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Rachel Vickerson

Rachel Vickerson's activity stream

  • published National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in News 2022-09-29 15:08:40 -0400

    National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

    September 30th is Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. As a community, this is a time for us to learn, unlearn, and critically examine our own practice as we work towards meaningful action on Truth and Reconciliation. The AECEO team understands that discussing colonization and its ongoing harms can be uncomfortable and even scary, especially when talking to young children. It is critical that we listen to the experiences of Survivors and (un)learn the histories of our country and education system in order to disrupt the consequences of ongoing colonialism and systemic injustice in our own pedagogical work. 

    As educators, we believe that it is our duty to have these uncomfortable conversations with each other, our families and our communities. We hope that talking more openly about “scary”  topics will lead to our feeling comfortable in the discomfort in order to be a catalyst for positive change.                                                                                                                                                         
    To support you in that process, we are sharing a list of resources our team is using to help you on your own decolonizing journey on Orange Shirt Day and beyond. We also encourage you to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and reflect on the ways you can take action in your pedagogical practice and in your community.

    Please be advised that the links below touch on topics such as child abuse, family separation, intergenerational trauma and genocide.


    Interactive Resources: 

    • Canada's Residential Schools (Google Earth)  
    • The Witness Blanket
    • This 10 month calendar - following the school year - was created by Kelli Edson Wiebe and Angela Fey to support educators. It highlights Indigenous celebrations and commemorations, and shares the 6 seasons of the Cree & the Anishinaabe moons, free to download and integrate into your program (shared with permission) 



     Book Recommendations for Adults: 

    • Seven Fallen Feathers - Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, by Tanya Talaga
    • Indigenous Writes - A Guide to First Nations, Métis, & Inuit Issues in Canada, by Chelsea Vowel
    • This Place - 150 Years Retold (graphic novel), by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, et al. Also available in podcast format 

     Book Recommendations for Children: 

    • Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, by Phyllis Webstad 
    • When We Were Alone, by David A. Robertson & Julie Flett
    • Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi's Canoe, both by Nicola I. Campbell & Kim La Fave
    • Kookum's Red Shoes, by Peter Eyvindson 
    • Arctic Stories, by Michael Kusugak

  • published Provincial Conference 2023 in Professional Learning 2022-09-26 12:42:40 -0400

    Provincial Conference 2023

    Save the date! AECEO Virtual Provincial Conference April 27-29, 2023

    The Building Leadership and Learning Communities project at the AECEO is pleased to announce the dates of our virtual provincial conference. We are excited to share with you that the conference will be held from Thursday April 27th to Saturday April 29th, 2023. Stay tuned for lots of information to be shared on this page including the conference theme, call for presenters, schedule, and registration information. We hope you will join us!

    We are extremely grateful to our incredible conference committee for working with us to plan a conference for Early Childhood Educators by Early Childhood Educators. Please take a moment to read the short biographies below to learn more about each of the members of the conference committee who will be working together behind the scenes to make this conference happen. 

    Conference Committee members 

    Adenike O.

    Adenike is an RECE with a year of work experience at Park Lawn Preschool (Inc.) where she currently works with junior school-age children. Her professional values align with those of the AECEO which undergirds her decision not only to be a member of the association but also to become an active supporter of its advocacy initiatives. She enlisted to be a member of the planning committee in order to network with colleagues in the field and put her skills to work.

    Anisah R.

    Anisah is an RECE and trained Instructor Therapist. She is a recent ECL degree graduate from GBC and is also a MA in Early Childhood Studies Candidate at Toronto Metropolitan University. Anisah is interested in contributing to the committee to expand her network and contribute to the sector in diverse ways. She is also interested in learning new strengths and is eager to learn more about advocacy in the field Early Childhood Education.  

    Ashley G.

    Ashley is an RECE working in the kindergarten program for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. Outside of her role with the school board she has been participating in the Toronto community of practice as an AECEO member. She was excited to join the conference committee to gain more experience working alongside other RECEs in the province while continuing to advocate for our role.

    Carolyn F.

