When a position on Council became available, Kim Cole, Executive Director at A Child’s World Family Child Care Services of Niagara, decided to bring her 30 years of experience in early childhood education to run for a position. She was nominated as a candidate in District 7 (Hamilton/Niagara Region) and was elected and welcomed to Council in June 2019. Once on Council, Kim joined the Standards of Practice Committee and the Elections Committee.
In 2013, Kim had the opportunity to be part of a leadership pilot project with the College. The Leadership Pilot Project Program provided 25 RECEs with the opportunity to be mentored by other RECEs in leadership roles. When asked what made her get involved in the project, she told us that, “I truly believe that if you feel strongly about something, you should be part of it.”
The purpose of the pilot was to engage with RECEs to help them develop their leadership capacity. The project results demonstrated that members who participated and engaged in professional learning opportunities enhanced their professional growth and leadership capacity.
“The project was very interesting to me; it was a way that I could start learning more about the College and the way it operated”, Kim explained.
Following the end of the pilot project, Kim found another way to get more involved in the College. In 2016, she joined the Standards of Practice Committee as a Non-Council Committee member and had the opportunity to help out with the revisions to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
The benefits of being on Council
Kim is excited for the upcoming work of the Standards of Practice Committee and their focus on the Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program.
When asked about the benefits of working on Council, Kim told us she’s found it incredibly informative and has made some strong professional connections through her current and previous work with Council. “It’s an amazing, rewarding experience and I think it’s so beneficial to become involved and support your chosen profession — [joining Council] is my way of being able to support my profession and get involved.”
Serving on Council has also proven beneficial in her career in early learning and care. Her previous participation in updating the Code and Standards has shed a lot of light on its importance to the sector. Kim has found it helpful in several instances in her professional life, such as:
- In meetings with her management staff, they look at the Code and Standards as there’s always something to learn, real life examples to draw from and meaningful discussions to be had.
- As the previous Chair of the Niagara Child Care Sector Executive Committee — an organization that supports, advocates and communicates for policies, legislation and needs of the child care sector — Kim noted they’d look at the Code and Standards, and their own mission and vision, and reflect on them to determine what their committee should be working on.
- When working with the Board of Directors in her current position as Executive Director, they often use the Code and Standards as a reference guide to decision-making, or understanding previous decisions.
Kim’s secret to success?
When asked about the secret to a successful career in early childhood education while also committing time to serve as a Council member, Kim stressed the importance of a positive work / life balance, as well as being honest with yourself and communicating your needs, whether in your personal or professional life. For her, these are key to being able to enjoy both aspects of your life while also feeling accomplished.
How can I get involved?
If you’re an RECE looking to become more involved in the College’s mandate of protecting the public interest, are looking to make new network connections in your profession, and are passionate about governance in early learning and care, then it could be time to get involved!
Check out the College’s Council Elections web page to find out more on upcoming elections in Districts 1, 2 and 6, how to vote, the purpose of Council, and how to run for a position.