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Closing the cycle and planning for the future.

We've reached the last month of the year, and there's a sense of completion, compilation, and the closing of a cycle. It's a nostalgic feeling for some and, for others, a liberation, a renewal. This month invites us to reflect, to go through the list of everything undertaken and learned as childcare professionals.

In this profession, each day is dedicated to providing a safe, educational, and harmonious environment for the children in daycare. It involves constant problem-solving, continuous innovation, and as we approach the end of this cycle, it's the perfect moment—the ideal month—to analyze the experiences lived, the achievements reached, the celebrated successes, the challenges faced. After this compilation, it's indeed the right time to find space to plan for the future.

Engaging in this reflection helps us recap everything lived, sometimes overlooked in the routine of day-to-day life. We often miss celebrating even the smallest achievements, thinking they are insignificant. Taking the time to make a list enumerating all the accomplishments, good moments, laughter, and encounters of this year generates strength and motivation to plan for the new year. Grab paper and pencil or use the notes on your phone and write them down. It's an exercise successful people undertake to generate more success in their lives and professions.

However, it's known that the journey was not without its challenges. Certainly, unexpected situations also arose—changes in daily routines, specific challenges that required attention and resilience. Precisely these overcome challenges have strengthened and demonstrated your dedication to the well-being of the children, providing the strength to continue.

In this year-end, let's look back. How many educators decided to close their programs? How many situations unfolded around the world? How many not-so-pleasant news stories in childcare emerged? And yet, with all that is happening around, you continue committed to this profession, you continue strong, adapting to new technologies, facing new challenges, dealing with new generations, new teaching methods—learning, training, updating, and informing yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn't be reading these lines.

In this year-end of 2023, celebrate. Celebrate the wonderful gift of life, celebrate your profession as a childcare professional, celebrate your role as an educator of the new generations and with them the future of planet Earth. Celebrate that you made it.

Do not doubt that the profession you chose has a significant impact on society. Do not doubt that what you did in this 2023 was worthwhile. A cycle is closing, and another is opening. A cycle where the commitment is renewed to continue being these dedicated guardians of the well-being and development of the children—these real-life influencers.

Happy end of the 2023 cycle.

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