    Carolyn is Public Policy and Government Relations Coordinator at the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. Carolyn has a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University. She is a member of the Board of Directors of both Child Care Now and the Childcare Resource and Research Unit. 

    Charlotte P.

    Charlotte is a Registered Early Childhood Educator working in London Ontario in a preschool classroom. As a pedagogical leader Charlotte spends her days studying and rethinking our traditional practices alongside young children. She also enjoys mentoring new educators, facilitating professional learning experiences, and supporting others in their growth. Charlotte is so excited to be part of this amazing conference planning team, and is looking forward to bringing exciting and important learning opportunities to our community!

    Claudia G.

    Claudia is a DECE and BASc student living and working on the traditional land of the Anishinabewaki, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and Neutral peoples, also known as Kitchener-Waterloo. With a background in human rights and women's and gender studies, Claudia brings a healing-centered, antiracist, and culturally sustaining perspective into her work with children and families. She is passionate about advocating for ECEs and is pleased to extend this work as a member of the AECEO's Conference Planning Committee. She is excited about collaborating with her fellow ECEs to create a conference experience that continues to support, inspire, and empower our transformative work with children and families.

    Emma K.

    Emma has been working with children and families for about 20 years.  She started working with at-risk youth painting murals over graffiti in downtown Toronto in her early 20s, then spent 6 years living and working in Asia. Emma grew passionate about working with children as she discovered gifts within herself that had never been nurtured in traditional education, and found a safe place where she could sing, dance, and be wonderfully weird without constantly defending herself.  Children understand the importance of a safe space.  Since coming back to Canada 10 years ago, Emma has become an ECE and done a Masters in Early Childhood Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University.  She has worked in traditional care with all ages, ran a part-time community based parent cooperative preschool for five years, worked as a nanny, and has finally landed her dream job working as an ECE at College Montrose Children’s Place, an EarlyOn centre in Toronto. She is part of this committee because she wants to learn alongside other ECE’s about how to move our profession from this idea of “women’s work” to the idea that we are helping scaffold our futures.

    Jeannette H.

    Jeannette is an Early Childhood Educator working in London Ontario. She has worked for London Bridge Childcare Services for over 15 years now and has the pleasure of working both with the pedagogical leadership team, as well as in the classroom. Her work with children has been such a journey of discovery for her, which she has loved tremendously. What drew Jeannette to the idea of the Conference committee was her love of inviting people into deep conversations about our field and hearing others perspectives. This committee will allow her to expand her network of colleagues so she can gain a better understanding of what is impacting our field and how to grow it alongside a group of wonderful dedicated educators. Jeannette is looking forward to all of the work that we will do together.

    Jenn W.

    Jenn has been an Early Childhood Educator since graduating from the ECE Diploma program at Conestoga College over 20 years ago. From Conestoga she went to Toronto Metropolitan (previously Ryerson Polytechnic) University, graduating with her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Early Childhood Education. While there, she earned her designation in Special Needs, as well as a minor in Public Administration. Throughout the various roles in the early childhood sector that Jenn has held, she has been a strong advocate for the profession of Early Childhood Education. She has worked in various capacities, including classroom educator, Ontario Early Years programs, Resource Consultant and is currently employed with a school board as a Designated Early Childhood Educator. Although, Jenn is currently holding a position outside of the Kindergarten classroom – as a Union Local President representing over 800 DECEs. Jenn is very involved at the Local and Provincial levels with her Union. This involvement is what has led Jenn Wallage to become involved with the AECEO, collaborating and advocating for the profession of Early Childhood Education. Jenn unconditionally feels that we, as RECEs, are all part of the same entity, regardless of what setting our career places us in. She would love to see the work of the AECEO continue to advocate for the profession, recognizing the unique concerns and issues in the various settings RECEs work. Jenn wholeheartedly believes that growing support from all areas would benefit the Early Childhood Education profession as we are all on the same side, no matter the setting our career as an RECE places us in. 

    Meike V.

    As an ECE, Meike has been doing the hokey pokey (among other things) in the early learning sector for over 12 years. She joined the conference committee eager to collaborate with fellow educators to create a conference celebrating the strength of our community and share knowledge that will directly impact the work we do with tiny humans.

