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January 2022 newsletter

See the future. Look to early learning.

The way children see the world today will create the world we live in tomorrow. 

Our views of ourselves, others and our world begins in our earliest years and sets the course for all the years that follow. If you want to see the future, look towards the work early childhood educators are doing with the children of today. Always with an eye to the future, an early childhood educator:

  • promotes child-led discoveries to inspire children’s confidence to innovate fresh solutions to tomorrow’s challenges;
  • directs purposeful play to develop the skills children will need to create a strong and healthy community;
  • models the empathy and care they hope to see reflected in those same children as empathetic and caring adults;
  • listens to, learns from and supports the work of Indigenous knowledge holders and Elders, with the understanding that education is key for reconciliation; and
  • celebrates the unique culture and background of each child, ensuring that they see themselves, their cultures and their identities reflected in their environments.

This is the message Early Learning and Child Care is highlighting in a recent campaign launched to promote the field of early learning and the valuable contributions early childhood educators make in creating future Yukoners.

Each and every day, the future of the territory is molded by the understanding, compassion, curiosity, connection, laughter and learning that educators provide children during the course of their day. These actions shape the children of today into the leaders of tomorrow.

For more information about this campaign visit https://yukon.ca/en/see-future-look-early-learning

Do you know?

Early childhood educators working within licensed early learning and child care programs in the Yukon now have significantly more access to benefits packages, thanks to the launch of the Early Learning and Child Care Benefits Funding Program!

The Early Learning and Child Care Benefits Funding Program is one of many initiatives in our Canada-Yukon Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, which moves toward recognizing the valuable contributions of the Yukon’s early learning professionals. This initiative provides funding for program operators to offer comprehensive insurance benefits to early childhood educators and staff working in licenced ELCC programs.

For information on this initiative, refer to the December 1, 2021 news release: https://yukon.ca/en/news/governments-canada-and-yukon-support-benefits-program-early-childhood-educators

Credentialing update

Are you a Level 3 equivalent or working towards your Level 3 certification?

If you are currently working toward an early childhood educator level certificate, you are welcome to contact one of our early learning program specialists to support you in determining an individualized pathway to full certification.

To connect with an early learning program specialist, contact the Early Learning and Child Care Unit at 667-3492 or toll free at 1-800-661-0408 (ext. 3492).

For more information about our early childhood educator certification guidelines, view the newly updated Child care professional level certification guidelines and visit our webpage on applying for early childhood educator certification.

Book nook

“Ask yourself where it is you want to go…”

Book cover - The North Star by Peter Reynolds

It is often said that life is a journey, and it’s true. But sometimes it’s hard to know which path to follow, when signs point in so many directions. In this beautifully illustrated book, Peter H. Reynolds once again encourages readers to observe, wonder and consider diverging from the well-worn path — to pursue their dreams.

In your unique role as an early childhood educator, you have the opportunity each day to support children with finding their path. As you guide others along their journey, remember to take the time to reflect on your own journey. What dreams are your pathways following?

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Eleanor Roosevelt

What do you see in your future?

As an early childhood educator, helping to create the future through the children you nurture is important… and so is the future you create for yourself.

Book cover - Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by Miller and Frisch

Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”

Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide – Caroline Adams Miller and Michael B. Frisch

A new year brings new opportunity to reflect on our past, present and future, to define our hopes and dreams, to examine the map of our life and choose a path to travel moving forward.

  • How do you want to show up this year? Who do you want to be? What frame of mind do you want to be in?
  • What is it you want to achieve in your lifetime? These might include career, financial, education, family, artistic, attitude, physical, pleasure or public service goals.
  • What areas of your life do you value most and why? How do these values show up in what you want to achieve?
  • What steps can you take to get you from where you are to where you want to be?

This journey can feel daunting and overwhelming at times. Thankfully, there are tools and resources out there to support us on our life path just as we support children on theirs. Friends, families, colleagues and professionals in a variety of areas can help guide and offer encouragement. We each have our own pathways to follow, but we do not travel alone.

Further resources to explore:

https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting
https://www.mindtools.com/page6.html
https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheets/values/none
https://bpdassociates.com/22-self-reflection-questions-for-aligned-goal-setting-in-the-new-year
https://www.thedailypositive.com/how-to-create-a-vision-board

Explore

Activity idea:
Create a vision board with children highlighting their hopes and dreams for the future. Take out some old magazines and have the children cut out pictures that represent their hopes and dreams. Glue these pictures onto a piece of poster board. Allow children to participate in creatively decorating the boards with other materials.

  • How can you display these vision boards for both the children and their families to enjoy and reflect upon?
  • How can you authentically honour children’s voices, adding children’s stories about their hopes and dreams in their own words?
  • In what ways can you extend children’s hopes and dreams into your programming?

Materials: poster board, materials to cut pictures from (magazines, calendars, etc.), adhesive, an assortment of art or natural materials (for decorating the board).

Books:

  • The North Star by Peter Reynolds
  • The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams
  • The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

Websites:
https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/5-fun-goal-setting-activities-children
https://veryspecialtales.com/goal-setting-for-kids

Grow

“Making traces visible to families creates an opportunity to ask for their input and reflection. Share with families that what they have to say is important to further understand what children are learning and experiencing.”

Consider asking families:

  • Is there anything you could add to this story?
  • What prior knowledge does your child bring to this moment?
  • Can you help me deepen my understanding of what is happening in this moment?

(B.C. Early Learning Framework, 2019, p. 58)

Create a vision board of your own hopes and dreams for yourself, the children you nurture or the field of early learning and child care. Keep this board somewhere you can access throughout the year and take time on a regular basis to reflect on your journey.