OK so despite being forced off the front line due to Covid this past year, not having yet secured a new job, or being eligible for a Vaccine to allow me to return to work on the front I opted to renew my registration with the College of ECE for one more year to see if I can secure a 'next stage' career option in that time that is not directly on the front line but still in the field I have dedicated 30 years of my life too. It was not an easy decision - I am feeling burnt out and defeated with the handling of Covid-19 in relation to the early learning and care sector! In my humble opinion the Ford government threw Early Childhood Educators and small business operators who operate early learning and care programs under the bus!
So with that decision comes a $160 bill payment for my dues at a time when I am not working and not eligible for social assistance for unemployment as I was self employed and the CERB ran out and the new program is confusing as to whether eligible for it as in 2020 I likely did not make the $5000 in self employment income due to loosing all but one client in March but still having all the same overhead of 5 children so actually am in the hole 'income' wise and than having to make the hard choice to formally close indefinitely in September in order to seek more secure income source because meeting the new Covid protocols in a home based setting is prohibitive and fear that in another lock down Ford would reinstate an Emergency fee order for anyone working from home and not using childcare as a result! .
Yet this decision has not only meant direct financial hardship it also meant that I spent the better part of today engaged in completing my Year One CPL paperwork for the CPL process for the College in order to renew and check the box that yes I have 'complied' with the process because this past year has been emotionally and physically HARD on me and I just have not had the mental or physical energy to sit at the computer and deal with it when I was unsure if I was gonna renew at all. So in addition to the unpaid time I spent engaged in hours upon hours of actual PD this past year and writing many blog posts to reflect on said PD or to advocate for our field and protecting choice in childcare I got to loose another 5 hours of my time because Early Childhood educators now have to participate in cumbersome paperwork around 'self assessments to identify goals tied to our professional standards and code of ethics, create learning plans for the 3 goals we identify and than engage in record of learning with reflection on how we plan to incorporate what we learned into practice' paperwork for the college in case we are ever 'audited' and need to prove to the CPL committee that we did indeed engage in said continuous professional learning process because sadly our 'word' that we engage in PD is not good enough for the government that mandated this process in their new Education Act!