College participates in global movement for professionalism in early childhood education
By Lois Mahon RECE
As the president of the College of Early Childhood Educators, I took some time in January to reflect on my past year with the College. I reflected on my continuous professional learning opportunities and felt compelled to share an unforgettable trip I took to Scotland and the information I gained on behalf of the early childhood education profession in Ontario.
Last August I was a keynote speaker at The Festival of Early Years conference in Scotland. I was a guest of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), which hosted the conference to focus on “improving lives with childhood practice”.
The College began our friendship with the SSSC in 2013 when we met at an international conference. Subsequently, the SSSC spoke at the College’s Leadership Pilot retreat in 2014 about the process taken by early years and child care workers to become recognized as professionals in Scotland.
Through my speech in Scotland, I reflected on the challenges I’ve faced in being perceived as an early childhood education professional. I also spoke about how self-regulation through our College has helped ECEs become recognized as professionals and raised the status of the profession.
The conference, visits to child care centres and meeting with other ECEs were wonderful opportunities for me to share some of the amazing work happening within Ontario on a global stage.
I learned that early childhood education in Scotland is similar to Ontario in its pedagogy and focus on play-based learning. The trip helped me realize that Scottish ECEs also strive to be recognized as professionals. I also gained insight into how Scotland has successfully implemented continuous professional learning. All of Scotland’s early childhood educators recently participated in training and education to enhance their skills, knowledge and practice.
I now have a broader view of the world as a result of the trip and see how ECEs are joining together in a global movement to be recognized as professionals. These international connections will help the College share and exchange information and resources globally.
The trip had a long lasting impact on me as I now realize we are all connected to a global community of ECEs. I look forward to us sharing and growing together!