ARCHIVED—Exemplary Practices 2005
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Parents have long known the importance of giving young children the best possible start in their formative years. Early childhood education is much more than babysitting. Educators work with young children to ensure they are prepared for the intellectual, emotional and physical challenges they will face in elementary school and, ultimately, the real world.
Over time, Canadians have come to appreciate the value of early childhood education and the impact it has on Canada's future. This is due to dedicated people in a variety of fields who studied the effects and methods of early childhood education and then lobbied governments to take notice.
Early childhood educators are amazing people. Their work exemplifies community service. They are people driven not by glory but by deeply held values about families, learning, tolerance, accessibility and helping others.
A number of outstanding early childhood educators were chosen to receive the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education in 2005.
Ten educators from across the country were selected to receive a Certificate of Excellence from the Prime Minister at a ceremony in Ottawa on March 22, 2005. They also met together for a day to discuss what they do, why they do it, how they do it, and how they would do it differently if they could.
The discussion was frank. "Tell me honestly," said one recipient. "Would you advise a young person to go into our profession?"
"Not for the money," was the first reply.
"Yes, I would," was the defiant follow-up.
"I love this job even if we don't get the money or recognition we should."
An outsider listening to the conversation would have noticed several interesting traits. When early childhood educators say "my parents" or "our parents," they most likely mean the parents of the children in their care. This language says a lot about the closeness of the relationship all the recipients seek and develop with parents. If there is one over-riding theme in this publication, it is parents: meeting their needs, getting to know them, understanding their values.
The state of the profession, as mentioned above, is also a common concern. Reflecting this, there are a number of pieces in the pages that follow about advancing the profession.
This publication features a diverse collection of tips, techniques and tricks of the trade, along with profiles of and contact information for the Certificate of Excellence recipients. An additional 15 Certificate of Achievement awards, signed by the Prime Minister, were presented to educators at a ceremony in their hometowns. Their profiles can be seen by visiting the Introducing the educators and Certificate of Achievement Recipients pages.
For more information about the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education, go to the Prime Minister's Awards website.
Features section of the Exemplary Practices 2005
Articles section of the Exemplary Practices 2005