Gillian was thrilled to join the Village of Brooklin Co-operative Playschool community four years ago. She brings over 10 years of extensive experience building model early childhood programs, specifically with the Emergent Program and ELECT approach. Gillian has worked as an advocate for inclusion and early learning in her own community as a parent and educator supporting many educational initiatives. She believes wholeheartedly that a child's learning experience relies on the presence of three major educators- the adult including caregivers and educators, the environment, and a child's peers. She appreciates the Reggio Emilia Philosophy and sees every young learner as competent and critical thinkers. Gillian comes to the Village of Brooklin Cooperative Playschool as a graduate of Seneca and York where she studied Early Childhood Education and Sociology. Gillian is a registered Early Childhood educator with the College of E.C.E and is honored to help orchestrate this collaborative community of learning. She lives right here in Brooklin, with her husband Stephen and their two young sons Liam and Cayden.
" I am a very lucky lady to be doing what I love most, and that is working with Preschoolers, their sense of wonder, excitement and energy is contagious. I look forward to continue learning alongside my wee preschoolers and will continue to grow as an educator working with the V.B.C.P. It has been an amazing adventure thus far, and one that I know will only get better.”
Mandi has been working with children for nearly two decades in a variety of settings, including home childcare and preschool classrooms. She is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with the College of ECE. Her post-secondary studies were completed in Manitoba where she received a diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2000 and a Bachelor of Education (A.D.) in 2003. Upon graduation, Mandi moved to Ontario with her husband, Michael to pursue their teaching careers. They welcomed two children into their family – Drake in 2004 and Ava in 2008. With the desire to stay at home with her young children, Mandi decided to open a small home based childcare. For ten years, she worked closely with parents to implement a program that suited the needs and interests of the children she cared for.
In 2016, she decided it was time to return to the classroom. With all of the new strategies in Early Childhood Education, including ELECT and How Does Learning Happen, it’s a very exciting time to be a RECE teacher! Mandi was drawn to VBCP because of the collaborative approach between teachers and parents and the strong sense of community that VBCP has developed.
Mandi’s teaching style focuses on the importance of relationships, experiences, and environment. She truly believes that teachers are co-learners and that engaging with children as they participate in activities is crucial not only to the child’s development but hers as an educator as well. She understands that her role in creating meaningful, hands-on experiences for children compliment their natural desire to learn. Preparing a warm, inviting setting that makes children feel safe and happy is her ultimate goal.
“I am so happy to be starting this new adventure! I look forward to working together with Ms. Gillian, as well as the children and families here at VBCP! Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!”