A Message from Susan Spence

Thirty years ago, a compelling vision of inclusion was expressed by a diversity of voices from a two-year community consultation. A collective vision of hope was articulated in the recommendations. This hope was not a passive wish, but a list of specific actions and aspirations that would build the steps toward an equitable childcare community, one in which all children belonged. Thus, the program of Children’s Integration Support Services (CISS) was born.

What an exciting and industrious time it was and continues to be! Over the past thirty years the various team members at CISS have blended their skills and talents to create a wide range of resources and specific services. They have shared their skills and knowledge, building upon those of the parents and the Early Childhood community, to collectively remove barriers and support the connection and engagement for the inclusion of all children.

What a creative time it was and continues to be! In the earlier years, the focus was more on developing the fundamentals of our service, sharing that with the community and then revising and adding as needs changed and evolved. In the latter years, the focus has been responding to delivering support through Webinars and ZOOM meetings, when the isolation of COVID changed everyone’s mode of operation.

Through all these years the vision and passion for seeing a child as a child first, of finding a way to support every child’s engagement, of working together with all those involved, of continuing to “find a way” has never diminished.

Congratulations CISS for thirty years of hope for families, children, and the childcare community.

Susan Spence,
Retired CISS Intake Coordinator from 1991-2019