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Welcome to the official website of The Burford Co-op Preschool. Please use the navigation buttons above to browse our website. If you would like to find out more information regarding our establishment, simply click on the about us button above.
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The Burford Co-operative Preschool Corporation provides quality licensed child care for children in Burford and its surrounding communities. As a licensed Child Care Centre, the Burford Co-operative Preschool Corporation meets and exceeds all health and safety requirements of the Ministry of Education and local government by-laws.
Our Early Childhood Educators believe that children are competent, capable, curious, and rich in potential. The Burford Co-op Preschool & Children’s Centre offers learning programs that are consistent with the Ministry of Education’s policy statement on programming and pedagogy.
We strive to offer programs where all children, families, and staff are valued as active participants and contributors.
Our program has been set up to fulfill the needs of all children and to provide the foundational conditions of Belonging, Well-being, Engagement, and Expression, that are required for children to grow and flourish. Our Early Childhood Educators foster the children’s exploration, play, and inquiry by observing, engaging with, and listening to the children. This allows educators to be able to plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in and out of the classroom so that each child’s learning and development will be supported.
Early Childhood Educators encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate. Much eye contact and close proximity assist the children while they learn these lifelong skills.
Early Childhood Educators attempt to create their classrooms to be an extension of the child’s home. Safety is paramount, but each child also needs to be happy and feel loved while they are at the Centre. If they need snuggles, they get them; if noses are runny, they get wiped, if the zippers on coats begin to slide down, they get done up right away, etc. The children are to be treated, at all times, as if their parent were standing two feet away.
Early Childhood Educators will follow the children’s lead. Whatever they are able to do to make a child feel welcome, they will do. If a stuffed toy, gives the child comfort, the children are able to carry that stuffed toy everywhere; if they have a favourite blanket that gives them comfort, that blanket can be with them. Some children feel more comfortable having a picture of their family close by. That is alright too. Whatever makes the child feel secure and welcome, our Early Childhood Educators will accommodate.
Each child’s health will be assessed upon their arrival to the Centre. If ill health develops during the day, parents/guardians will be notified immediately. In the event of an allergy in the program, every effort will be made to ensure that the Preschool is free of the allergen, and/or causative agents. The Preschool Cook is able to accommodate the children with special dietary needs by cooking the same foods that are being served to everyone else, but using the particular ingredients that individual children require.
Early Childhood Educators want to make sure every child and family has a successful experience, in all programs, at the Burford Co-operative Preschool Corporation. No concern is ever too small. We want to make sure that families feel as comfortable as the children they leave in our care. Parents are encouraged to call, and email, the Centre as often as they like. We do have an open-door policy. Staff are happy to share updates with families and forward photos to put a concerned parents’ mind at ease.
Our Changing Preschool
In addition to the Before & After Program at the Mill Street location, the Burford Co-operative Preschool Corporation also operates Before & After Programs at Burford District Elementary School and Blessed Sacrament Schools, in Burford, Ontario. The Mill Street Program opens at 6:30 a.m., and the Burford District Elementary & Blessed Sacrament Before School Programs open at 7:00 a.m.
School-aged children enrolled at any of our Before & After School locations are able to sign up for Camp Days, at the main location, on P.A. Days, Snow Days, March Break, and for care during the summer months. A simple email is enough to add your school-aged child to the attendance on any camp day provided enough notice is given. Children are accepted on Snow Days on a first come, first served basis.
All Programs close at 5:45 p.m.
Mhairi Frommer is the Supervisor at the Burford Co-op Preschool & Children’s Centre. Mhairi was instrumental with the expansion, and relocation of the Preschool. Mhairi graduated from the Early Childhood Education Program at Georgian College, Barrie, Ontario, and has many years of experience in the field. Mhairi is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother to Monica, Taeden, Austen, Leah, Braden, Benjamin, Avery and Colten.
“I love going to work every day. My children are my personal legacy; the Burford Co-op Preschool & Children’s Centre is my professional legacy. I was instrumental in creating this Centre. I took this program from a half-day preschool program that was situated in rented space above the old Burford town Library to a full service child care centre and planned all aspects of it. We were fortunate to have found and purchased the old Mount Vernon United Church. The church is steeped in history and we did our utmost to preserve that history. With my family in tow, we stripped the walls nail by nail, panel by panel and I frequently heard, “I can’t believe you’re doing this.” I couldn’t believe I was doing this either.
