel blessed to work in child care at this time in this country where we do have ample resources and interest in the care of children, and so good opportunities to do the right thing for the children in our care.
Some of the writers and books I have found helpful in my work and who have helped me to develop my personal frame of reference for early childhood education are Adele Faber; Barbara Coloroso; Carol Stock Kranowitz who wrote The Out of Sync Child, and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun; as well I have been reading recently The Hundred Languages of Children- The Reggio Emilia Approach.
Two favourite resources I have depended on for many years are Resources for Creative Teaching in Early Childhood Education, by Bonnie Mack Fleming, et. al.; and Workjobs by Mary Baratta Lorton.
I LOVE the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, by Thelma Harms, et. al for it's clearness, conciseness, and no-nonsense about ECE. I was priviliged to attend a child care conference once with Thelma Harms as the keynote speaker, she was inspiring giving context for how ECERS was created. It was thrilling to be part of the audience standing and applauding at the end of her address.
Recently I've felt inspired by Deb Curtis, et al. and her book Designs for Living and Learning. Transforming Early Childhood Environments. I find her ideas and suggestions for wonder inspriring environments and curriculums well thought out, and they fit with developmentally appropriate practises in child care
So this is just a little bit about where I come from, and a context for comments I may make next time I sit down to write.
I am having some concerns that when implementing new ideas, possibly the new is being seen as better than what has come before, with not a very harmonious result.
I'm hoping that I won't come across as wanting to hold on to old ways out of reluctance to try new, because I do like to learn the new. But I want to speak up for a common-sense approach to change, and for not "throwing out the baby with the bathwater" if you know what I mean.
Just to add, another resource I use is the journal of the Canadian Association of Young Children, and I often attend workshops by the CAYC, in my city.
So next time I hope to address a few of my concerns, and go from there.
I certainly would be interested to hear comments and/or thoughts.