by Stella Shepard
“There is a huge demand for trained ECEs and for substitutes with training and experience, especially in rural areas, says Paige MacLaren, Director of the Morell & Area Early Learning Centre.
The centre, which opened in September 2010, is located at the Morell Consolidated School, and is open year-round and provides care and education for children as young as three months to kindergarten entry. “We currently hold a license for 40 children,” says Paige.
Paige holds a Level 3 Early Childhood Education (ECE) and a Supervisor certificate. She is currently taking a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education at the University of New Brunswick.
About the staff
“The number of spaces available for children depends on the number of staff we have,” says Paige. “The ratios for staff members per child are set in the Early Learning and Childcare Regulations act.
“In total, we have 12 staff. Currently, we have two ECEs in our infant program, Maxine MacDonald (ECE Level 3) and Jocelyn Payne (ECE Level 1).
“In our toddler room we have Barb Thompson, the Assistant Director, who has a ECE Level 3. Bonnie O’Hanley, an ECE Level 1, is also in the toddler room and will be attending school from October 17th to early February to obtain her ECE Level 2 certificate.
“With our three-year-old group we have Sandra Savoie, ECE Level 1, and our Pre-Kindergarten staff member is Lynn MacInnis, ECE Level 3.
“I spend my time in the office as well as on the floor. Jeannie Burke is our amazing cook, Charlotte Byrne, Intensive Behavioral Intervention certified, is our day support staff member, and Cathy Trainor covers our afternoon support staff. We also have two main substitutes, Michaela Taylor and Janet Affleck.”
“We are required to hire staff who are trained ECEs, and right now, there is a shortage of ECEs in the field,” says Paige. “I find it hard to stay optimistic about being able to find certified employees to replace anyone who may retire.
“We are always in need of substitute educators. We are not currently hiring for any permanent full-time positions but will be in the coming years as staff retire.”
What do you look for when hiring
“We look for certifications and experience,” says Paige. “Our employees need to be team players, have strong communication skills, be able to problem solve, and be reliable, dedicated, and flexible.
“To offer high quality early childhood education, we need compassionate, energetic, optimistic individuals who are trained and dedicated to the field of Early Childhood Education.
“We want our employees to see the value in Early Childhood Education as a career choice and to take pride in the difference they make each day in each child’s life they encounter.”
“Staff is offered a livable wage, and there is a yearly raise for five years,” says Paige. “Currently, the starting wage for a Level 1 ECE, which consists of three Holland College Early Childhood Education courses is $16.73.
“A Level 2 ECE who has a one-year diploma in Early Childhood Education earns $20.05 an hour.
“A level 3 ECE which consist of having a two-year diploma in Early Childhood Education earns $27.11.”
For information about funding and programs for those interested in the Early Childhood field, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/early-childhood-education-training-grants
For information about a grant available to those who have their training, have left the field and wish to return to work in the field, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/return-to-ece-profession-grant
FOR MORE INFORMATION
contact Paige MacLaren, Director, or Barb Thompson, Assistant Director, Morell & Area Early Learning Centre, at 902-961-3234 or email [email protected]
The Early Childhood Development Association of PEI offers a Steps to Success program Email your questions to [email protected]