My name is Carmen and I am a registered ECE in the Ottawa area. I have over five years of experience primarily working with children from early infancy to kindergarten (four to five years), but I have worked with children as old as ten years. and my last ECE position was with fifteen toddlers between fourteen months to thirty-three months at a private school. For a little about my children's care and education history, I originally came from Toronto, and my first childcare position was working as a volunteer Emergency Childcare Worker at a women's shelter for mothers and their children. From what I learned about childcare and education at the women's shelter, I worked as a nanny for various families, mostly on an on-call and part time basis, until I moved to Ottawa in 2014. Shortly after, I obtained my ECE diploma (I took the one year intensive course at Algonquin) and license, I found contract work as a full time toddler teacher at a private school. When my contract ended, I had trouble finding ECE related jobs in February, but I found a part time position working at a restaurant twice a week (schedule is flexible). As a registered ECE however, I am hoping to work find work as both a nurturing nanny and empowerment building educator (p/t or f/t) with a lovely family such as yours.
For a little about my philosophy on childcare and education, I believe that children's nurturance and education are not independent of each other, but interdependent. In order for children to embrace learning, children must feel secure and confident enough to try, make mistakes, and try again. In order to feel that security and confidence, children must have nurturing caregivers, who will support them in their learning, with developmentally appropriate activities (e. g. infants won't understand 100-piece puzzles; ten year olds don't need walker toys). When educators provide supportive education, children also learn trust and other pro-social behaviour, such as being nurturing to younger children or a willingness to help other children when those children are struggling (e. g. a two year old who learned how to use zippers from a caring educator, is more likely to help a sixteen month old with their coat).
When it comes to learning, I believe that all children are naturally curious learners. Although many adults think that children simply, "Play, " to me, that play is learning. For example, when a child's block tower keeps falling down when it becomes too high, that child is learning cause and effect with gravity (though they may not actually understand the theory of gravity yet). When a child is pretending to be Dora the Explorer with other children, that child is practicing language and social interaction with others. Even when a child is simply chasing a ball, they are practicing their gross motor skills and coordination. With the support of a nurturing and knowledgeable caregiver, a child can learn many skills and develop their talents through play. As an ECE, I am a strong supporter of education and nurturance through developmentally appropriate play activities. From my education and experience, children learn far more from physically experimenting under safe and controlled environments, than being dictated to from a desk. Although I enjoyed teaching fifteen toddlers in a classroom, I feel that I can offer more individualized and personalized care, education, and time with children from individual families, since I would be working with less children (most classrooms have 15-24 children; most Canadian families seldom have more than four children). Considering that different children will have different needs (e. g. children with autism need more social support than children who are naturally talkative and extroverted), I can more easily accommodate those needs when I am working closely with one to four or five children.
On a more physically immediate level, I know how to ge diapers, cook healthy foods (e. g. baked chicken and steamed vegetables, pastas, veggie pizzas from scratch, etc. ), put children to nap, and calm down upset children. With calming down children who are upset, but not say, because they are hungry or in need of a diaper ge (where the solution is obvious), I have many songs, stories, and other nurturing techniques (e. g. back rubs, hugs, etc. ) that I have learned over the years, that are effective in soothing children. I also know how to bathe children, ge their clothes, brush their teeth, and I always carry a box of wipes with me, so I am always prepared in the event of runny noses, nose bleeds, and diaper/underwear "accidents. " To me diapering is a natural part of infant and younger toddler lives, so I am not bothered by diapering. Although I am generally laid back and easily as going when it comes to children's care and education, I am very safety oriented, so I am very firm with safety and family rules, such as no running with scissors, no climbing on window ledges or tops, or no colouring on the walls. Instead of using negative, "Don't do x, y, z, " language though, I always try to use positive reinforcement instead. Therefore, my instructions to the child would respectively be, "Walk please, " "Feet on the floor please, " and, "Colour on paper please. " By using please and thank you, I am also modeling the manners that I want the children to learn and replicate. After all, all children like to replicate adults, so pro-social behaviour to me, is necessary to instill in children, so they can grow up to be cooperative and well-adjusted adults.
For a little about my personal background, I am a Chinese Canadian living in Ottawa. I came to Canada when in was three from Hong Kong with my parents, so I can speak Cantonese Chinese. Having been educated in Canada, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree, a TESL certificate, and my ECE diploma/license. I also have Standard First Aid/CPR/AED, and a Crisis Prevention Intervention certification. On my free time, I enjoy walking outdoors, playing my alto saxophone, having dinner with my friends, painting, jewelry making, and spending time with my boyfriend, who I love very much. Personality wise, I am constantly told by friends and employers that I am very patient, polite, honest, helpful, organized, and nice. Many teachers and parents that I have worked with have commented that I sing a lot to the children, and most children are usually entertained by my accompanying finger plays and dances. To me, singing and dancing activities are great ways to promote social bonding, sharing cultures, learning language, improving coordination and other motor skills, and fostering self-confidence. I am also the type of person who enjoys having everyone involved in activities that could be educational, so I encourage children to, "Be my helper, " if they are interested. For example, if I am making a veggie pizza, I may have a child place toppings with me or even help me pick out vegetables at the store (depending on their age and development). While these skills seem mundane to most adults, children need to learn these skills, in order to function as future adults.
