Ala Mohamed, Manager of Child Services is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education 2023!
YWCA Hamilton is beyond proud to announce that Ala Mohamed, Manager of Child Services at YWCA Hamilton, has been chosen to receive the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education 2023!
Since 2002, the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education has been awarded to selected early childhood educators across Canada in recognition of their leadership skills, teaching philosophies, and commitment to fostering a solid foundation for children.
Ala has been with YWCA Hamilton for a long time. Initially starting as a client as a child, she pursued studies in early childhood education, started with YWCA Hamilton as Supervisor of Child Services and now is the Manager of Child Services.
When asked about how she feels about receiving the award, Ala exclaims that she cannot believe it is real. She says, “I got the news when I was with my children. My mid child asked, “I know you are the best mom in the world, and now are you the best educator too?” and my oldest child cried with me.” She also shares, “I could not have done it without the efforts of Sandra Parker, Director of Child Services and Medora Uppal, CEO of YWCA Hamilton.”
Ala further comments, “I am still in awe as I am representing my fellow educators, and I am also representing Black, Muslim, Hijabi women who often do not see this representation”. Amidst the lack of support for Childcare workers and educators, she shares that advocating for her fellow educators and children is crucial. Childcare is a tough job, and it is often demoralizing when workers do not feel supported.
In receiving this award, she hopes to make more noise and advocate for Childcare educators and the children they serve. “This award is a motivation as it tells me that my advocacy efforts are working,” she remarks. She adds, “At YWCA Hamilton, we are known for our services and our connection with the children and their families. I am very appreciative and grateful for the staff that work with me. However, it is very unfortune when folks are not able to access equitable Childcare because all families and children deserve the care they need.”
On the topic of motivation, Ala shares that her kids are her motivation and that every kid deserves better. Her mother, who is also an Early Childcare educator, and her brother, who has special needs and requires specific care, are also Ala’s inspirations. She believes that all children are capable regardless of their ability. “Every child brings something to our program, and they have space here – whether it is a child that cannot hear or needs an interpreter to communicate,” she emphasizes.
“Children look at you like you are their safety blanket, and it is important to protect that. Early Childcare Education is the foundation for a child, and all it takes is one caring educator to change their life,” Ala advises. To her fellow educators, she shares that “Childcare is a tough and exhausting job, but it is important to have fun and bring in a new perspective every day. It is essential that you enjoy your job. If you are not having fun, you are not in the right place.”
To Ala, the best part of her job is seeing those smiles, connections, and the impact. She loves Childcare and believes every child has impacted her and helped her grow. “I come into work, and every day is new. Just today, the children and I were singing and dancing together,” she laughs.
Congratulations on receiving the Prime Minister’s Award, Ala! All of us here at YWCA Hamilton are so proud of you and so grateful to have you with us on the team.