2024 Early Childhood Educator Award of Recognition is Awarded to Emily Franklin!

The AECEA Early Childhood Educator Award of Recognition shines a light on an early childhood educator making outstanding contributions within Alberta’s early learning and child care community.

The AECEA Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Emily Franklin is the 2024 award recipient.

Emily Franklin was nominated by Bonnie Chin for the AECEA Early Childhood Educator Award of Recognition. This is what Bonnie, co-director at Little Learning House had to say about Emily.

"Emily works in our infant room at Little Learning House. When I think about Flight, transitions and continuity: supporting families and children through change, I can't help but think of Emily. What bigger change than entrusting your precious and vulnerable baby to new staff at a new child care centre?

The infant room is a room of transition, babies are there from roughly 12-19 months, and this is only an approximate 9-month stay. I have watched Emily (and her room partner, Puneet ) transition many infants and their families over this past year and a half, sometimes transitioning in more than one baby at the same time. Emily focuses on building healthy attachments with each baby, not to replace parents, but to provide a safe additional attachment.

As a team, we have created a slow transition-in plan for each baby at Little Learning House, with active engagement and participation from parents and sometimes grandparents and extended family. Emily guides 'thoughtful and unrushed' transitions for each baby and their family. She starts with visits of an hour or so, adding increments of time until working up to a full day. In keeping with the open-door policy, parents are welcome to come and stay as long as they wish.

Emily is amazing, kind, and so patient. She is so good at knowing each baby and understanding their needs. She knows when it is ok for mom or dad to step out of the room for the first time, when it’s ok for baby to try lunch with us, or when they are ready for a full day and to try a nap in their new environment. She is wonderful at guiding parents and putting them at ease for the transition. Emily has a kind and caring disposition with each baby, in fact, our licensing officer stated that Emily is so in-tuned with the babies in the room and so great at interactions that she could be a model for relationship building. She commented that Emily knows exactly what each baby needs. Without words, it’s an unspoken knowing. So many parents in our community speak such high praises of the infant room at Little Learning House, in no small part because of Emily. Emily works so well with our families and, in doing so, builds and strengthens our early childhood community. There have been times when I entered the baby room to find all 8 parents and their babies sitting around in a circle, visiting and chatting. Moments such as these show evidence of a sense of belonging to family and community for everyone involved, including us.

I truly believe that Emily has one of the most important jobs in the world. I see the peace of mind that our new families have because of her time spent building relationships and promoting a sense of belonging. I believe she is so deserving of this award."

Thank you, Emily, for all the work you do for children and families. By upholding a standard of professionalism in practice you help hold up the whole system of ELCC. Thank you and Congratulations!