Recently we prepared a listing of resource materials related the topic of “Red Flags” and early intervention.
As an extension of The Reflect & Recharge ECE Retreat, ECE Workshops is delighted to be hosting:
ECE Saturday Evening of Creativity & Connection on October 21, 2017 at The Cammidge House in Tsawwassen, BC.
The Cammidge House is located in Metro Vancouver’s Boundary Bay Park. The address is 498 Boundary Bay Road, Delta, BC. Parking is available onsite. The ECE Saturday, October 21, 2017
This gathering is designed to be an evening of creativity, reflection and connection related to early learning & care plus there will also be a casual dinner. This event is open to retreat attendees as well as people who are not registered in the retreat.
The ECE Saturday Evening of Creativity & Connection includes:
An opportunity to connect and network with colleagues and professionals working in the field of Early Childhood Education plus attendees and speakers who are part of The Reflect & Recharge Retreat.
Activities related to creativity, reflection and connection in the field. Attendees who complete and submit 4 of the interactive activities will receive a 1 hour professional development certificate via email after the event.
A casual dinner which will include a selection of healthy food choices.
5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
5:30 to 6:30 PM – Appetizers, Conversation & Connection
6:30 – 7:00 PM Welcome, Introductions and Overview of Interactive Activities Available During The Evening
7:00 – 8:30 PM Casual Dinner Available via Buffet
7:00 to 9:30 Interactive Creative, Reflective & Connection Activities Available for ECE’s to Participate In.
Tickets for the ECE Saturday Evening of Creativity & Connection are $35.00 per person and can be purchased online.
Register now and join us for this evening of creativity, reflection and connection!
Supporting Practice, Advocacy, Research, and Knowledge | April 28-29, 2017 | UBC, Vancouver
SPARK: The Early Years is a conference being hosted this weekend by graduate students from the SPARK Program at the University of British Columbia on Friday April 28th and Saturday April 29th, 2017.
The pre-conference will be held Friday April 28th from 2pm-7pm at a cost of $10 and will include a light dinner. The pre-conference will include tours of UBC Childcare Centres and of the UBC Infant Studies Centre both of which will be followed by an exciting discussion with an expert panel.
The main conference will take place Saturday April 29th from 9am-5:30pm for a cost of $20. Dr. Peter Moss is the keynote speaker for the conference, which will also have workshops, presentations, a children’s art exhibition, posters and sharing circles. There will also be a book launching taking place at the conference by First Nations authors Harlan Pruden and Sharon Shorty called “Gamma Susan Can’t Go Hunting”.
SPARK: The Early Years is a conference for early childhood educators, advocates, researchers, and policy makers. SPARK promises that all attendees who require Professional Development hours will receive a Certificate of Attendance.
6445 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2
Click here for the registration form.
Resources for Designing & Developing New Child Care Spaces in BC
There are a great many questions that arise when developing a new child care program. Quality child care design brings together a lot of moving parts. Knowing what’s involved, how to start and things to consider when it comes to child care design is critical. Below are several resources specific to child care in BC that will be of assistance to individuals and organizations considering establishing new child care spaces in BC.
Child Care Licensing Regulation
The recent funding for new child care spaces in BC is for the development of spaces that are licensed. It’s important to note that licensed child care facilities are required to work in compliance with the Child Care Licensing Regulation. These regulations are the minimum requirements that all licensed child care programs in BC are required to meet. In many ways, the Child Care Licensing Regulations serve as a foundation for a high quality program to be built upon. That said, where possible — it’s a good idea for programs to not only meet — but to exceed the minimum requirements that have been established within the Child Care Licensing Regulation.
Understanding what’s involved in designing a quality child care program can be confusing. The Provincial Government offers quite a helpful range of information to support child care program development and operation. You can find more about that here.
Where To Find More Information on Child Care Design and Development
How a program goes about meeting the child care licensing regulation is based upon many factors. A lot depends upon budget, available space, program type, ages of children to be served, program philosophy etc. There is a lot to consider when it comes to the development of new child care spaces.
Below are some additional resources related to the design and development of early learning and child care spaces.
- The City of Richmond – Child Care Design Guidelines
The City of Richmond has an excellent and very informative document explaining the guidelines recommended in the design of and the technical considerations necessary for the development of new child care facilities within urban environments. From safety to security concerns, this document covers a lot of helpful and easy to read resources and recommendations for the creation and development of safe and secure, educational, and fun child care spaces.
