As part of the East Kootenay Conversations On Child Care, I chatted with Sharon Cross who is a City Councillor with the City of Cranbrook. Sharon has been an active volunteer since 1975 in many aspects of the community as well as in the broader East Kootenay region and internationally. She wants to improve the livability of Cranbrook on many fronts.
Highlights from this Conversation with Sharon Cross
Licensed child care spaces that are being lost in the region.
The chronic shortage of early childhood educators in the East Kootenay Region.
How child care contributes to economic development within the region.
Various initiatives and programs in BC that support child care and why they are not totally working to solve the child care challenges in the East Kootenay region.
The challenges that families and employers are facing.
If you would like to chat further with Sharon Cross regarding child care issues in the East Kootenay region can reach her via telephone at 250-489-4412.
Recently I had a live conversation with Charlene Stropky about child care issues in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia. Charlene is an Infant Development Consultant with the Infant Development Program in Cranbrook.
About Charlene Stropky
Charlene works with families who have children ages birth to three years with developmental concerns or developmental disabilities in their homes. She helps families as their children begin to transition into child care programs in the community.
Highlights of Our Conversation
About the East Kootenay Infant Development Program.
Finding licensed child care options for children with developmental concerns or developmental disabilities can be very challenging.
Community based programs for young children often don’t properly support children with extra needs. Many program facilitators have very limited experience working with children with developmental concerns.
It can be frustrating to bring community stakeholders up to date on the history of the challenges that the early childhood education and child care field has faced. History provides context and creates understanding.
There is a shortage of certified ECE’s to work in programs in the East Kootenay region.
Concerns about changes to the quality of ECE training programs.
Compensation issues for early childhood educators who work in the field.
Why it matters to invest in the early years.
Ways to bring child care and early childhood development together.
If you would like to contact Charlene Stropky you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently I had a live conversation with Rita Romeo about child care issues in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia. Rita is the Program Coordinator for the East Kootenay Child Care Resource and Referral (EKCCRR).
About Rita Romeo
I have my Early Childhood Education, Infant Toddler and Special Needs License to Practice and have been in the Early Childhood Field for 29 years in various positions such as Daycare (Infant Toddler and 3-5 year olds), Preschool & Nanny care. I have worked for EKCCRR for the last 20 years.
Highlights of Our Conversation
An introduction to the East Kootenay Child Care Resource and Referral program.
The geographic diversity of the East Kootenay region and how this impacts child care operators and families.
The services of that the EKCCRR provides to families.
The challenges that families face with respect to transportation, shift work and weather.
Issues that child care providers face with respect to filling for 3-5 year old child care spaces. The shortage of infant-toddler child care and after school care spaces that the region is facing.
Child care programs are faced with reducing their capacity due to a lack of certified Early Childhood Educators in the region. 2 child care programs recently closed in Cranbrook.
Wages and working conditions for certified staff in the East Kootenay region.
Ways to make a difference in the community related to child care options and opportunities.
Ways to share information and resources related to child care through social media.
Cautions regarding providers who care for children but who are not licensed by Interior Health.
Ways to educate members of the community about what quality child care is.
I’m talking about child care with people who live and work in the East Kootenay region of BC, Canada as part of the East Kootenay Conversations On Child Care. Recently I jumped into a Google+ Hangout with Patricia Whalen who is the Children First Manager for the region to discuss the Child Care Needs Assessment Project that is currently underway. Patricia has 4 boys and has been happily married for 24 years. We had a great discussion that covered a lot of different aspects of early learning and child care issues for the region.
East Kootenay Conversations On Child Care – Key Thoughts
Below are some key thoughts from Patricia Whalen –
Province wide; lack of child care has been a huge issue.
It (child care) affects the community as a whole.
When they (families) hear that the child care wait lists are huge they opt out of locating here.
Highlights from this #45Conversations Hangout
- How the Child Care Needs Assessment project started – 1.04
- About the East Kootenay region – 4.15
- Families cannot locate into East Kootenay region due to child care issues – 7.00
- About the Child Care Needs Assessment project & social media – 9.03
- Starting the conversation – 10.40
- Understanding the issues – 13.10
I met David Cameron through the misfit community – which is carefully handcrafted by the amazing AJ & Melissa Leon and their awesome team of misfits. I was delighted when he mentioned that he would love to be part of the Conversations On Early Childhood Education & Child Care.
David and I chatted about a huge range of topics in our time together. I simply loved hearing his stories about growing up and how his own experiences have influenced his life as a parent today. David is the adoptive father of two beautiful young children. He feels strongly about the importance of children in society. During our discussion he shared many thoughts as well as several frustrations about the way early childhood education and early childhood educators are valued in Canada.
Thoughts About Early Childhood Education & Child Care from David Cameron
We should reasonably expect that the people who work with our kids should want to be doing that job and should be valued for what it is they do and the importance of that.
It’s important to do what we can do and it has to start early. And we need to be involved. We need to do something, you need to be part of it…. – if that means visiting that early childhood place where your own kids are going or it simply means put away your iPhone.
Highlights from the Conversation with David Cameron
- David Cameron Tells His Story – 1:29
- MisfitCon – 5:20
- Encourage Children to Dream – 9:32
- Being Present & The Struggle With Technology – 11:31
- Valuing Early Childhood Educators & The Role of Parents – 18:35
- Why It’s Important to Invest In The Early Years – 24:16
About David Cameron
David is a Stress Reduction Specialist via Portfolio Management who escaped Northern Ontario boy. He’s now living on an island in the pacific ocean where it rarely snows. David is an adoptee and adoptive parent of young kids in a multi racial family. He’s a big believer that common sense is not so common.
