Southgate Medallion Tribute
Welcome to our May Newsletter Volume 47, Issue 5
Educator Appreciation Month
As the landscape of childcare in Canada continues to move from a predominantly parent-funded model toward a subsidized-funded model, we all continue to experience changes in the childcare world. I would like to express my deepest appreciation for all you do to continue to uphold excellence in childcare despite the difficulties we face in these times of change. I hope none of us ever forgets that offering a safe, nurturing and caring environment for children is at the centre and heart of everything we do.
Holiday Policy Focus
As we are coming into Holiday season, I felt it would be important to review some important points regarding the holiday policy you may have.
When recording your holiday on your timesheet:
- If you are expecting payment for your vacation and the children HAVE NOT used back up care – then record these dates as a H.
- If you are expecting payment for your vacation and the children HAVE used back up care – record these dates as PNA – you will be retrieving the money from the parents yourself.
There is a lot of messaging from outside parties regarding policies and your rights.
The agency would like to clearly state, that yes, it is your absolute right to create out of agency policies. If you are choosing to create an out of agency policy, in particular, a vacation policy, here are some of the factors you may want to take into consideration:
o The agency cannot advocate for you for any out of agency policies.
o It is your responsibility at the time of interviewing your parents to clearly stipulate the terms and conditions you have written into your policy. For example, if you are choosing to include two weeks paid vacation – you must let the parents know the implications of this – especially if you are asking parents to pay you and a back up care educator.
o Both the federal and provincial credits to parents are not to pay for your vacation, they are to pay for childcare. By implementing a vacation policy, you are potentially asking parents to lose their credits for that month and have them pay the full amount for your vacation.
o This is a business decision you are making which may have parents consider alternative care.
o Send your self-created policies to your consultant so they have a copy on your file.
o Parents must sign any additional policies at the time of registration – this is your responsibility to have parents sign this and send to your consultant.
In-Home Back Up Caregivers
The agency has changed it’s policy for In-Home Back Up Caregivers. You are now able to bring someone in who doesn’t live in your home. This could be a family member, trusted friend or neighbour. Before anyone can provide back up care in your home, there are a number of processes and procedures that must be done. These take time. If you are interested in considering someone as an in-home back up caregiver, please reach out to your consultant for further details and take a look at our online handbook for what is required.
As you are aware, the Educator Handbook has now gone digital! You can now access the handbook on our website. It is password protected.
The Agency feels this will offer a more simple and effective method to access forms as needed.
I would like to make it clear that any form with a watermark stating “Do Not Copy” is for your personal reference and not for general use. For example, the children's registration forms have been added so that you can see what they look like. They are NOT for you to use to process a child’s registration. The agency will ALWAYS process children’s registrations. So please be mindful that if the form has the Do Not Copy watermark, it is for your reference only.
In August we will send out a quick survey to you asking for feedback on the new digital handbook.
Please have your current binder ready for collection at your consultant’s next visit.
Have a wonderful May.
Trauma Informed Care
What is it?
Trauma can come in many forms. This could be a death of a loved one, maltreatment, or environmental disaster.
As educators we go from “what is wrong with you” to “what has happened to you”. We work to create a safe space for children to express their needs and fears with us. By working with a trauma informed lens we work to be empathetic and supporting as they navigate what has happened to them.
How trauma affects children?
Everyone reacts to trauma differently. You may see behaviours such as:
Tantrums lasting longer then a few minutes
Unable to regulate emotions.
Withdrawal or angry outbursts.
Without treatment research has found it can affect brain development. The effects of trauma can be vast depending on how long ago it was, the severity and length, what supports were in place to support the child and family.
How can we support?
Create a safe, inclusive, nurturing environment.
Giving choices and chances for empowerment
Reflecting on how we respond to trauma and continuing to build relationships of trust.
Taking training such as:
AHS https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/page15526.aspx or
Brain Story https://www.albertafamilywellness.org/resources/video/how-brains-are-built-core-story-of-brain-development
Educators take time for self-care as you are supporting children and families. Trauma can be big and it can empty our bucket. Please remember to fill your bucket as well
Frozen yogurt pops
· 1 cup yogurt, plain
· 1 medium banana
· 1 cup mixed berries, frozen
· 1/8 cup honey
Toss all ingredients into a high-powered blender and puree. Divide evenly between paper cups. Cover with aluminum foil and pierce foil in the center with Popsicle sticks to hold sticks in place.