- The City of Vancouver – Child Care Technical Guidelines
The City of Vancouver provides another resource that is useful in terms of designing and creating new child care facilities. Much like the City of Richmond’s document, this document provides technical and design elements necessary to the development of new child care facilities. This document delves further into the technical and architectural aspects of creating the actual buildings, spaces, and programs within a child care facility, citing multiple companies that have proven successful to use in the past when it comes to building good quality child care facilities with appliances and fixtures specifically designed for child friendly environments.
- Vancouver Coastal Health – Design Resource for Child Care Facilities
Vancouver Coastal Health provides a design resource for creating new or renovated child care spaces that incorporates the needs of the children, families, and communities involved in its designing and budgeting.
- The BC Aboriginal Child Care Society – Many Resources Available!
The BCACCS has produced several publications in partnership with various colleagues in the field of Early Childhood Development. Many of these publications include information about best practices and approaches in Indigenous early childhood programs. It is beneficial for programs to take into consideration the needs of Indigenous children when designing new child care spaces.
- Let’s Play Project – Creating Accessible Play Spaces
While this toolkit speaks to ways to make school play spaces more inclusive; it’s still a valuable resource for early childhood programs when it comes to the development of outdoor play areas for child care programs.
- Child Care Options – Child Care Design Architects/Outdoor Playspace Designers
Several years ago Child Care Options put together this list of architects who work in the area of child care design and outdoor play areas.
One of the critical elements to designing a high quality child care program is ensuring there’s an experienced and educated voice for child care at the planning table — right from the beginning of the project. This will help the project to go more smoothly, to more easily meet the child care licensing regulation and will also reduce the possibility of costly design errors when the project is under construction (or renovation.)
Need Help with Child Care Design or Program Development?
45 Conversations provides an array of consultation and program development services related to early learning and child care projects. If you are working on a project that you need assistance with please contact Jane Boyd to further discuss the needs of your project. Employers who are considering the development of workplace child care might also find this information helpful.
This post was researched and written by Pricilla Westlake and Jane Boyd.
As an Early Childhood Educator with more than 20 years experience designing, developing and implementing high quality child care and early learning solutions, I’m often asked about what parents should think about when it comes to choosing child care. Here are a few thoughts that may be helpful.
When you begin the search for child care it can sometimes seem overwhelming. Finding the right child care can be challenging. However, with careful thought, consideration and advance planning you can make the situation a lot easier for yourself and your child.
When you do find the right child care situation it can be wonderful. In good care your child will be healthy, happy and will have many great experiences that can last a lifetime.
One of the first things you need to do when you are thinking about child care is to do just that — think! Think about your own personal situation, your family lifestyle, your child’s needs and your financial situation. Then — ask!
Ask yourself some questions…
- What will my work situation be like?
- Will I be commuting short or long distances and how am I
- What will my daily schedule be like?
- Will I be working full or part time?
- Will I have any support in logistics related to my child care? For
example, do you have someone else who will assist you in getting your child to/from the care etc.
- Do I want my child cared for in my home or outside of my home?
- What am I willing to spend on my child care arrangement?
- What type of child care environment do I want for my child? Home or group? Licensed or license not required? Play based, child centred, self directed, Montessori, Reggio, mixed philosophy?
By taking the time to answer these questions you will get a better understanding of what your child care needs will be. It is important to be clear on your needs as they will dramatically impact the type of care arrangement you will want to choose. Choosing child care is a big step for every family who requires it. Take the time you need to understand what will work best for your child’s needs and your family situation.
We are constantly hearing about the challenges related to child care spaces in communities across Canada. Here’s a list of some recent news coverage from different places in Canada that are struggling with child care challenges as well as some articles about the way governments are responding.
Looking for workshops, training and ECE Conferences 2016? And in 2017?
Learning matters. It’s essential to stay current in your field of practice. There are many ways to access learning opportunities related to early childhood education and child care. 45 Conversations offers some great training opportunities — both online and face to face. In addition to what we offer, there are many other ways to access training, workshops and education. Here’s a list of some upcoming events and opportunities that you might find to be of interest. Feel free to add to this list if you are aware of other opportunities.
Ideas for Child Care Directors, Program Operators & Early Learning Agencies
If you’re a Child Care Director, Program Operator or Manager of an Early Learning Agency then you’re very likely aware that professional development opportunities are something that your Early Childhood Educators are constantly seeking. Not only is professional development required to maintain an early childhood educator’s license or certification in many areas — but it’s something that has the potential to make a true difference in the quality and day to day operations of the child care program that you manage. That said, with limited time, resources and budget — ensuring that the members of your team are able to participate in professional development can be challenging. So what should you do? What can you do?