Essentially, I am a registered ECE with a passion for children's nurturance and education. With my creativity and love for practical learning, I believe that I will be a great match with your family. I have references available from my former coworkers at the school I worked at, written references from my supervisors from both my ECE field placements, written references from parents I have worked for, and written references from the women's shelter in Toronto that I first worked at. I can bring all of those, including a record of my updated immunizations and clear police check. I am always prepared. :) If you have any further questions about me, please feel free to ask, and I will always answer.
Looking forward to hearing from you. :)
At the Redwood Women's Shelter that I worked at, the children staying there came from what ECEs consider, "exceptional situations. " In this case, those children (almost 80 were toddlers) were coming from abusive and largely unstable home environments. Therefore, the focus among shelter staff was creating an extremely nurturing environment, to build up the children's sense of security and confidence, since children cannot learn when they are sad, scared, and stressed. To create such an environment, staff, such as myself, would play directly with the children, sing songs to them, and introduce them to activities, such as arts and crafts, or costumes for socio-dramatic play.
As a nanny for individual families, I followed the routines set by the parents for their children, such as adhering to nap and meal times, and taking children to parks, schools, recreational/educational centres at scheduled times. In addition, I completed errands, such as light housekeeping, preparing meals, cleaning laundry, and tending to pets. I am also highly aware of allergies, and respectful of dietary restrictions and cultural practices. For example, although I have no allergies or dietary restrictions, I never have nut products around children (unless specifically instructed by their parents to do so), and I have worked with vegan families with no issues.
During my ECE Intensive Program, I had to complete two placements - one for each semester. During my first placement, I worked at the Early Learning Centre at Algonquin College. I worked with fifteen toddlers, one field supervisor, one placement supervisor, and three Registered ECEs for five weeks, Monday to Friday. There, I learned how to lead a class with fifteen toddlers aged eighteen months to two and a half years, with developmentally appropriate activities and songs. I also learned how to tend to immediate needs as quickly and efficiently as possible, without compromising quality, since fifteen toddlers were generally fed and changed around the same times, and all children had to be properly dressed before they could go outside. From this first placement, I learned how to tend to the needs of many very young children at once, while giving them the personalized learning and care that they need. I adapted to shifting from one play group to another during their free play times, so every child got to have time with, "Ms. Carmen. "
During my second ECE placement, I worked at Centrepointe Nursery and Resource Centre. Instead of working with one classroom of children, I worked with a preschool class, an infant program, and a drop in program for parents and their children, from infancy to seven years. Each program would happen twice a week, with a, "Dad and children, " program once a month. Due to the nature of this placement, where parents were more directly involved, I got to speak with many parents of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. This gave me a chance to better understand the families of the children that I was working with, so I could be more culturally conscientious when working with the children. For example, at the Centre, I worked with a fair number of Somalian Muslim immigrants and their children. Considering that these families did not eat pork, I would change the word from, "Ham, " to, "Chicken, " if I were reading a book about a family eating a meal. Essentially, I got to work with a wider age range and more families during this placement, but I feel that both placements taught me a great deal about working closely with children and families on an education level, as opposed to just childcare. As a result, my philosophy towards childcare involves emphasis on both nurturing and educational environments.
After graduating my ECE program and obtaining my ECE license, I got a non-permanent contract as a toddler teacher at a private Montessori school. Although Ministry regulations placed toddlers at eighteen to thirty months, my classroom had children as young as fourteen months (which is about three quarters the development of an eighteen month old) to sixteen months, and children as old as 34 months (which is more than double the age of our youngest student). This meant that the ECEs there, like myself, had to be extra aware of the activities that were implemented to the children. For example, while an older toddler, who is reaching preschool age, may gladly sing along to a more verbally complex song like, "Down By the Station, " a younger toddler, who just left infancy, may only understand and have the attention span to simpler tunes like, "Wheels on the Bus. " Therefore, we would have to adjust the activity to fit both groups, such as having the older children sing, "Wheels on the Bus, " with accompanying hand gestures, as younger children listen and try to copy some of the older children's movements. In addition to children's education, ECEs were expected to follow a strict daily schedule, that involved cleaning the classroom, laundry, changing clothes for indoors/outdoors, restocking materials, cleaning the kitchen/bathroom, snack preparation, and setting up the class for nap or aftercare. Until I stopped working at the school, I was working Monday to Friday, from 8:30am-5:45pm.
Currently, I am working as a server/bartender twice a week at a restaurant uptown. My schedule is very flexible, as the General Manager where I work understands that I need extra work. I have references from the women's shelter, my two placements, at least one of the families that I have worked for, and a coworker from the private school. I can be contacted by phone, messaging, or email. I am looking forward to your response. :)