Freeze 4-5 hours or until solid
EDUCATOR SHOUTOUT -Radharani Behera
Food experiences by Children By: Manwinder Chahal
I observed that the children showed lots of interest in cooking experiences in kitchen area so I set up a table with a simple recipe of pizza to enhance their interest and hands on experience in cooking .During lunch ,I put pizza crusts ,homemade pizza sauce and cheese on the table .I invited the children to make their own pizzas for lunch .They were very excited to make their own pizzas.They took turns to wash their hands and took their spots .They took spoons and started spreading the sauce on the crusts.They smelled the sauce .The child R said that sauce smelled yummy. The child E said,”I like the red sauce on my pizza.”The child H licked the sauce and said ,”Yummy!”Then the children took turns to put the cheese on their pizzas.The child R said ,”Aunty ! look, my pizza is ready .Who will put it in the oven?”I replied ,”let us put all pizzas in tray and I will put in the oven for you.”Then they all put the pizzas in the pizza trays and I put them in preheated oven .They were keep asking ,”Is the pizza ready ?”I gave them a sand timer to check the baking time.When the pizza was baked ,they enjoyed eating their own made pizzas and shared their experiences
with each other .
Holistic Goals:The children showed a strong sense of well being ,confidence,effective communication ,and strong connection to their world.
The children were seeking ,participating,(taking turns) ,persisting and caring during food experiences.
EDUCATOR RESPONSES 2023
(Results from 34 responses)
Question: I feel valued and supported by the Agency?
Strongly Agree-19, Agree- 15, Disagree- 0, Strongly Disagree-0, Neutral-0
Question: The referals I get show that the agency carefully matches the care a family is looking for with what I offer in my dayhome?
Strongly Agree-16, Agree-14, Disagree- 2, Strongly Disagree-1 Neutral-1
Question: Professional development is encouraged and supported by the agency?
Strongly Agree- 19, Agree- 14, Disagree-0, Strongly Disagree-1, Neutral-0
Question: The agency helps me learn and connect with family support services?
Strongly Agree- 17, Agree-14, Disagree-2, Strongly Disagree-0, Neutral-1
Question: The agency provides resources and information to help me stay informed about new and current practices and issues?
Strongly Agree-20, Agree- 14, Disagree- 0, Strongly Disagree- 0, Neutral-0
Question: My consultant encourages me to think about and assess my interactions with children and how I plan daily experiences?
Strongly Agree-23, Agree- 11, Disagree- 0, Strongly Disagree- 0, Neutral-0
Question: I have regular opportunities to review my work performance with my consultant?
Strongly Agree-22, Agree- 12 , Disagree- 0, Strongly Disagree- 0, Neutral-0
Question: The agency has provided me with information about the regulatory standards that I am required to meet?
Strongly Agree- 19, Agree- 15, Disagree-0, Strongly Disagree- 0, Neutral-0
Question: I have, or know how to get the information about the Agency's policies and procedures?
Strongly Agree-21 , Agree- 13, Disagree-0 , Strongly Disagree- 0, Neutral-0
Question: Would you like the opportunity to be involved in attending an instruction session on PD funding and other funding?
yes- 31, no-2
Question: Would you be interested in attending training on how to use a fire extinguisher?
yes online-24, yes in person- 3, no-6
Question: I found the standards training workshop useful?
Question: An annual standards training workshop would be useful?
Question: As part of the agency community engagement, the agency has run 2 donation drives (winter foodbank drive & spring pregnancy care centre drive). How often do you feel you woud like to participate in optional donation drives?
Once a year- 16, Twice a year-13, More- 3, Never-2
Question: I feel comfortable approaching my consultant with a concern or a complaint ?
Stongly Agree-23, Agree- 11, Disagree- 0, Strongly Disagree- 0, Neutral-0
Question: My consultant is responsive to my requests for assistance?
