This Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day we reached out to parents to share what their educators mean to them. Read what they had to say below:
As a nurse, when I was planning my return to work after my first maternity leave, I was a nervous wreck. I was getting ready to jump back into my role and take care of other families children when they needed it the most, while simultaneously worrying about who was going to take care of my own.
That preparation time was spent with frantic calls to friends and family, asking for opinions and suggestions, reading countless reviews, visiting websites and centres, all to find the perfect fit for our child.
It didn’t happen smoothly, it didn’t happen right away, but an amazing Director at an amazing centre welcomed us with open arms. From the very beginning they let our child be the driving force of his transition to an unfamiliar environment and a potentially stressful situation. We were allowed as many visits as we wanted, as much time as we needed, and we as parents were just as emotionally supported through this new step as our child was.
The ECEs in our child’s class quickly grew to know and love our child just as much as we do. They know all his little quirks, how to best support him through challenges, and they take pride and joy in celebrating his milestones with him. They are an invaluable part of his life, and a champion in his successes. They never underestimate the gravity of the responsibility that is bestowed upon them by parents when trusting our children with them. They care enough to make sure we as parents never feel the pain of not being there, or the guilt of missing memories, by sending us photos, videos, daily reports, and being constantly available through direct messaging.
Our ECEs are part of our family. They are an invaluable, indispensable, essential part of our children lives, often at the sacrifice of their own, and it is time that we show them their worth. We need to act now to ensure our ECEs are given the long overdue wages, benefits, pensions, and most of all, respect and recognition they deserve.
As a single mom, navigating child care in a rural community has never been easy, but it’s always been essential. Luckily, even if I can’t rely on the system, the one thing I can always count on is the dedication, knowledge, and skills of the teachers that interact with my son.
The program my son is in has been such a huge support through transitional moments in my life, and that’s consistently thanks to the workers who work hard everyday to ensure he is included without ever feeling singled out. This day is a great way to honor that work and ensure that these conversations are at the forefront of our discussions. Thank you ECEs!
If I’m being honest, the child care system in Nova Scotia has never worked for us. To this day, I’ve been unable to find a spot for my child where I felt she was safe and cared for in a way that supports her inclusion and individuality in a way that makes sense for her. This is what you get when you have decades of patchwork policies and systems not built with universal access in mind.
Navigating these systems has been increasingly difficult over the years, but the commitment and dedication of the many ECEs I’ve worked with has not gone unnoticed. These educators are working in systems where they are underpaid, underappreciated, and under-resourced – yet they still manage to provide quality care to some of our most vulnerable community members. I think the best thing we can do for ECE appreciation day is to acknowledge the crisis in the sector and demand that government take meaningful steps to ensure they are appreciated through policy and action – not just words.
Everyone relies on someone who relies on child care! On Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day I am so thankful for my own daughters ECE’s but I’m also thankful for the ECE’s at other centres and their massive contributions to the development of our children and the future of our communities.
I wish that people would stop talking about child care as if it’s a women’s issue, a parent’s issue, or some kind of burden or exception to the system. Child care is everyone’s issue and we saw this loud and clear at the beginning of the pandemic. Your doctor, your grocer, your mechanic, your older child’s teacher. You would not have access to so many services you’ve come to depend on if it wasn’t for child care providers you don’t even know!
This Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day, thank an ECE! Thank all the ECEs! Whether or not you know them, they are helping you, me, and all of us, in more ways than we know.