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An Extensive Career at Family Day

When Lesley Pettigrew graduated as an RECE from Seneca College in 1976, she could not have predicted that her career would be so diverse and wide-ranging.

She worked as an RECE, a resource early childhood educator, and an assistant Supervisor before becoming a centre Supervisor with Family Day in 1996. She then took on the role of Supervisor at the agency’s Thornhill EarlyON Child and Family Centre, which offers free, high-quality drop-in programs for families and children from birth to six years of age.

As she prepares to retire, she says the reason she stayed so long at Family Day has to do with all of the education and openings the agency provides. “I am a lifelong learner,” she says. “There is a lot of job advancement at Family Day and so much training and opportunity for growth.”

Lesley liked that Family Day always encourages staff to continue in their learning so they can advance their careers if they choose to do so.

“You can come in as an RECE but you have so avenues to go down if that is what you like – from home child care to supervisory roles to management positions.”

She describes her work as “a career, and not a series of jobs,” noting that “I was always in charge of my life goals and learning, but Family Day promoted and supported my skills – and, through good management, I was really allowed to grow.”

The best part of all of it for Lesley has been the people: “The staff members at Family Day have such a commitment to working with families, it is really impressive. And I it was gratifying and important to work with children and their families.”

While Lesley plans to continue to volunteer with Family Day, she also has big travel plans for her retirement – from seeing the Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba, to riding the Orient Express through Europe, to visiting the wild horses on Sable Island.

“I’m ready for my adventures,” she notes. “I feel so young – because I’ve had a great career working with kids.”