The Early Childhood Development Support Centre at Kingstec is celebrating a milestone. Administrative assistant Justine MacDonald, left, and centre co-ordinator Monica Slauenwhite, centre, want everyone the centre has worked with over the past decade, such as early childhood educator Denise Ward, right, to come back and celebrate on Oct. 7. – Kirk Starratt, www.kingscountynews.ca
By Kirk Starratt
An event planned Oct. 7 will celebrate the contributions made to the development of countless children in the Valley over the past decade.
The Early Childhood Development Support Centre at the NSCC Kingstec Campus will mark its 10th anniversary by inviting everyone they’ve been involved with over the years, both early childhood educators and workshop facilitators, to a celebration. There will be a drop-in at 4:30 p.m. and a reception at 6:30 p.m., with an open microphone for people to share their experiences.
Denise Ward, an early childhood educator at the Kingstec Early Childhood Learning Centre, has been working in the field for 13 years. She said the support centre has been a great resource. Early childhood educators incorporate the training they receive through the support centre into their programming, she said, benefiting children across the Valley region.
“The children benefit from every aspect of the centre in some shape or form,” Ward said. “Because the workers are getting a variety of new resources to teach with, the children get to explore different materials.”
The centre also offers many workshops. Ward said that when she started in the field, she had to travel to Halifax to attend workshops to fulfill mandated professional development. The support centre at Kingstec has brought workshops closer to home, making them more accessible to early childhood educators in the Valley.
Support centre co-ordinator Monica Slauenwhite, who has been involved in some capacity with the centre since its inception, said they also offer networking opportunities for daycare directors and early childhood educators to share ideas, solutions and best practices.
The support centre covers the area between Digby and Hants counties.
“I have hundreds of early childhood educators and professionals I support in my region,” Slauenwhite said.
Everyone in the province working in a licensed childcare centre must take 30 hours of professional development over three years.
“That’s where I come in,” Slauenwhite said. “We have workshops planned into the new year based on the feedback we get from people in the field.”
Administrative assistant Justine MacDonald said the support centre has grown a lot in the seven years she’s worked there. In fact, they’re quickly outgrowing their current space. They now hold more workshops – there are 12 already scheduled for 2014 – and an annual conference that has grown to include a full-day event plus a tradeshow that had 175 participants last year.
For more information on the Early Childhood Development Support Centre celebration, call 690-2531.