Partnerships

8 Communities Unite to Inspire Future Early Childhood Educators

  Edge Factor Team   |     January 24, 2024 |   11 minute read
Early Childhood Educators featured in new Edge Factor career media

As parents and caregivers plan for their desired lifestyle and their children's future, they seek child care that is safe, and nurturing, and sparks a passion for learning in their little ones. They entrust Early Childhood Educators with the vital task of nurturing their most precious treasures, creating an environment where children can thrive with engaging learning activities, a sense of belonging and care for their well-being, and meaningful outlets for self-expression. However, despite the critical role these educators play, there is a significant workforce shortage, making it challenging for parents and centers alike.

 

According to the Early Childhood Workforce Report (2022), there is a workforce shortage in the industry since: 

  • Employment in child care dropped 21% during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 3% among other workers,
  • 62% of childcare center operators in Canada had to recruit staff in the last two years,
  • 82% had difficulty hiring staff with the necessary qualifications, and
  • 6% had unfilled staff vacancies lasting over four months

 

These statistics paint a clear picture of the challenges facing daycare, child care, and early childhood education centers in recruiting and training Early Childhood Educators, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19.

 

Empowering Ontario's Future: Uniting Communities through Storytelling

From the heart of Ontario, partners from 8 communities united to answer this need using the power of storytelling and Edge Factor’s widely used platform in schools across the province. The Edge Factor film crew captured inspiring media with Early Childhood Educators in action, sharing their career journey insights and skills in Chatham-Kent, Lambton County, Muskoka, and Simcoe. The featured Early Childhood Educators spanned many diverse careers and roles at SEEDS Childcare, YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, WJ Baird, Early ON Chatham-Kent and Muskoka Family Focus

 

The teams at Municipality of Chatham Kent, County of Simcoe, The District Municipality of Muskoka, The County of Lambton, City of Cornwall, County of Lennox & Addington, City of Greater Sudbury , United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, with help from the Millennial Strategist, linked armed with Edge Factor, the creators of high-impact media and e-learning tools delivered through our smart platform, to inspire learners of all ages to explore, prepare and connect on their career journey. Through this partnership, Edge Factor had the opportunity to film career exploration media at SEEDS Childcare, YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, WJ Baird, Early ON Chatham-Kent, and Muskoka Family Focus.  to highlight the skills, processes, STEAM, and Soft Skills that are used on the job by Early Childhood Educators. Some of this story-driven career media is being featured in Edge Factor’s Learn & Earn, where students can watch videos, and complete interactive activities to earn a badge and be entered for a chance to win a GoPro Hero 10!

 

Edge Factor uses the power of cinematic storytelling to take students and job-seekers on a journey from "I have no idea what I want to do with my life" to discovering industries, careers, technical education and postsecondary programs, Soft Skills, STEAM, and local opportunities.  We have crisscrossed North America to produce thousands of videos and interactive activities that highlight every industry and deliver these tools through our platform. 

 

The people behind each company featured in Edge Factor videos have stories and career opportunities worth sharing.  Stories of real-life people making a real difference in their communities, who are building ecosystems and paving the way for the next generation of innovators, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs.

 

Explore Early Childhood Education: Learn & Earn with Edge Factor 

In partnership with these communities in southwestern and central Ontario, the Edge Factor film crew went behind closed doors and sometimes outdoors to capture the dedicated Early Childhood Educators in action as they play a pivotal role in child development during their most formative years.

 

Edge Factor captured beautiful moments between the educators and their students in the 2 episodes filmed for grade 3-4+ students in the What’s in Your Toolbelt series, and for grades 5 -6+ students, Edge Factor filmed 2 episodes for the Explorers series! 


The two episodes for the Skilled Responders series inspire students in grades 7-8+ with the passion and enthusiasm Early Childhood Educators like Justin Langlois at Early ON Centres and Jade Abreu at SEEDS Childcare have for their careers. 

 

Jade Abreu_Early Childhood Educator at SEEDS Childcare

 

The Career Profiles help students and job seekers explore what a "day in the life" looks like in diverse careers while highlighting typical responsibilities, tools, and skills used on the job. Sarah MacKay, Program Supervisor at Muskoka Family Service shares her day-to-day responsibilities which include scheduling and communicating with parents, staff, and children. Sarah completed a 2-year college program and then worked her way up within the field into her current position as supervisor. 

 

“What I enjoy most about my job is the kids, the families, and seeing the kids light up and be excited for you to be in the room…seeing them years later, grown up, graduating, it’s so rewarding.” - Sarah MacKay, Program Supervisor at Muskoka Family Focus.

 

SarahMackay_Program Supervisor_Muskoka Family Focus

 

The 6 new Soft Skills on the Job videos help learners prepare for future careers and discover which skills to develop as Early Childhood Educators share insights on important soft skills they use on the job! These transferable skills include Interpersonal skills, Lifelong Learning, Flexibility, Adaptability, Communication, and Humility. 

 

In the month of February, grade 3 -12+ students are invited to create a free Edge Factor account to access all of these career stories and earn a digital badge for their chance to win a GoPro Hero 10! The  Learn & Earn program is a fun, interactive, and incentivized way to get students excited about their potential future in Early Childhood Education! Educators with a premium membership can assign these programs for students to complete. 

 

We have two ECE badges available - one for students in grades 3-8 and one for high school students. For the month of February, students are invited to watch stories and complete interactive activities to earn a badge and get a chance to win a GoPro Hero 10! Learn and Earn today.

 

Special thanks to the 8 community partners that were part of this project:

Municipality of Chatham Kent, County of Simcoe, The District Municipality of Muskoka, The County of Lambton, City of Cornwall, County of Lennox & Addington, City of Greater Sudbury, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, with help in project coordination Millenial Strategist.

 

About Edge Factor 

As a leader in workforce and career development solutions, Edge Factor uses the power of storytelling to inspire people to explore, prepare, and connect on their Career Journey. Our platform offers schools, families, companies, and service providers access to a vast library of films, videos, activities, lesson plans, badges, and career tools. Through partnerships, global events, and film shoots, Edge Factor enriches our multimedia library with inspiring stories, career content, and gamified learning experiences. Answering national workforce challenges with community-based solutions, Edge Factor brings together organizations and families to support learners of all ages in achieving their career goals and launching rewarding pathways.

 

If you are interested in learning more about what an Edge Factor membership can unlock, create your free account or register for an upcoming live webinar

 

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