Childcare veteran speaks about the joys and challenges of the sector

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‘When parents feel at ease, that’s when I feel I’ve done my job,’ says Wendy Lim
Friday May 13, 2011 — Kristian Partington

Wendy Lim has worked as an early childhood educator for a “long, long time,” she says with a chuckle — long enough to see attitudes and approaches to child care change, with the overarching goal of caring and nurturing children remaining constant.

For almost 14 years, she has worked with children at the Variety Hotelier House Children’s Centre in affiliation with the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI). She’s dedicated and works for her love of children.

“When the parents feel at ease when they leave, that’s when I feel I’ve done my job,” she says.

Many children have a hard time adjusting to the new environment, and many parents find it difficult as well, but Wendy says there comes a point when the morning tears abate, and the children settle in.

The parents feel relief and “that makes the job really rewarding . . . and because I have such a passion for this job it just makes me want to strive to be better,” she says.

“Just having that connection with the kids, knowing that you can bond with them and that you understand them, and you’re helping them in those early years so they can put everything you teach into use when they’re older,” is why she’s made a long career in the sector, despite the many challenges it faces.

In terms of child care being inclusive, she says she’s always had a sense that daycare centres in the Lower Mainland have strived to include all children, regardless of background or needs.

“I would say in the whole, we (in the sector) have been inclusive all along,” she says, but the funding must be in place to ensure that one-on-one care is available to those children who need it, to make sure every child has the best start possible.

A lack of funding and the waitlists this issue creates is the major challenge facing the sector, but continuing to highlight the importance of early childhood education in society will be an important part of enhancing the services in the future, she says.

If you have questions or comments feel free to contact 800-294-0051, ext. 24, or e-mail kristian(at)axiomnews.ca.

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