Life Can Be Amazing
Life can be pretty amazing sometimes. In fact, very amazing. That’s exactly how I’m feeling this morning as I write this post to announce that Sandra Griffin, MA has joined the #45Conversations Global Advisory Team! You see this is one of those moments in life when I’m reminded that everything we do contributes to the body of work we are each creating. (Thank you Pamela Slim.) Connections we make, relationships we build, conversations we have – they all matter. We carry them forward with us. They become part of our story.
Sandra Griffin Has Always Stood Out To Me
Shortly after I entered the field of early childhood education, Sandra became the President of the Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia (ECEBC). In the early days of my work in the field, she stood out to me as a role model and mentor who had a unique and open perspective when it came to creating opportunities and nurturing possibilities to benefit Canadian children, families and early childhood educators. Over the years, our paths crossed in various ways related to different projects and initiatives. Sometimes we connected a lot, other times only a little. Regardless of how we connected, Sandra always made me think about things in new and interesting ways. She just seemed to help me open my eyes a little wider and see things from another perspective.
And so fast forward to 2014. Through the power of social networking, Sandra and I have once again managed to have our paths cross again. However this time it’s a little different; you see Sandra recently retired from serving as the Chief of Staff with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. As such, she has been travelling extensively throughout Canada & the United States. For quite some time I have been watching her adventures unfold online through a series of pictures and stories that she has shared with friends. It has been both moving and inspiring. She has embraced her new world of retirement and related travel adventures in the way that any great early childhood educator would. She has been both curious and present. It’s something that I have seen and felt through her amazing online storytelling.
Lending Her Heart & Wisdom
As I thought about the plans that I have for the future of 45 Conversations Media and Education, I realized that it would be both an honour and an asset if Sandra were to join the 45 Conversations Global Advisory Team. The team consists of an incredibly talented group of individuals who live and work in multiple countries and who have significant expertise related to content marketing & brand strategy, social media, new media & transmedia, Autism, early childhood education & education, business – from very small to very large organizations, photography & film, fundraising & NGO’s, collaboration & community building and writing & publishing.
And so with that thought in mind, Sandra and I ended up in a series of Skype calls last week. We discussed so many different things – work, life, children, grandchildren and travel adventures. We also discussed the work that 45 Conversations is doing through projects like the Conversations on Early Childhood Education & Child Care and my unique combination of expertise in early childhood education and online community building. We talked about how social media and content marketing presents interesting possibilities for the field to build local and global connections, to share learnings and to leverage opportunities for collaboration in new and exciting ways. It was an amazing discussion that lead to Sandra agreeing to become part of what’s coming next for 45 Conversations by officially joining the 45 Conversations Global Advisory Team. To say I’m excited is an understatement. More accurately, I’m both humbled and incredibly thankful that she has agreed to lend her heart and wisdom as things move forward for 45 Conversations Media & Education.
About Sandra Griffin, MA
Sandra is a dynamic people-centred Senior Executive with a strong social conscience. She is a team builder has a history of successes in the development and implementation of innovative research, policy and practice in the social development field, particularly for vulnerable populations. Most recently Chief of Staff with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Sandra has served as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Integrated Quality Assurance and Child Care Operations for the Ministry of Children and Family Development in British Columbia, Director, Infrastructure and Development for the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health, the Chief of Staff for the Honourable Ken Dryden, Minister, Social Development Canada and the Executive Director for the Canadian Child Care Federation. She is highly strategic and has a natural ability to devise big picture strategies and solutions. A gifted public speaker and communicator, Sandra is known for her ability to inspire others to reach further, invest more and accomplish much. She is the recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, National Award for Excellence in Child Care and the Canada Volunteer Award.
Meet the 45 Conversations Global Advisory Team
Since announcing the Conversations on Early Childhood Education & Child Care I have been receiving a number of questions about 45 Conversations Media & Education. Given that I have many conversations in Google+ Hangouts On Air; it seemed to make sense to quickly jump in one to share more about what I’m working on. In the hangout I discuss:
Talking with Maaike van Dijk-Bokkers
I first met Maaike van Dijk-Bokkers when I was the Co-Host of BusinessJazz with Roger Overall and Paul O’Mahony. She was an avid weekly listener and actively reached out through social media from The Netherlands. Over time, we developed a supportive connection and interest in one another’s work.
Last year I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Maaike and her husband; Pieter face to face at World Domination Summit in Portland. As they were visiting both the United States and Canada for their vacation, we were fortunate to host them in our home for dinner toward the end of their trip. Maaike was pregnant at the time and so much of our discussion focused on the pending arrival of a new baby, parenting and work-life issues. It was a wonderful visit during which we laughed, learned and exchanged many thoughts and ideas.
Baby & Business = Need for Child Care
Fast forward a year later and lots of things have happened for Maaike. Most importantly, her beautiful son Ian was born and she is totally in love with being a new mum to him. In addition, she has started a new business called Inspire31. Through her business she organizes events in The Netherlands that bring in speakers from abroad to share stories, business ideas and more. It’s an exciting venture and one that requires care, attention and nurturing – much like being a new parent! So clearly Maaike’s days are filled with Ian and Inspire31. As her son grows, she is beginning to have him cared for outside of the home a few days per week. She is also starting to think about what she wants for him as he moves toward his preschool years.
I was really pleased that Maaike agreed to join me for a #45Conversations Hangout about child care, business & life. Our discussion was a great one and she shared a lot of information about what it’s like for new parents and families to live and work in The Netherlands.