Interview with Franny Krivensky
Name: Franny Krivensky
City of Residence: Dawson City, YT
Occupation: co-partner in learning with children
How long have you been….an ECE?
18 years, since 1999
What inspired you to this career/profession?
I was in a crossroads in my life around age 25ish and didn’t know what I wanted to do. At that time I was suddenly surrounded by a lot of children in my life, that I was not birth related too, and they inspired me to begin a career in the Early Childhood Education field.
What keeps you here?
Watching the circle of life come full circle… the life-long relationships with children and families. I have been able to care for children since they were babes/toddlers and see them go onto work in our ELCC center’s Youth programs, and then work as Adults. Some of gone on to pursue Education in the field and come back to work as Educators! Children feel secure at their center and want to come back and continue to be a part of their center.
Settle the debate for us: Job or Profession?
Profession—it is a profession for me.
What does professionalism look like in the child care sector today?
It has a lot of growing to do…we are on the cusp of great change… In the Yukon, the name Educator which the professionals recommend, still is not reflected in the Childcare Act, still an action item. The national and provincial professional organizations are working fulltime to make changes on all levels. I thank them.
What is needed for the future (wages, benefits, working conditions) to fulfill your professional role effectively?
From the start in Society to the top of Federal Government needs to value Early Childhood Education as a profession. The numbers, science, is proven that everything is learnt before age 5, and that the most return for a dollar is investing in the early years. We need a national plan; we need our profession, our title, education, value, etc, to be the same between all provinces. We need cohesion.
It’s part of a much larger issue (related to valuing women and families).For example, new maternity benefits has been extended to 18 months…at 12 months benefits are calculated at 55% for 18 months it’ll be calculated at 33%. Who can live on that?
What’s the most amazing story a child has told you?
Every story that is told to me….as a child’s story no matter how common or it may seem, it is special to them, and full of wonder and joy… they are learning when they are telling their story; they are relating their experiences and making sense of their world. I love the curiosity and joy in a story.
How do you get your friends or family to support the importance of ECE?
Keep them updated on changes. What political party supports a national plan. Tell them the science, and brain development.
Who is your favourite ECE role model of all times?
Mo Caley-Verdonk, I am lucky to have her as my mentor!
Mary Poppins and Julia Andrews (Maria) in the Sound of Music. They may have been considered “nanny’s” but they were much more, they sang and danced and played puppets, followed the children’s interests, and took care of children with all their heart…everything we educators do! I wanted to be them growing up.
I wouldn’t change ________ for all the $$ in the 649!
I wouldn’t change the little moments-laughter-innocence-spontaniety-the PURE JOY-raw emotions-everyday for all the $$ in the 649!.
What’s the best experience you’ve ever had as an ECE?
There are 2 bests that stand out: The Kitty Town Art Show – the whole community came out and celebrated the children’s creativity. It brought a lot of awareness and recognition in parents valuing the kids work, and the children were so proud.
Designing, opening and being in the new childcare center, that was designed specifically for children.
What’s your best tip or trick that you’ve used over the years—that new people wouldn’t know about?
When a child does not want to get dressed or eat their salad, say “don’t you eat that, don’t you do it, please please don’t do(eat) it, ”.. and before you know they are doing it with a big smile.
Turning children upside down or Any Shiny objects works to get brains out of the rut/ out of a tantrum. Bubbles, itsy bitsy spider, and music.
What’s your absolute favourite resource that you keep in your back pocket?
Empathy, a hug, bubbles and dancing (music).
What do you wish more Canadians knew about being an ECE?
You are “everything to everyone” – a counsellor, a nurse, a teacher, a physical activity specialist, a musician, an artist, a creator, co-partner in learning, so many roles… a childcare center is a hub, a support system.
Where is your favourite place to go & be with the kids?
Outside exploring the tiniest of nature. The School-age children picking them up from school and outside playing dodge ball!
What’s the best personal encounter you’ve had with politicians or diplomats?
I had the privilege of giving former Governor General Michaelle Jean and Commissioner of the Yukon Geraldine Van Bibber a private tour before they officially opened our new childcare center.
You’re talking with someone who is interested in becoming an ECE. No one is listening. What do you say?
Are you willing to go to school and take courses – at night, through distance ed, and are you committed to staying for at least 2 years and building relationships for the longer term.
When the work gets to you, where do you go to recharge?
Home and Hockey!
Money or genuine appreciation?
Both! As Early Childhood Educators we need to be paid more of a living wage. This would demonstrate a form of appreciation. We also need the genuine appreciation in words and actions – acknowledging the work we do.
You’ve just won a huge jackpot of 50 million and you have 24 hours to spend it in the ECE profession. What do you do?
Focus on my daycare first and improve wages for next 10 years, and then the immediate community— like I’d make an outdoor rink, have a bowling alley, year -round hockey and swimming pool, improving and having year – round recreational activities in your community directly affects the children and families health. Then I would invest–make some interest and give money to the hard – working professional organizations to put on training, etc.
Finally, what does the saying “It takes a Village to raise a child” mean to you personally?
Everyone working together, on the same page—who works with children from birth to high school graduation and beyond—Youth and adult mentorship, keep relationships building. Strong community involvement. Every learning experience and networks the children have with community –strengthens their world.