Posted 10/07/2017 6:46:22 PM by Oliver Lam
Some people are just meant to work with children, and when you see the wonderul job early childhood educator (ECE) Quincey Cable does at Bob & Kay Ackes YMCA Nanook House and how much the kids love being around her, it’s obvious she is one of those people. Quincey attended Camosun College in Victoria, where she received her Early Learning and Care Diploma, and has been working at the Y as an ECE since 2011. Interacting with kids in the outdoor play area at Nanook is where you’ll find Quincey most of the time, but regardless of where she is, we know she's doing her best each day to support the growth and development all the kids at Nanook. This is our spotlight on Quincey Cable.
Why did you choose to become an ECE?
As a 13 year old, I volunteered with the summer day camp programs in the small Vancouver Island community I was living in at the time—I was too old to attend as a participant and I needed something to do as both my parents worked full time. I did that every summer till I was 17, then I actually got paid to play for the summer. I went on to have jobs in out-of-school programs, both on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver. When I was 22 I saw a job posting for a child care centre and phoned to inquire about it. The woman on the phone said that with my experience I should really go get my ECE. So I did.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing the growth in the children, and witnessing them do something without my assistance after all their struggles. Also, the growth that takes place in the parents, because they are so dedicated to being the best parents they can possibly be. Knowing that they trust me enough to ask questions about what to do regarding a difficult situation they are having with their child is also very rewarding.
What’s one moment/experience you’ve had as an ECE that holds a special place in your heart?
When a parent, who was an English professor, came to me and thanked me for teaching his favourite poem, "The Cremation of Sam Mcgee”, to his son. I felt at that moment that I had made the right choice to share that poem with the children. I chose it because the copy I have is illustrated by a Canadian artist (Ted Harrison) and it is about Canada. I am all about including as much Canadian content as I can into my interactions with the children.
Because of the subject matter, I always read the poem slowly stopping for discussions about what everyone thinks and feels. We read the poem over weeks, learning one page each day and revisiting pages we already discussed. So, when that dad came to me he described the bedtime ritual he went through with his son the night before. He explained that he began to recite “The Cremation of Sam Magee” to his son, who started to recite the poem himself. I could see the great pride and gratitude in the father’s face.
That is one moment that holds a special place in my heart. Also, every day when I enter Nanook and see smiling faces looking at me or hear a shriek of “Quincey is here!”, my heart fills with joy knowing that I have made a connection with the kids, and that they are willing to share part of their day with me.
What’s one aspect of the job that has been a pleasant surprise?
When the older kids (the ones who have gone off to school) still want a big hug when they see me. That is what is special about Nanook—we maintain connections with families after the children go to school.
What advice would you give to those currently pursuing a career as an ECE?
Volunteer with kids (various ages) where you get to play with them, whether through summer camps, out-of-school programs or a children’s ward at a hospital. It should be a place where fun, not academics, is the focus and offers an environment where you can make a connection with a child through a shared experience. Also knowing how to use some basic tools such as a screwdriver and a wrench is a very helpful skill—toys and equipment will need repairs at some point.
Looking for child care?
Did you know that the YMCA is Canada's largest child care provider? All of our programs (infant care, toddler care, 3-5 care, preschool) foster the physical, social and mental development of your child. We operate YMCA child care centres in several cities including, Surrey, Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Chilliwack, Gibsons and Squamish. To find a centre in your area and to register your child, click here.
Looking for a career with a purpose?
Whether it's Quincey Cable, Becky Broser or Wivine Temanya, the YMCA has been the employer of choice for many early childhood educators. Interested in joining the Y child care team? Click here for available opportunities.