Working in ECEC

Dan Capstick

Dan Capstick: Supervisor and Early Childhood Educator - Schoolhouse Playcare Centre - Captain Michael VandenBos - Whitby-Ajax, ON

One of the best things about Dan Capstick’s job as a school age program early childhood educator (ECE) is that “you don’t grow up.” 

The 6-12 age range in the school age program means that many of the children find it easy to connect with adults and vice versa, Capstick says. However, it is sometimes a challenge to strike a balance between camaraderie, and authority.

“You want to be their friend, but at the same time you have to be in charge.” 

Capstick became convinced that early childhood education was the career for him after doing a co-op placement in a child care centre. He went on to get his ECE, graduating from Durham College in 1998.

Shortly after graduating, he began working as an assistant in the toddler program at the Schoolhouse Playcare Centre, which has 20 locations. He was later transferred to a school age program in Ajax, where he started a “hockey league” for all of the children, creating a version of the Stanley Cup. The league was a huge success.

Capstick now works at the Captain Michael Vandenbos school age program as a supervisor and ECE. Mornings are spent on administrative duties, supervisory meetings, grocery shopping and room materials; in the mid-afternoon, he works with the children until 5:30.

He is the only male ECE at Schoolhouse Playcare out of 180 employees, and feels it is important to have more men in child care as role models for both boys and girls.

“I would say to any male interested in getting into ECE that it’s something you have to do 100 per cent. You can’t take it lightly, but it’s a very rewarding and a wonderful job.”