Here are a few ideas that are sure to help you when it comes to developing professional development for the members of your child care team.
Plan Ahead for Annual Professional Development Days
Sure — we all have good intentions when it comes to professional development, but the reality is that far too many programs forget to actually plan for annual professional development days. When this happens, the days get overlooked or set aside. In many cases, they simply never happen. I was recently in a centre that had a policy for annual professional development days — yet nobody could recall the last time one had occurred.
So plan in advance for annual professional development days. Consider the needs of your program and your early childhood education team. And then choose a certain number of days to hold annually. 3 is a great place to start — 6 is even better. Once you have selected the number of days that you will have, then get them on your calendar! Make them firm dates — in other words don’t change them unless you absolutely must. Inform your team and your parents well in advance of the dates. When you plan ahead — the your professional development days will happen with ease.
Recognize What Professional Development Offers
Professional development days are a gift. They are an incredible opportunity to grow your team, to build stronger connections and to enhance the knowledge of each member of your child care team. And they are a great time to nurture relationships with other community based professionals too.
Throughout the year be planning for each of your professional development days. Where possible, involve members of your child care team in this planning too. Ask for their input, ideas and suggestions.The more your team is involved in the preparation and planning for the professional development days, the more engaged they will be in the actual learning experience.
What Professional Development Is & What It’s Not
Great professional development will offer your team the opportunity to grow individually and collectively. It will nurture them and it will challenge them. It will enable them to focus their learning on areas and topics that are relevant to their current practice as Early Childhood Educators. And specifically to the needs of your child care program too. Great professional development should be energizing and joyful!
The professional development you offer should be responsive to the learning needs of each of your educators. It should support curiosity and respect the diversity of philosophical opinions that may exist among the various members of your team.
Great professional development also respects the variety of learning styles and differences that will exist among the members of your child care team. Get to know what those styles and difference are — by observing your staff, asking them questions and getting to truly know them as individuals. Your professional development should respect both the introverts and the extroverts on your team. And the learning environment you create should make team members comfortable — even when what they are learning takes them outside of their natural comfort zone.
Don’t mistake a professional development day for a regular staff meeting. It’s not. And it’s not the time for you as the Child Care Director to roll out the “5 new guidelines or policies about something — unless what you are sharing is truly connected to the specific focus of the learning that is on the agenda for that specific professional development day. Unfortunately, I see this far too often — professional development days that are taken over by the pressing needs of Administration. Sure — there are important messages or things you need your team to know — but how you tell them these things matters. It’s far better if you connect policies, procedures and other similar matters to broader learning outcomes. Your team will respond better, be more engaged and will better understand why you are doing what you are doing.
Need Help Planning Professional Development for your Child Care Program?
There are a great many resources available online when it comes to professional development. What’s important to consider though, is exactly how what you plan to offer directly relates to your program and team needs. Once you know this it becomes easier to know where to turn for further assistance, what kind of guest speakers your might invite or what additional information you might need to support your vision for a high quality professional development experience.
45 Conversations provides a range of professional development opportunities for child care programs, Early Childhood Educators and Centre Directors. From face to face to online video education to customized learning modules — we are able to support the specific needs of your program.
It was a delight to see Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (RBA) profiled on the front of the Business In Vancouver website today regarding the workplace child care they developed for their employees back in 2009. The article “Women at work: the B.C.. companies leading the way on gender equality” discusses the advantages of female leadership at the highest level, talent development and family friendly practices. Quite simply — it gives countless examples of progressive ways that employers are doing what’s right in the workplace — for their female employees as well as for their male employees too. Beyond the positive mentions of RBA, several other organizations are also listed for their progressive approaches — including HSBC and VanCity.
As I write this post I find myself truly smiling — you see — over the years I have consulted with all three of these organizations — RBA, HSBC and VanCity — on issues related to child care, work-life and the development of family friendly policies and practices. Plus countless other organizations too. And it has been an incredibly rewarding and fascinating experience to do the kind of work that we have done together. In each case not only were we designing, building or creating something that was both unique and different; but we were doing so because it mattered. Because it was the right thing to do – from both a human and a business perspective.
