There must have been a greater force at work when Caroline applied for a job in her urban childcare facility. She sent in what she describes as “just a random application for a job that turned into my career.” Fifteen years and a pandemic later, Caroline is still as excited about her job as when she began.

Through the last two years, Caroline and her coworkers had a good stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), leading to her feeling comfortable and confident. Caroline even felt safe in her workplace because the pandemic highlighted the importance of a smaller group size. Instead of her facility running at maximum capacity, she only cared for essential worker’s children. The staffing ratio has been able to show what is most important: more time to bond with each child and have more meaningful experiences with the group that she had. That has been her favourite part of work, the special time she has been able to find with each child due to the slower pace. With things are returning to normal, Caroline feels like this is a fresh slate and a chance to find new things to engage in with the children in her facility.

Watching children learn and get excited about learning is an amazing part of Caroline’s job, but that is far from all she accomplishes. Caroline also completes monthly planning programming for children ages 3-12, and engages children in age appropriate activities using a child-lead approach. Caroline uses all the skills that she learned in her ECE Level Three Diploma, and all the experience she has gathered over the years to make the best environment possible for the children in her care.

Today is Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day, a time we set aside to applaud and honour our ECEs. They are a part of our Community Based Organizations, CBOs, and they provide vital services to many people. Caroline, you and your coworkers make a world of difference to the children you care for and their families. Thank you for all that you do for them and your commitment to caring. Make sure that today you look for ECEs in your unit or community and give them a big “Thank you!”

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