    Melanie JT.

    Melanie is currently in her third term of the ECE program in Seneca College. Also, she is working for the after school program at Enjoy Learning Center! She loves collaborating with peers and children and hopes to be able to catch a conversation with you in this amazing community of AECEO.

    Niluka PJ.

    Niluka, also known as Nilu, has been a registered Early Childhood Educator for over 20 years. She currently works for Seneca ECE Lab School as a RECE. However, her role as an educator changed when the doors were closed to the Lab during the pandemic. Currently, Niluka works as a field mentor and a Liaison for the School of ECE at Seneca College both at the Newnham and King Campus. Each day she is blessed with new learning and new opportunities in this field. This journey has challenged her beliefs and values and supported her growth professionally and personally. Niluka is currently completing her Bachelors of child Development degree at Seneca, where she continues to learn and grow. She has had many opportunities to work with many influential educators and leaders in the field throughout her years, which has shaped her to be the educator she is today. In this field, we are continuously growing each day and Niluka is honored to be able to share and inspire others as a mentor and an educator.

    Simone H.

    Simone is an RECE who graduated from Conestoga College and has been in the field for eight years. At this time she is working with preschoolers for a non-for profit organization. Simone chose to participate on this committee to lend her voice and hand to do something that honors and recognizes the great work that we in this profession do every day.

    Sue T.

    Sue is an RECE, AECEO.C, who has been in the Early Learning Sector for 30 years. She is currently a Designated Early Childhood Educator with the York Region District School Board, a Part-time Faculty with Centennial College, and a student in the Bachelor of Child Development Program at Seneca College. Sue joined the committee because she is passionate about advocacy, has lots to learn and lots to offer, and wants to think about mentoring other colleagues and pushing the profession forward.

  • published Understanding ECEC in Ontario in Resources 2022-09-22 15:44:53 -0400

    Understanding ECEC in Ontario


    Understanding ECEC in Ontario is an ongoing project that aims to demystify the Ontario Early Childhood Education and Care sector. The series will include explanations of key policy and advocacy related concepts, cheat sheets with the many acronyms our sector uses and more. Our goal is to make this information accessible and easy to understand.

    All materials will be available in PDF format on this page. You can also follow the series on the AECEO's Facebook and Instagram.

    Is there a topic or concept you would like more clarity on? You can email suggestions, ideas or questions to the AECEO's Communication & Outreach Coordinator, Patrícia Borges Nogueira at [email protected]

    Understanding ECEC in Ontario

    ECEC Acronym Cheat Sheets

  • published Politics of ECE Series in Professional Learning 2022-06-01 15:46:39 -0400

    Politics of ECE Series

    Politics of ECE is a new learning series where early childhood educators and early years providers can come together with academics and researchers to explore the connections between our work and to make visible how politics, policy, and funding are lived. The series consists of pre-recorded video lectures and conversations, and live watch parties where we've come together as a community to explore the content together. All resources from the series will be posted on this page as they become available.

    Government 101

    In our first session, Government 101, we heard from sector experts and educators about how the government works, where child care policy fits in and reflected together on how these policies and decisions are lived in our practice as early childhood educators and individuals.


    • Sophia Mohamed
    • Tegan Nguyen
    • Shevaun Burrell

    May 31 Watch Party Recording 

    This Watch Party recording includes both video presentations, and participants sharing their breakout room discussion. ASL interpretation is provided for the video presentations. 

    Government 101 Padlet

    The online Padlet discussion board offers a space to continue to share ideas, reflections and questions from the event

    Government 101 Slides

    The slides that accompany the Government 101 presentation by Sophia Mohamed 

    Government 101 Key Terms 

    Developed by Lin Velasco, these key terms accompany the Government 101 presentation

    Government 101 Conversation Transcript 

    Shevaun Burrell & Tegan Nguyen in conversation, responding to Government 101 presentation


  • donated via 2022-05-26 14:53:04 -0400

    We Need YOU!

    488 donors
    5000 donors


    Your donations help support building ECEs' leadership capacity, ongoing professional learning, building a collective voice for ECEs leadership in Ontario and to create opportunities for ECEs to engage in Advocacy.  

