On Saturday, May 30, 2015, family child care (FCC) providers from across the city, met at San Francisco's Children’s Creativity Museum for the first Annual Family Child Care Quality Network (FCCQN) Conference. The FCCQN is managed by Wu Yee Children's Services and Children's Council.
The daylong event included bilingual workshops on topics like Early Brain Development, Supporting Children with Special Needs and Raising a Reader.
The Keynote Presentation was provided by Dr. Li Wei Sun, president of the Bay Area Early Childhood Educators Association. Sun received her Masters in Early Childhood Education at New York University and Doctoral degree in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. She has been a master teacher in several early childhood education programs and is currently a full-time faculty member of the Child Development and Education Department and the Campus Coordinator of Child Development Training Consortium at De Anza College.
Sun is a strong advocate of professional training for early childhood educators and administrators, and has worked collaboratively with many different community organizations in parenting and child development activities.
She stressed the importance of creating opportunities for early childhood educators to receive the support they need professionally.
For someone interested in becoming a teacher or child care provider, Sun emphasized that not only do you have to enjoy interacting with young children, but it’s critical to have a solid understanding of child development. “You have to realize that early childhood education is a profession,” she said. “You have to understand human development and really understand the development of the children you serve, so that you can provide the best service possible.”
“Education responds to social changes,” Sun said. “Society changes every day. What you know now may not be true 10 years later. Professional training is so important to keep up to date with the most recent information — especially in child development and teaching.”
High-quality early childhood education has been proven to have a positive effect on a child’s life and later success. But when the average tuition for child care in the Bay Are for one child is around $1200 a month, and more than 6 million Californians are in families living below the poverty line — that’s a problem.
What happens to children whose families are low-income and cannot afford child care? “That’s not fair,” she said. “That’s why organizations [like the FCCQN] are so important. They support government policies and help economically disadvantaged families to be able to send their children to high-quality child care. They can break the cycle and give their children an equal start. That’s the American dream.”
Sun believes that organizations like the FCCQN are vital to the success of they community. The FCCQN not only supports San Francico's FCC providers in their professional growth, but also helps remind them, “That they’re doing an important job.” And Sun thinks that FCC providers need to hear it more often.