This Centre is designed to my liking, and filled with toys and furnishings that I chose. It has been wonderful to watch the Preschool grow from 2 staff to 17 and from 36 children to capacity with a waiting list. We have made a name for ourselves and have close ties with the children and families who attend currently and have attended in the past. No two days are ever the same and families are so appreciative of the service that we provide.
I love walking through the classrooms and getting that child’s smile, hug, or comment that let me know they are happy to see me. I love looking into the eyes of the children for each one reminds me how much I do love and always have loved working with young children. As a profession, we make such a difference in each of their lives every single day. Many of them spend most of their waking hours with us, it’s up to us to make sure they have a great day each and every day. That is such an important job. I love that as a team, we enjoy one another’s company and are able to go out for dinner and everyone looks forward to attending. I love that former staff come back to visit and keep in touch. I love that my staff are proud to belong to the Burford Co-op Preschool & Children’s Centre. My favourite picture every year is the group shot of all of us, staff and children, out front of our building. These are my people and they make coming to work each day a pleasure.”
Mhairi is proud to be a Certified member of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario.
Amanda is an ECE graduate from Loyalist College in Belleville. She is proud to say that she has been working at the Preschool since September 2007. Amanda enjoys reading in her “down time” and loves the great outdoors no matter what the weather.
There are so many things that Amanda loves about her job. She loves the environment that she works in. Everyone is always in good spirits and joking around with one another. Burford Co-op Preschool is like a second home to Amanda. She knows that if ever she has a problem outside of work, that she can talk to Mhairi. Amanda has thoroughly enjoyed watching so many children, in her care, grow into the fine individuals that they are today. She loves walking into a room and seeing little faces light up at the sight of her. Of course, hugs come next, and nothing beats a great hug from a child. Amanda loves her job!
Tanya Santos is the Supervisor of the Blessed Sacrament Before & After School Program. Tanya graduated from the ECE Program at Mohawk College, and has been with the Preschool since it first expanded in January 2009.
“What I love about the Burford Co-op Preschool is that we are one big family. Once you walk in, you become a part of that family whether you are a staff member, parent or child, and the relationships continue even when you leave. I love the fact that no matter what mood I’m in before work, I know that once I walk in and see the children, my mood will be a happy one. They always bring me cheer and make me feel like a child myself.
I have really grown working at the Burford Co-op Preschool professionally and personally. I am so grateful to have a workplace that accommodates my needs. I have the best of both worlds, a job I love and the opportunity to stay home during the biggest part of the day with my own daughters.”
Amber Holmes is part of the Preschool Room team. Amber joined the Preschool in 2009 and has been part of the Large Preschool Room team since 2011. Amber graduated from Mohawk College, is a resident of Brantford, and her favourite colour is purple.
“I love my job because of the people I work with and the children I teach. I wake up every morning and am more than happy to come into work.
I feel appreciated by the staff, parents and children. I love when the children walk in with smiles on their faces and are just as happy, to be there, as I am. I love that our daycare setting is homey and comfortable and that we are able to give the children that home away from home feeling. I like the freedom of being able to follow the children’s interests with what they are learning. I think the children get more out of learning when it is based on something that they are interested in. I enjoy that every day is a learning experience and that a child’s way of thinking can make me change my perspective on things, and make me smile and laugh. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I have taught a child to do something and they do it for the first time. The look on their faces is priceless. This is why I love my job!”
Meghan graduated with her diploma in Early Childhood Education, from Mohawk College in 2004, and has been working in the Child Care profession ever since. Meghan began her employment with the Burford Co-op Preschool & Children’s Centre in June 2015, and is part of the Infant Room staff. Meghan is a wonderful asset to the Centre and proud mother of Ryder, Isla and Jax .
Lori is a Registered Early Childhood Educator from Humber College. She graduated from the Early Childhood Education for the Developmentally Handicapped Program. Lori and her husband, Dan, are parents of 4 girls. Lori shares her home with many dogs, cats, and one bird.
Lori’s work experience includes working at the W. Ross Mac Donald School for the Deaf- blind, Grand Erie District Board of Education, and being a private home care provider. Lori looks after the Half-Day program at the Burford Co-op Preschool & Children’s Centre.