    As a non-profit and charitable organization, donor gifts are critical to AECEO's continued work.   All gifts make a difference. 

    If you would like to send in your donation by mail, please download the donation form.

    If you would like to make a donation via e-transfer please send to: [email protected], noting Charitable Donation in the memo field.



  • New Fact Sheet: CWELCC Wage Improvement Funds


    With the introduction of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, there is a new funding model for licensed child care in Ontario, including some new wage improvement funds for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) working in licensed child care. The AECEO, in collaboration with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, has put together a fact sheet to clarify the impact of this new wage improvement funding on staff in a variety of scenarios.

    The summary is provided in the interest of public information, and should not be taken as an endorsement of this wage funding system.  We know that these new wage improvement funds are insufficient to address the low wages and workforce retention and recruitment issues currently facing in the child care sector. To adequately address the child care workforce shortage, we need a workforce strategy that provides decent work and pay for all Early Years and Child Care staff.

    The OCBCC and AECEO will continue to advocate for a real workforce strategy that includes:

    • All Early Years and Child Care workers and providers, including those in Extended Day Programs, home child care and EarlyON programs; 
    • A salary scale starting at $25 per hour for all child care workers and $30 per hour for RECEs;
    • Paid sick days;
    • Paid professional development time;
    • Paid programming time.

    Click here to read English Fact Sheet

    Click here to read French Fact Sheet

    Note that this document is provided for general information only and should not replace specific information you have received from your employer or Human Resources department. If you have any questions about how this specifically applies to you, please consult with your employer. Unionized centres with Collective Agreements are advised by the Government of Ontario to seek legal consultation on the application of these policies.

  • published 2022 Provincial Budget released in News 2022-04-28 17:39:59 -0400

    2022 Provincial Budget released

    ​​The AECEO is deeply disappointed in the 2022 Ontario Budget, which provides no new provincial funding or support for Early Childhood Educators, early years staff, and the early years sector. The Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement represents a significant and important step forward for the sector, but we know the workforce commitments in the agreement alone will do little to address the growing recruitment and retention crisis. We know educators, and the work you do with children and families, is worth more than the inadequate $18/hour wage floor and the continued status quo. We will continue to advocate for a real provincial workforce strategy and salary grid – one that will provide good careers with fair wages and decent working conditions for educators and early years staff. Without it, Ontario won’t be able to staff existing child care spaces, let alone expand to serve more families.

    From the Roadmap to Universal Child Care in Ontario, to our Pre-Budget Submission and the recent Breaking Point Campaign, we have been consistent and persistent in our advocacy, raising the voice of Early Childhood Educators and early years staff directly to the Ministry of Education. It is your experiences and stories that make undeniably clear the impact of policy and funding decisions on educators' well-being, pedagogy and practice and the experiences and well-being of children and families. We look forward to the sector’s collective advocacy in the months ahead as we continue to raise our voices together. We also invite educators and allies to join us on May 1 as we rally together in Toronto and Ottawa and launch our Worth More Campaign. 

    Read the 2022 Ontario Budget

  • published AECEO Job Opportunity in News 2022-04-23 13:54:21 -0400

    AECEO Job Opportunity

    We are hiring!

    Position: Communications and Outreach Coordinator (part-time)

    Deadline for application:  Monday May 16 2022, 11:59 PM

    The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario is the professional association for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). We advocate for respect, recognition and appropriate wages and working conditions for all ECEs. We work collectively and collaboratively with communities to build and support a strong collective voice for early childhood educators so they can participate in and influence positive change that benefits ECEs, children, families and communities.

    Job Description: As part of the AECEO’s Mobilizing The Early Childhood Workforce In The Movement For Decent Work project funded by The Atkinson Foundation, the Communications and Outreach Coordinator is responsible for coordinating external communications, social media and outreach activities for the AECEO’s decent work project. The Communication and Outreach Coordinator will work closely in collaboration with the Office Administrator & Membership coordinator, the Decent Work: Community Organizer and the Building Leadership and Learning Communities Team. The position reports to the Executive Director.

