On Thursday, October 24, we mark Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day, a day for us to take a moment and recognize the commitment, hard work and passion of our Designated Early Childhood Educators (DECEs). Every morning, more than 550 educators work to support the learning and care of 8,400 students in the Waterloo Region District School Board in Extended Day and Core Day Kindergarten Programs.

The theme for this year, “Champions for Children,” developed by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, reminds us that early childhood educators and childcare workers help to lay the foundations for future success in the lives of the children they educate and connect with each and every day.

Our students benefit from the contribution these educators make to their overall development, achievement and well-being. Through play-based and child-centred teaching and learning, our early childhood educators bring age-appropriate programming that promotes each child’s physical, cognitive, language, emotional, social and creative development. The partnership between our early childhood educators and teachers strengthens the core responsibility we have as a board to help our students succeed and reach their highest potential in a safe, equitable and inclusive learning environment.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our DECEs for the important work they do and the contributions they make to our Extended Day and core day Kindergarten Programs. Thank you for teaching and nurturing our early learners in the critical development stages of life, for preparing our students for life-long learning and emotional well-being, and for creating a space where each student can experience a sense of belonging.

Please join us today as we celebrate the important work of our DECEs as they champion a foundation of learning that leads to the success of all our students – each and every one.