Tracy Cartmel joined the Centre, March 2010 as our Cook. The children who attend the Burford Co-op Preschool & Children’s Centre benefit from her past experiences and enjoy a well rounded menu. Her food service back ground started in 1994 as a Dietary aide/stand-in cook in a Retirement Home. She has since worked at a Butcher shop as a meat processer/ retail clerk, High School cafeteria, Industrial cafeteria, and then transferred to the Woodstock Toyota Cafeteria. Tracy keeps her Food Safety Training Certificate up to date, and participates in workshops.
“I've worked in a number of jobs over the years, doing a variety of things, and finally, I have decided that the best job to have is a job you love. Of all the jobs that I have had, this position is the most rewarding. I've finally found the perfect job for me; I get up each day happy to head to work, and forget to stop working even when I’m at home. Working on the menus, sourcing new recipes, emailing parents, getting together the grocery list and grocery shopping are all challenges that keep this job fun and fresh.
As a mother to three grown children, who were very picky eaters as youngsters, it has given me insight on how best to present meals that appeal to most of the centres children. I’m totally amazed when a Teacher tells me that one of their picky eaters ate well. I enjoy sharing my techniques with parents that ask me, “How did you cook that? He/she doesn’t eat it at home”.
Occasionally I hear the parents commenting on how great the Centre smells with the wafting aromas of either morning muffins baking in the oven or the savory smell of lunch in the works. Hearing those comments gives me cause to smile, knowing the parents are headed off to work with a confidence that their child is going to be well feed. When I deliver the food bins to the rooms, the gleeful sounds the children make announcing to all “snack is here” lets me know that I’m achieving the ongoing challenge to create healthy food choices that the children enjoy. I treasure the children that stop and speak to me about their interests or ask what is for lunch. No matter how busy I am, I will stop and speak with them. I think for me, some of the most special moments are when, a child hugs me, or when I hear the JK/SK group sing a “Thank you Miss Tracy” song at lunch or the Pre School group sing “Do you know the Muffin Lady”.
"I have been given the opportunity to work with a dedicated group of ladies. We have great communication amongst the staff, and we work as a team to provide the best care for our Centres Children."
Darleen is a Registered Early Childhood Educator from Lambton College in Sarnia. Darleen is a full time staff member at the main location. Darleen has worked in all programs at the Burford Co-operative Preschool Corporation and has enjoyed getting to know so many amazing children and their families.
In her spare time, Darleen and her husband like to watch their two sons playing football in the spring and summer and hockey in the fall and winter.
Kristy is part of the Toddler Room staff, and she received her Early Childhood Education diploma from Sheridan College. Kristy has been working with children, in different capacities, for many years. The enjoyment Kristy feels watching a child’s face light up when they learn something new is the reason Kristy is an Early Childhood Educator. Kristy also coaches competitive gymnastics in her leisure time.
Cathie is a graduate from the Early Childhood Education Program at Conestoga College, class of 1982. For the past many years, Cathie has had the pleasure of working with children and families in a variety of disciplines. This journey has taken from initially working day cares to working for children who have severe developmental delays in group homes and institutional settings to a career managing a Child Life Program in a community hospital, working in community development, operating a home based day care, working as an educational assistant in the school systems, then coming back full circle to the day care setting.
Cathie loves the sense of community and family that Burford Co-operative Preschool encompasses and emulates. The children and their families have become very dear to her heart in the time that Cathie has been with the Preschool.
On a personal note, Cathie is a very proud mother to two wonderful daughters, Kristen who is a nurse and married, and Jordyn who is entering her final year at the University of Guelph with a major in Molecular Biology and Genetics and a minor in Neuro Science with plans to obtain her Masters Degree then a PH.D down the road so Miss Cathie plans to be with the Burford Co-op Preschool Corporation for many years to come.
Colleen graduated from the Child & Youth Studies & Psychology Program at Brock University in 2016. She is currently completing the 4 year Honours Degree in Child & Youth Studies at Brock and will graduate in 2020. Colleen is thoroughly enjoying learning about the profession of Early Childhood Education while she is at the Preschool.
Michelle has been a Registered Early Childhood Educator since 2006. She is also mother of a type 1 diabetic son, Joshua. Michelle enjoys working with all of the children and seeing their faces every day.
