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You can reach employees at (613) 729-5289 and key in their respective extension numbers
Chief Executive Officer
I started my career in Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) by chance, not design. I graduated from the University of Manitoba with full intentions of becoming a police officer. Thanks to my wife and her friend who worked in ELCC, I landed a job as a substitute child care staff in an inner-city child care program at The Salvation Army Weston Child Care in Winnipeg. This was my first time ever setting foot in a child care program anywhere. I needed a job while I waited to be selected to what I hoped would be a career in the police force. That fall I was disheartened to learn that though I had made it to final selection interviews, did not make the final cut for the police force. As a 20-something, I reluctantly decided to take an interim job in child care since I now had the experience and it was one of the few sectors hiring in the early 1990’s. Yes, my career in ELCC started out of necessity, not passion.
I applied to what was then Lord Roberts Preschool, in Winnipeg, and was hired on a three-month term as an ECE II, which turned into a full-time job, and lead to a promotion to Staff Supervisor, and finally landed me as the Executive Director there. Along the way, I upgraded my ECE classification though the Province of Manitoba’s Competency Based Assessment (CBA) program and through the University of Manitoba, earned a diploma in non-profit management. Throughout these early years in career advancement I grew to understand the power and value of early childhood education and care for children and families. My appreciation for the profession grew exponentially. More importantly, I evolved to see that we—society—needed to do so much better for children and how much quality is so intrinsically tied into a quality ELCC workforce.
Communications, Marketing and Publications Manager
Improve the life of a child and you change the world. This is why I work in the field of child care. I began this journey as a teenager working at Andrew Fleck Child Care in Ottawa in a program that served underprivileged children from poor living conditions — and giving them a chance to experience summer camp in the country and swim in a lake.
Without this program and the daily school bus driving them to the Gatineau Hills each day, many of these children would never experience swimming in a lake, exploring the forests and swinging from trees in such a natural setting. I saw children transform over a couple of months, inspired, active and touched by nature. And I saw my role in making a positive difference in their lives.
Since then I expanded this passion through writing, and becoming a journalist in Ottawa. I wrote human interest stories for a daily newspaper, always wanting to give a voice to those who didn’t — the poor, the invisible, the left out. I later focused my efforts working overseas in international development, forever wanting to impact the lives of people the world over, who have not been dealt fair cards.
Today I advocate for children and families through storytelling, communications, media and government relations. I serve those who work for children in child care, to help them raise their voice in their profession and to access the information, best practices, mentorship and supports they need to do their best with children. I have two teenagers and a husband living in Ottawa. Like a mother’s work, the care for children is never done.
Claire has been with the CCCF since 2008.
Innovator of Projects, Programs and Partnerships
Robin (Kealey) McMillan
I always knew I would work with and for young children. I appreciated their honest emotions, sense of optimism, wonder and curiosity. After I finished university and college I worked in centre-based, front line child care environments. I worked with families with many challenges — those new to Canada, teen parents and many single parent families. Knowing I made a difference in the lives of children and those families meant the world to me. And it still does today.
After eight years, I wanted to expand my career and impact on young children. I returned to school looking for new opportunities both in and outside of the early learning and child care (ELCC) sector.
I began as a volunteer at the Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) and was soon hired as a Project Assistant. CCCF was a great fit from the start. While new to an office setting, the work of making a difference in the lives of children and families was familiar and meaningful to me. My career with CCCF has lasted more than 20 years. I have spent the majority of my career at the Federation, growing professionally and personally. I started as a single professional at CCCF in 1999 and today I am a married mother still positively influencing the work of practitioners. Through developing partnerships, initiatives and resources, I support the workforce that strives to improve the quality of the lives of children in Canada.
I’ve enjoyed learning about children’s rights from mentors such as the Honourable Landon Pearson. I’ve become competent in managing complicated international projects through learning from past CCCF leaders like Barb Coyle, Sandi Griffin, and Anne Maxwell. I enjoy forging new paths that support the early learning and child care sector with my present colleagues, Claire McLaughlin and Don Giesbrecht. My work at CCCF continues to be meaningful and provides me with insight, experiences and opportunities that I love. I have worked with early learning environments as far north as Kuujjuaq and south to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Working at the Federation continues to fill me with pride.
Robin has been with the CCCF since 1999 and is based in Ottawa.