“Sometimes knowing that it is a confidential space allows for more freedom of sharing”

“Just recognizing that we are professional teachers. We are not just support staff – we don’t just babysit- this is a career, and I think we should be paid equally for this at a level that we can maintain families.”
“The participants did grow from this, and so we will see that in the coming months and years, I expect that, you can’t take away learning, so whatever they learned over this time will remain with them, and hopefully, it will carry forward in the coming months and years.”

“Often with childcare you get very siloed with I work here and I work there, and this group really surpassed that, and we made, you know, even if our philosophies were a little bit different, we had so many things in common, and it was really humanizing to recognize that, and empowering to recognize that.”

“I feel that we are really lacking that relational piece; we tend to stay in our boxes, and I think its to our detriment. I think if we would , like this group has really encouraged to open the doors and to have that communication, I think we would be much more healthy, and more balanced and worry about self care more, because we could reach out and not feel like were alone, especially with those with smaller practice, like by themselves with ten or with just one or two [ECEs], its now a bigger group that you can kind of share the burden with.”
“ECE, it’s in my blood, and I’ve passed it on to my daughter, my daughter is now ECE too, so yea I’m here till my end”
“Through this project, ECEs from all levels of experience came together as peer-mentors; new ECEs found trusted mentors in experienced ECEs, and experienced ECEs gained fresh perspective on their practices. The educators mention that conversations with parents about their child’s cognitive abilities can be challenging, especially for new ECEs, and to be able to brainstorm ideas and have the support and guidance from experienced educators can be reassuring and comforting. They also discuss the importance of maintaining connection with independent businesses, such as daycare centres, which are otherwise disconnected from the rest of the ECE community – ensuring that the entire community of practice in an area feels connected, and supported is the key to retention of ECEs.”

“The confidence to be able to step forward to look at myself, to see myself and say that you can keep on doing this – I’ve always looked at the kids as my bosses, but not realizing that I don’t have the support behind me to keep on continuing on to this.”

“In the end, I had a different lens to see my daughter’s kindergarten teacher and elementary school teachers differently, because she (my peer-mentor) explained to me what it was like to be a teacher in the classroom, and it had [helped] me have a bit more compassion”

“And also, it’s all like, we kind of get to choose what we talk about and so at the beginning were more talking about the needs of children, whereas now we’re more about our needs and the stress we’re feeling and how, so now we’re even into painting and drawing during our weekly visits to try to relieve some of our stress and take more care of ourselves.”

Opening space: One strong reflective essence I felt during our connection was that we both showed up fully as we were in the moment. We opened space for each other to share what we were going through. It felt like two Warriors of Light coming together to support each other. We shared similar feelings of how challenges in the field were presenting themselves and provided suggestions and insights to each other for possible solutions. It was a heartfelt and genuinely beautiful time shared together.