Strongly agree- 24, Agree- 9, Disagree- 0, Strongly disagree-0, Neutral- 1
· My consultant Ashley is very supportive. Thank you- Thank you!
· I did not get referral. – The agency will pass them on once they have been received.
· Agency is very caring and understanding- Thank you!
· All going fantastic -Thank you!
· Thanks for your support -Thank you!
· I m happy with my Consultant. She is flexible & friendly.-Thank you!
· I like to say about the grant we got this year for the levels 1,2 and 3. For level 1 it was so cheap at least $2 per hour. I do the same work and activities like the others who had level 1 and 3. So please reconsider this matter especially with all the expenses that we are currently facing. Thank you – This is a government top-up the agency does not create the wage top up scale. Educators are eligible for $3,100 in Pd funding for post secondary courses. This is a great opportunity to work towards gaining your level 2 and 3.
· I hope the Agency will bring up educator’s frustration with Day home children’s age limits to the government.- The agency regularly attends sector meetings and conveys your viewpoint, struggles and questions to them.
· We should need to work on pay scales as well in future because everything going to be expensive.- This is a government issue and one that agencies are advocating for at our sector meeting. AECEA is currently researching pay scales too.Please attend upcoming agency sessions such as “feeding your day home on a budget” and other opportunities to find money saving tips.
· With the new coordinator and consultant, I am more valued and appreciated. So thank you for that and thank you for all you patience and understanding.-Thank you!
· My consultant is really helpful -Thank you!
· She helps me a lot and very prompt in replying -Thank you!
· First I wish the agency would use an app.The agency is looking into apps to support parents and Educators. Secondly, if some one from my day home is either sick or going on a vacation. I wish there was a back up care for the spot. I have heard that other agencies provide back up care for these situations. Soon it will be vacation time for many families and I think this will give an opportunity for back up care.- Educators are not permitted to be paid twice for one spot. You are welcome to offer back up care if you have a space open or give a credit to the family that is away in order to offer their spot to a back up child.
“Caring That Counts” Early Childhood Educator Conference 2023 Presented by AFCCA –Edmonton Region
The 2023 “Caring That Counts” Early Educator Conference was held on Saturday April 29th, 2023, at Wyndham Hotel, Edmonton. The organizers were excited to see the attendance of over 300 educators from various agencies in Edmonton and the surrounding area. The conference opened with an Indigenous dance, and featured presentations from four speakers.
Tina Geers, owner of Inspired Minds ECC Consulting Inc., spoke on the Importance of self-care for early childhood educators. She encouraged educators to find balance and enjoyment in what they do, and stressed the importance of work-life-wellness.
Sarah Mosaico who is a speech-language pathologist specializing in care for marginalized populations, spoke on making our caring count when there are communication concerns. She highlighted the importance of back-and-forth interactions between a caregiver and the child which helps develop the brain in a healthy way
Aynsley Graham, an independent Behavior Consultant who works with caregivers and educators to teach developmental parenting practices suggested different strategies to better navigate hard conversations in our practice.
Karin Linschoten spoke on Working with Refugee Children and Families. The session gave the workshop attendees a glimpse into the lives of refugee families covering many topics including pre migration experiences, engaging the network of caregivers, providing trauma informed care and increasing effective communications with parents.
Christina Pickles is an outdoor play advocate and founder of Get Outside and Play, she closed the conference with a presentation on outdoor play. She gave the four whys of getting outside to play and the role of the educator in facilitating outdoor play.
UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND WEBINARS
Core Training Date
May’s core training is Documentation and will take place on Wednesday May 10th 6.30 to 8.30 pm.
IIFL - Engaging with Challenging Behaviours
Sat, May 27 2023, 12 - 2pm
This two-hour session will engage participants in exploring which child behaviours they find particularly challenging and why. With a focus on reducing the occurrence of challenging behaviours in the first place, this session will aid participants in developing strategies for addressing these behaviours while maintaining caring and understanding relationships with children.
Please note that the office will be closed on Monday May 22, 2023 For Victoria Day. Contact the emergency number 780-245-3097 during this time