VanCity – First Client Ever
I’m proud to say that VanCity were my very first client when I began consulting more than 20 years ago on — what we then called — work and family issues. I was honoured to work with them in their very first days of exploring and acting on child care issues for their employees. From supporting and helping to create new community based child care spaces to work-life supports to employee wellbeing — you name it and we tried it. They were very much the leader in Vancouver — and in Canada for implementing progressive family friendly solutions and creating a supportive work environment for working mothers. For close to 12 years years we collaborated together to make a difference — not only for VanCity employees but for their members too.
My experience with VanCity taught me so much —
- Why community matters.
- That good leadership starts with doing what you believe to be right.
- Why knowing what you stand for is about so much more than the values you put in a policy statement.
Without question I am a better female business owner, entrepreneur and community member because of the work I did with VanCity. It’s fair to say that they taught me how to generously collaborate and to work from a place of heart with my client’s best and truest interests at the centre. They also taught me that it’s more than okay for babies to be on boardroom agendas and to even visit them sometimes too.
HSBC – Collaboration & Community
Years later — and thanks to VanCity — I began consulting with HSBC to secure emergency child care spaces in the Vancouver area for their employees. HSBC were not only committed to collaboration with other financial institutions, they were also interested in making sure that their employees had access to quality back up child care spaces. And they cared about the organizations they chose to collaborate with.
Countless interactions with employees at HSBC continuously demonstrated to me that commitment to doing good work in the area of gender equality is about so much more than words — it’s about leadership. Many of the female employees that I collaborated with at HSBC not only inspired me but encouraged me too. It was very much a reciprocal relationship. It’s always good to like the people you are doing good work with.
As a female business owner — it’s good to come across other female leaders who are both admirable and genuine. They can teach you a lot. I found those leaders at HSBC.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers – Families Matter
From the very first conversation I had about developing a child care program at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, I knew something special was going to happen. That conversation was the beginning of an amazing journey that resulted in the design, development and eventual operation of an exceptional early learning and child care program for RBA employees. The facility opened in 2009 and since then it has served as one of the best examples of high quality workplace child care in Canada.
My experience with RBA was one of the most rewarding and interesting consulting projects I have had the opportunity to work on in recent years. Not only because it was truly unique work — but because I was given the opportunity to lead the design, development and initial operations of a mixed philosophy child care program (learn more here) that put the respect of children and families first. And I got to do it with an incredible team of educators — including Christine Clements — who is one of the most talented and committed early childhood educators I have ever worked with. Suffice to say close to 8 years went by in the blink of an eye — because that’s what happens when you focus on building something that is exceptional!
I took a lot of away from my consulting work with RBA. A ton of lessons in education and leadership. And in why child care is neither a male nor a female issue. Rather it’s a collective societal issue that we can all — business, government, community, educators, families and children — be part of making a difference in.
Perhaps most importantly though, I took away another lesson from Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers that was quite similar to my earliest days of consulting at VanCity. The lesson was this:
Doing what’s right matters. A lot.
You see, over the years, there were more moments than I can reference where I collaborated with employees at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers to ensure that we did what was right. Right for the company, for the quality of the workplace child care, for RBA employees, and for the children and families the program served. It was not only heart warming but enlightening to be part of. And doing what’s right made a difference. Over and over.
So yes – I’m still smiling as I finish writing this post. It’s a good feeling as a consultant to know that the work you do makes a difference. I am fortunate that I continue to have the opportunity to consult with many different organizations related to early learning, workplace child care and education. In every case, they want to make a difference in ways that are quite similar to the companies I have written about in this post.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, HSBC and VanCity are amazing organizations that continue to be committed to doing good for their employees — in truly unique ways. And believe me — that’s not always an easy thing to maintain in the corporate world — especially when there are changes leadership and evolutions in corporate culture. Yet, somehow they are each continuing to do what’s right — because they see the value it brings their organizations and understand that doing so truly does make a difference.
Learn More About Doing What’s Right
If you would like to explore ways to develop customized child care solutions, family friendly practices or unique workplace supports related to work-life and employee wellbeing please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-343-7245. Let’s have a conversation about how I can help your organization develop a customized solution that will make a true difference too.
After all, I’m always interested in building relationships and collaborations that are about doing what’s right. Because — believe me — it matters.
So Where are the Future Builders?
Look in Montessori schools and classrooms. Seriously. You will find many builders of the future there. Very likely the kids won’t be coding or doing much work on technology…yet. They will however be solving challenging problems on floor mats, negotiating at peace tables and following their curiosity in ways that only they can truly understand. They will be self directed and doing work for the pure love of exploring learning. They will also be creating solutions to feed the hungry, help the environment and do good both locally and globally. Yup…the future is already being built…one Montessori kid at a time.