Saturday, 28 March 2015

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: National/Federal Level

                This week was very exciting, and I was captivated to witness the tremendous amounts of Early Childhood Communities of Practice within the National and Federal level. This research has definitely opened my eyes not only to all of the wonderful programs and organizations established to meet the needs of children and their families but also to the many career possibilities that will be available to me as a Master’s graduate. I am extremely passionate about the early childhood field but had never considered the selection of jobs that support the well-being of children, families, and the early childhood field. 

The first organization I investigated this week is the National Children's Advocacy Center. The website explains that they work to respond to and prevent child abuse through education, service and leadership.  Their community of practice includes agencies, law enforcement and the courts to respond in a timely matter to child abuse issue, as well as, train others to deal with the problem of child abuse  I chose this organization because it encourages organizations to work together to protect children from abuse. There are several employment opportunities that would interest me within this organization. They include prevention director, development director, or intervention director. All of the direction positions require at least five years of experience within the organization. I would also need to have excellent oral and written communication skills and a passion for the advocacy of children and their families.

The second organization I decided to discuss is one that we have already examined in depth throughout this program. Zero to Three is a non-profit organization that began in 1977. They offer excellent resources and embrace a collaborative effort by reaching out to families, parents, and professionals alike. The website is full of resources for a variety of people and purposes, including journal articles, research and even a public policy kit. Under the careers section they state:
“ZERO TO THREE can provide the opportunities and challenges you need to excel. Ours is a truly multicultural and diverse environment, one in which the exchange of ideas is encouraged and where innovation thrives. We're at the forefront of early childhood initiatives. As an organization, we have experienced great growth. We currently employ over 100 staff members. We offer competitive salaries, a comprehensive benefits package, and a pleasant work environment”.

After investigating the current available positions, one that appealed to me is that of Program Manager, Resource Development. As Program Manager, I would be responsible for supervising two senior research analysts/writers and provide guidance, reflective supervision and direction. I would need excellent knowledge and experience with the infants and toddlers, Early Head Start program, child care programs and systems, including Family Child Care as well as at least five years of successful program or project leadership experience and supervision.
Finally, the last organization I examined is one that relates directly to me within Ontario Canada, Child Care Ontario. This organization supports the needs of early childhood educators in their passion and endeavor of working with young children and their families. They collaborate with the elementary education panel regularly in order to bridge the gap between early childhood education and kindergarten. As a previous kindergarten teacher this employment opportunity is one that I am most eager to pursue. I would love to work for this organization as a consultant, planning curriculum or training between both fields as I am experienced in both. Unfortunately no positions were listed at this time but this is definitely an organization that I will continue to pursue in the future.


National Children’s Advocacy Center. (2015). Retrieved from

Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. (2014). Retrieved from

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2015). Information for Child Care Professionals. Retrieved from

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

Throughout my research this week for the application task I discovered many organizations dedicated to children’s services that I did not know of before. For my Capstone Project I have decided to focus on child services provided to Aboriginal children and families in my community.

Organizations and Communities of Practice in Thunder Bay

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board


The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) provides services to the community in general including childcare, housing and Ontario Works. In greater detail, these services include ways to access a child care fee subsidy, special needs resources and family supports and resource programs. With regards to Housing supports, the TBDSSAB offers affordable housing programs including rent geared to income, rent supplement programs, social housing programs and home renovation supports (Ontario Renovates). Finally, in supporting employment needs the organization offers financial and employment assistance, community placement programs and addiction services along with a return to work program. This organization would be extremely beneficial to any family that approached me with needs involving these three major life areas. I believe that it is extremely important that we as educators are aware of the resources available in order to support families in need. I also strongly admire the values and mission statement that the TBDSSAB promise with regards to their service. They state:

At The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, we:
 1. Acknowledge that all people have the right to dignity, respect and quality of life.
 2. Respect the diversity of cultures, skills and abilities of all people.
 3. Work in partnership with stakeholders to find innovative solutions.
 4. Provide opportunities for life-long learning that are responsive to people's needs.
 5. Embrace open communication
 6. Effectively manage our human and financial resources.
(The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, 2015)
I would love to work for the TBDSSAB as a support worker or as the head of the special needs department to offer support and resources to families of children with exceptionalities. In order to effectively work as the head of this department I would need to have a degree in ECE and experience working with children and families with disabilities and various special needs. I would need to have excellent communication skills, an awareness and understanding of the organization’s policies and procedures, an ability to make decisions and to lead a team of colleagues dedicated to the needs of the children and families in our care. Finally, I would need to be well connected and aware of services and resources available to families within my community. Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly (Wenger, 2006, para.3).

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit is an early childhood education and child care policy research institute with a mandate to further ECEC policy and programs in Canada. The website offers a wealth of information for all Provinces within Canada including support and resources for families and professionals. They have section headings that include Online Documents, CRRU resources, CRRU publications, CRRU Project Websites. I chose this website this week because I have just started to explore it as a result of this program. It is great because it offers                 both scholarly resources and more user friendly resources for parents and “hands on” uses. I found it very difficult to find information about career opportunities associated with this organization. I would love to be a researcher for an organization about children’s needs or support. In order to work in a position as a researcher I would need to work in collaboration with other professionals in order to discover new information. I would also need to be current about new trends in the early childhood field.

Children’s Center Thunder Bay

The Children’s Center in Thunder Bay offers free family and individual counselling and mental health support for children and families in need.
“The focus of our services is on children’s mental health issues in the context of the individual child, their family, day care, school and community. Many of the children who come to the Centre are experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are impacting their functioning at home and at school. We work with both individual children, parents, families and other professionals to address problems and strengthen functioning” (Children’s Center Thunder Bay, 2009).

One thing that I love about this organization is that they have recently launched the program “ACTION! Mental Health” urging youths struggling with mental health issues to come forward and get support. This program is aiding in removing some of the stigma associated with mental health issues and illnesses. A career opportunity available through the Children’s Center Thunder Bay is that of the Communicative Disorders Assistant. Skills and experience required for this position include:
  1.  Knowledge and understanding of children’s mental health, family systems and developmental issues  
  2. Knowledge and experience in working with children 0 through 6 years of age who are struggling with emotional, behavioural, social and developmental issues.
  3. Excellent communication skills both oral and written   
  4. Great team work and collaboration skills


Child care Canada. Childcare resource and research unit (1997-2003). Retrieved from
Children’s Centre Thunder Bay. 2009. Retrieved from
The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board. (2015). Firedog Communications. Retrieved from:

Wenger, E. (2006).  Communities of practice: A brief introduction.  Retrieved from