I went to a meeting today I had little interest in and from which I gained very little.
I knew that would be the case.
I went to represent.
Represent the child care sector in Richmond.
It was a brown bag lunch session for Early Childhood Development Professionals to discuss the Richmond Early Childhood Development Framework. The central statement of this framework is "Richmond, a child friendly community where young children thrive". A very worthy endeavour and aspiration.
And yet - more often than not those of us providing child care services are not included in the conversation.
We work with 150 families in 3 locations in this city every week. Some of those families have complex and challenging needs. Some of the children in those families need help, some need alot of help. Some of those families speak english, more speak cantonese, mandarin, russian, polish, hebrew, hindi, japanese etc. Some can afford their fees. Others cannot. Some Mom's are fine, others are isolated and depressed. Many grandparents bring the children as the parents are working shifts, long shifts, many shifts. Sometimes the nanny brings the kids. Some kids are dirty, don't have enough clothes...or food. Many have all they need and more.
I have worked hard to be connected to the programs and services in Richmond that can help these families and their children. We are SO often the first point of contact for a new Canadian family....we help them figure out the system, we help them get the help they need. For all families we accomodate the help being offered at the daycare so parents dont have one more places to take their child. We educate, we advocate, we negotiate. We provide a child friendly community where young children and their families can thrive - all day, every day.
We should be at every discussion on Early Childhood Development.
And yet we are often sidelined in the community as being "just child care".......
So I went to the meeting so I could represent the important work my staff do everyday that is SO much more than "just child care".
Way to "represent" ladies and way to go above and beyond everyday and doing so much more than "just child care".