Nicole graduated from the Early Childhood Education Program at Fanshawe College in 2018. Nicole began supplying at the Burford Co-operative Preschool & Children’s Centre in 2017 and became full-time in 2018. Working between the Before & After School Program at Burford District Elementary School and the Preschool has been an amazing experience for Nicole. The staff and children have all been incredible and Nicole has enjoyed meeting every last person.
Nicole chose this profession because she loves working with younger children and being able to make an impact on their lives. She loves the feeling that she gets when a child is so excited to see her and the hugs she gets just warm her heart.
When Nicole isn’t working, she likes to hang out with her family or reading a good book outside in the warmer weather. She likes to spend her evenings playing soccer. When she no longer plays herself, her plan is to coach some younger soccer leagues. In winter time, Nicole enjoys going to see family in Muskoka where she has the opportunity to snowmobile and see the wildlife in their natural habitat.
Jasmine graduated from the Fanshawe College Early Childhood Education Program in 2017. Jasmine enjoys teaching and learning things with the children. What she loves most about being an Early Childhood Educator is that she gets welcomed with excitement from every child every day. That lets her know that she is making a difference in their lives. She enjoys watching the children as they learn and grow.
Juanita has two children who attended the Burford Co-op Preschool when they were small and they loved coming to the Centre. In addition to her diploma in Early Childhood Education, Juanita also has a diploma in Applied Music where she majored in the clarinet. In 2018 she also took a number of courses in Autism and Behaviour Sciences. These courses have proven to be helpful in her job as well as at home since her one child has autism. Juanita is enjoying her time at the Preschool and working with the families and children who attend.
Jodie received her diploma in Early Childhood Education from Fanshawe College in 2018. Jodie comes from a family of 8 children and is planning to get married in September. Jodie enjoys spending time with her family, including her many nieces, and playing the piano. Jodie really enjoys working at the Preschool. All of the staff are so friendly and welcoming. Jodie loves watching the children grow and making new connections every day.
The Marr Family
“Thank you so much for all the care and compassion you have given our children through the years. We are grateful to have had such wonderful staff take care of our children. You have helped create wonderful, lasting memories for our family.”
Mari-Anne & Chris Rook
"Thank you for everything. Everyone at Burford Co-op has been amazing to us and the boys. They have learned so much from all of the teachers and they look forward to their school days. Chris and I are truly grateful for everything. The care and compassion given to the children, the kindness and understanding and all the memories we’ll have are greatly appreciated."
"From the moment I toured the Preschool in 2009 with my then infant daughter, I knew Burford Co-op was the place for us. The teachers were so involved with the children whether they were on the floor playing with the infants, or sitting at the little tables while the toddlers painted. Artwork filled the walls and the sounds of laughter and happy “chatter” was heard in every room.
To this day, my oldest daughter gets upset when I arrive to pick her up. “Ahh Mommy!” she yells “I was having fun!” As much as that stings a little, I would much rather her be upset when I pick her up than when I drop her off – I KNOW she’s happy while at the Preschool. That happiness comes from the AMAZING teachers, the fun (yet structured) programs, and the friendships she has built while attending Burford Co-op. As I watch both my daughters grow up in the care of this incredible Centre, I am so thankful to have these teachers who are there for my girls when I cannot be.
"My son Mason has been going to the Burford Co-Op Preschool since before he was 2 years old. He did not manage well with the change and the girls had a bit of a rough time with him in the beginning. The staff was so attentive to Mason at that time; they snuggled him when he needed them and they tried their best to make him feel at home. The care they gave was incredible.
His teachers watched his patterns of behaviour and noticed that Mason is very time oriented and that after certain activities he was watching for us to come and pick him up. That sparked one of the teachers, on her own time, to develop a picture timeline that Mason could use by removing pictures of the activity from the velcro board, until the very last activity was us coming to greet him. AWESOME!!!! He has loved "little school" ever since.
I recommend this school on so many merits. The meals that the kids are served are nutritious and delicious, the money that they earn and fundraise for is invested back in our school, but most of all their love for our children is genuine. Mason still attends "little school" on his days off of senior kindergarten. He loves it, and he loves school because of the preparation he has been given by the preschool. He is excelling with his work in JK/SK, as "little school" worked hard teaching them numbers and jolly phonics, giving them such an advantage at school. He loves it so much that he has even asked his Daddy to come back later to pick him up as he wasn't ready to leave quite yet. We are so lucky to have such a little gem in our community. Thank-you Burford Co-Op Preschool for all the wonderful things you do."