Meet Carlene Brown: Early Childhood Program Manager – Health and Social Development Department

1. Why does Seabird Island Band need an Early Childhood Program?

Seabird Island Band needs an Early Childhood Development program for many reasons. Most importantly, we care about our children and recognize that they are the future of our community and culture. Their success is our success.

Studies have shown that the fastest growing group in British Columbia is the Aboriginal people. Some studies indicate that up to 40% of Aboriginal people are under the age of 14. With this being the case, it is more important than ever that we look after our young. Provide the tools they need to be successful moving into the future.
It is also well known that children who attend some kind of pre-kindergarten programming are more successful when they enter school. They have more strongly developed social skills and have the Kinder-readiness skills required for a successful first year in main-stream school.

We believe that if we provide our children with a safe place that helps address their individual needs, teaches them language and culture from a very early age and provides them the the skills required to be successful in school, they will grow to be a strong and healthy generation.

2. What does a typical work day look like for you?

There is no such thing as a typical day in my job. Even if I plan a day in great detail, the children and staff always come first and that regularly means changing my plans. If they need me, I drop what I am doing and attend to their needs. The children and staff members are often in my office with me while I am trying to work, and I will always make time for them…especially the children…as often, they NEED that special one on one time.

3. What is the most important task you perform?

The most important task that I perform is to be the support and guidance for our 40 ECD staff. My goal is to ensure they have the knowledge, skills and materials required to do their jobs. If it wasn’t for the ECD staff, our programs would not be such a huge success.

4. What education do you have and how does it support your work?

I have been in the Early Childhood Education industry for 30 years. I have my basic ECE certification, Infant/Toddler certification and Special Needs Certificate. I took the Provincial Instructors Diploma at the Seabird College a couple of years ago and some Leadership Courses at BCIT in 2014. I have attended numerous workshops and conferences over the years and continue to do so as the need or opportunity arises. I believe it is very important to keep up with the changes and developments in the ECC world and the latest understanding and information on Child Development.

5. What challenges do you face performing your duties?

Balancing the needs of the staff, children and the responsibilities I have as a Manager. Once in a while, the children prove to be just too cute for me to say no to, and I allow myself to get side-tracked to play and talk with them for a few minutes.

6. What’s your favourite part about the team you work with?

The ECE team is the most passionate group of ladies that you could ever meet. They are dedicated to their work with the families and children in our community and our neighboring communities.

7. What does Carlene Brown do when she is not at work?

I am an avid camper. I spend a lot of time at the lake with my husband, grown children and other family. I will also admit that I am a reality show junkie and watch them all!

Thanks for your time Carlene.