Thanks to a connection made in Puerto Rico at the World Forum back in 2014 I, (Ron Blatz) was invited to travel to Toronto to address the first meeting of the Men in ECE Roundtable which was formed by the College of ECE’s in Ontario (the College). All ECE’s working in Ontario must be registered with their College which now has about 47,000 active members. One of their goals is ensuring that they are meeting the needs of all of their members and they have specifically targeted the 2% male members as a unique group that may indeed have unique needs. So they have embarked on a process of investigating this belief and working to address what ever challenges that present themselves.
Not wanting to travel without the support of one of our own front line male ECE’s we decided to have Matt Bordush travel along. We met with an amazing group of men and women who were all so committed to the work that they do and so interested in how they might increase the % of men in the sector and support those who are already in.
After an around the room time of introductions and sharing the stories behind how we got into the ECE sector I addressed the group for about an hour.
This was followed by a quick lunch and small group discussions. There is still so much to share and process but the four hours that were spent together were a great start. I applaud this group of pioneers for their interest in supporting the needs of children in this way. We all truly believe that “gender balance is good for young children”. Thanks Sue Corke, Jeff Dixon, Amanda Welch, and Melanie Dixon (my World Forum contact) for all that went into having me come to “your place”, to share with you some of the many things I have learned from my international contacts and personal experiences. We look forward to hearing of the great work that comes out of this motivated and energetic group.