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”

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.