Click here to go back to the Society of Richmond Children's Centres website.

Thursday, 16 July 2015


We hold the value of "Relationship" very tenderly but very firmly in the SRCC.  We believe that everything happens in relationship and we do a disservice to our work if we do not pay special and careful attention to the relationships in our centres.

This is no small task but its very complexity is what leads to the deep enrichment it brings when we do it.  When we invest in building authentic relationships we enrich ourselves and one another.  Most importantly we honour the children and model for them the meaning of belonging, of community.
That is not to say we get this right all the time or with everyone.  

This is to say this commitment to building relationships permeates all we do.
  • From our relationships with the people and organisations we do business with.  Adding value there, taking a moment to help them understand our work, the impact we can have on one another...that builds community and collaboration.
  • From the time we first meet families we seek to understand and connect as  the basis for a relationship that is critical for the wellbeing of the children we all care about. We choose to disclose what we can about ourselves as you choose to trust us with this time in your families life.  We walk together with you through these years and we want to know you and mutually add value to each others lives. 
  • From the relationships between families that often become a support network, where deep friendships often develop.  We want to offer you ways to build and strengthen these relationships (like having Family Fun Day!)
  • From the time our Educators spend building relationships in their teams, wrestling with big ideas, with how to support challenging behaviour, how to extend children's thinking, how to communicate effectively and 1001 other things they need to dialogue about.
  • From the relationship between Educators and the children as we seek to really know each child.  To know who needs a hug and who needs to run and who needs art and who needs the build trust and camaraderie and compassion in the classroom to facilitate the relationships.
  • From the relationships we support between children.  Those foundational social skills of listening and hearing and compromising and challenging we nurture and grow them in relationship. 

All these things came to mind this week when our Program Director Jennifer sent me a photo of siblings at Terra Nova Children's Centre that she caught in a moment of tenderness, of love.

It is not always easy for us to foster sibling relationships.  The artificial age groupings separate siblings.  There are constraints.

But when a value is held, is central to our work, like relationships are, then we do not settle in to the constraints and shrug our shoulders and say "Oh well", or "it would be nice BUT".... we work towards the value.

In all our multi-age sites we offer as many opportunities as we can for siblings to build their relationships.  We have the big brothers and sisters visit one another in program or we find a common space and invite just those sibling groups to engage in a stretch of time to play together.  When a brother or sister (or even a cousin, as we have lots of those!) is having a hard day or a sad day or a celebration day we offer them time to be with their brother or sister( or cousin), to draw some comfort from their familial togetherness.

At this time of year we sometimes have the rare privilege of having a Kindergarten bound sibling still with us in the summer as their younger sibling, just 3, joins the program and they have the summer together.... this is the case for this sibling group.  We trust their time together will strengthen their bond and that they will have fond memories of their time together.

I am thankful to these two (and to Jennifer) for the reminder that we are all connected.  We belong to a community and we are all the richer for the belonging.