Photo above: Joel Andrew Clifton
A portrait can translate a moment in time and create a story of truth. “Portraits of Child Care” is a photo documentation project that uncovers meaningful moments in child care settings and highlights the importance of high quality child care.
In the first stage of Portraits of Child Care, myself and our photographer Joel Clifton, spent a day in child care centres throughout Toronto and collected a series of photographs that capture: children exploring their environment and learning through play; comforting words being exchanged; and spontaneous moments of joy shared by early childhood educators and children.
“These moments happen fast, they happen often, and they change the lives of many.” That was our approach to photographing high quality child care because that is what high quality licensed child care means to us.
The first stage of Portraits of Child Care was intended as a learning tool and an advocacy tool for the Child Care and Early Year’s Sector.
The second stage of Portraits of Child Care attempts to engage Early Childhood Eductors, Child Care Workers, Families, Children and Community members in participating with the creation of Portraits of Child Care. The second stage of the project will showcase the OTTAWA Child Care and Early Years Community. We will not have a professional photographer this year, instead we will use the process of documentation and learning stories to create our photo exhibition!
“I was so excited to be able to take the photographs this year in Ottawa, as an Early Childhood Educator I wanted to show other educators that we have the skills to do this kind of work, we understand the importance of this kind of advocacy and we know what our communities need to feel empowered.”
We intend to focus our photography to highlight the importance of educator, environment and empowerment.The time to celebrate our strength, diversity and dedication as a sector is now.
There are many ways we can share our stories, I hope we can help you share yours.
Viktoria Bitto, RECE
Project Coordinator for Portraits of Child Care
Membership and Admin Coordinator for The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.