    Primary Responsibilities:

    • Manage social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) including the development and execution of creative, engaging social media strategies, creating original posts/content, sharing sector/decent work campaign news, and responding to followers/comments
    • Develop, format and schedule e-blasts on the NationBuilder platform
    • Plan, develop and coordinate communication strategies as they relate to decent work campaign events including programs, promotional strategies and materials, and outreach
    • Participate in the development and implementation of membership outreach, retention and recruitment efforts/campaigns and materials
    • Participate in the draft & dissemination of press releases/media advisories and contribute to the creation of AECEO policy responses and submissions to government
    • Contribute to the content, publication and dissemination process for the AECEO’s quarterly eceLINK magazine
    • Manage the organization’s NationBuilder website including maintenance & development, content creation, and architecture/layout
    • Participate in weekly team meetings, and regular scheduled meetings with project partners


    Post-secondary degree or diploma in communications or marketing field, or equivalent professional combination of education and experience. Knowledge or experience in the early childhood education sector is a strong asset.

    Skills, knowledge, and experience


    • Strong writing skills
    • Project and time management skills
    • Demonstrated familiarity and competency with standard office software and video conferencing technology e.g., Microsoft Office 365, Zoom, Google Meet
    • Strong social media management experience and competencies including but not limited to: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok
    • Familiarity with or ability to learn how to use Nationbuilder
    • Ability to build and maintain strong and collaborative relationships with diverse partners and stakeholders
    • Ability to work evenings and weekends and flexible hours
    • Ability to work within anti-racist and anti-oppressive frameworks


    • Familiarity with graphic tools e.g. Canva or Adobe Creative Suite
    • Knowledge of/experience in early childhood education sector or women’s issues
    • Experience working with racialized communities, knowledge of anti-racism work, and the ability to work within racially diverse teams
    • Commitment to maintaining a caring, non-hierarchical, organizational culture and an understanding of care ethics


    • Knowledge and understanding of critical theories of early childhood
    • Knowledge and understanding of decent work movement and labour issues

    This is a part-time (20 hours), salaried, contract position for 2 years with the possibility of extension.

    The AECEO is committed to leading with our values and ethics. This means we value the lived experiences of our applicants and believe potential and passion can be as valuable as credentials. We encourage applications from Black, First Nation, Métis, Inuit, and racialized individuals; Two-Spirit, non-binary, trans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people; disabled people; and members of other equity-seeking groups. As part of our learning and growth, we have made a commitment to implementing anti-racist hiring practices, which we have outlined below. 

    If you are contacted by the AECEO regarding this job opportunity and require an accommodation due to disability to participate in the recruitment and selection process, please advise and we will work with you to meet your needs.

    Start Date: TBD (June 2022)

    Salary: $57,000 prorated at 20 hours/week ($32,571).

    Work location: Remote/from home

    Please submit cover letter, and resume to [email protected] by Monday May 16th 2022, 11:59 PM

    Only candidates who are selected for interviews will be contacted. Interviews will take place in May 2022. A short assignment will be requested from candidates when confirming an interview.

    As part of our ongoing learning and commitment to working within an anti-racist and anti-oppressive framework, the AECEO has committed to the following Anti-racist hiring practices:

    • Public commitment to anti-racist hiring practice in job postings
    • Share job postings on diverse job boards/through networks
    • Create standardized interview questions
    • No social media screening of applicants/candidates
    • Diversity in hiring committee
    • Commitment from hiring committee members to anti-bias and anti-racist hiring

    Paid interview policy

    In recognition of the time and labour of preparing for and attending an interview, the AECEO financially compensates interviewees at a fixed rate of $75 per interview. The AECEO will send interviewees the interview questions 24 hours in advance of the interview to allow them time to process the questions. If a candidate is asked to prepare a presentation or assignment for an interview, AECEO will financially compensate the candidate for that work at a rate equal to the hourly rate for the position, based on the number of hours the hiring committee believes the task should take. The organization will not use ideas from presentations or assignments of candidates not selected for the position.

    Download Job Description PDF

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