My thoughts from the trenches
I have been in childcare for over 30 years. I started off my career in Brandon MB and after a few twists and turns through various programs and communities, I have landed in Portage la Prairie operating a group family child care program and Growing Wild Forest and Nature School program. When I think I have seen it all and got everything figured out, my children prove me wrong! There is never a dull moment when working with children.
I am always learning; from my kids, from my co-workers, from my peers and from the students at the college where I instruct part-time.
Join me in my adventures and pondering’s as I travel through the world as seen by the children.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas as well. Please feel free to comment and have a conversation.
(*open each blog post to see the whole post in format and pictures)
Posted by CindyECE on May 2, 2023 in Children Naturally News | 0 comments
Schemas are “a repeated pattern of action and behaviour, seen in many different areas of play. They become ‘established foundations for learning’.” Cathy Nutbrown, 2006 The more we know and understand about Schema Theory, the easier it is to identify the various Schemas children engage in. Schemas can be found in children’s play of all ages and in all curriculum...
Posted by CindyECE on June 19, 2022 in Children Naturally News | 0 comments
I have a friend who decided to choose a word to be her mantra for this year. She choose ‘reduce’ and everything she has been doing is connected to reducing. This includes trying to reduce stress in her life and the stuff around her. She asked me if I had a word. I hadn’t thought about this but after some reflection, I noticed I had been using the word ‘intention’ and ‘being intentional’ a lot. I decided this would be my word. Now What? So now that I have this word, what does it actually mean? How do I...
Posted by CindyECE on January 17, 2021 in Building community, Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups, Personal Growth, Professional Development | 1 comment
The discussion about building fires in child care programs is growing as ECE’s are trying to spend more time outside as a way of dealing with Covid. The general idea is that a fire will give kids and adults a chance to warm up while being outside for long periods of time in the cold weather. I think we need to go further with this idea. I learned about fires in a child care program, not as a way to warm up, but as a skill and knowledge to expose kids to; how to build a fire, what the purpose of fire is, and how to respect and be safe...
Posted by CindyECE on December 6, 2020 in Building community, Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups, Traditions | 0 comments
I love December and all the traditions we have created in my child care program over the years. We all talk about how busy it is this time of year, but for me it is a busy I enjoy. I find myself making the ornaments the kids can paint, getting the Graham Cracker ‘gingerbread’ houses ready for decorating and gathering the supplies for the Reindeer Munchies. These are just a few of the activities that bring me joy. Some of the kids remembered what we have done in previous years and wanted to make some paper chains. One of the...
Posted by CindyECE on November 29, 2020 in Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups, Personal Growth, Professional Development | 2 comments
Child Care vs. Early Learning Education; this has been on my mind for awhile, especially with all the talk about essential workers lately. What is the difference? How do they fit together? Do they fit together? This internal fight began years ago. When I graduated first from Child Care Services (which is what Early Childhood Education was called 32 years ago), I began working in a daycare. I really struggled with the idea that what I was dong was not important. I felt that what I was doing was little more than… dare I say it…...
Posted by CindyECE on September 26, 2020 in Children Naturally News | 0 comments
Has children’s play changed during these (what I call) weird times called Coronavirus? Do they play differently? Has their play taken on a new ‘tone’ or manner of play? Some Background Early into this, around the end of March, the majority of the families attending my program decided to hunker down at home. We were being told to stay home, limit our exposure to people outside our bubble. As everyone well remembers schools were closed, many business were closed or greatly changing the way they did business, and people were...
Posted by CindyECE on August 29, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Mentoring | 0 comments
I have had a dream for a while now. My dream was to be able to run a forest and nature school program, to be able to completely embrace the pillars and principles. For ECE’s who are already child-led and inquiry based, this is a natural extension. The concepts are really a way of thinking, a mind set. In June 2019 I started my journey to become a Forest and Nature School Practitioner. I took the 1 week, hands on course with an ECE friend. We had such a good time and were inspired by 2 wonderful facilitators. From that week until this...
Posted by CindyECE on July 13, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Mentoring, Multi Age Groups | 2 comments
For anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE all loose parts! Do I have a favourite? I really don’t want to pick just one… I have so many! Let’s start at defining what loose parts are? For those who may not know what loose parts are let’s start there. Simon Nicholson, the founder of the idea of Loose Parts in 1971 says: “As long as materials can be moved, redesigned, put together, and taken apart in a variety of ways, they are classified as loose parts.” A very basic explanation is loose parts are anything that can be...
Posted by CindyECE on June 22, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups | 2 comments
One of my greatest joys is to be able to sit back and observe, truly take in and watch what the kids are doing. I love to hear the laughter, the making up of games, the impromptu negotiations that happen when everyone is engaged. One particular day as I was observing a child of about 14 months old was playing. She was climbing in and out of a wagon and I heard one of the three year old kids say, “She’s capable!” My heart soared when I heard that. I think of the many times I have said that to not only adults but to the...
Posted by CindyECE on June 13, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups | 2 comments
As I reflect over my six and a half years as a family child care provider I wondered when we evolved into a community? A daycare family? This feeling of community really hit home this past week for me. In March, because of Covid-19, all my regular children stayed home with their families. Now, after about two and a half months away, the children have started trickling back. One of the kids brought me an envelope her first week back. I happily opened it and found a picture she had created for me as well as a small toy the resembled a moose...