Honouring Child Care Staff: Stefani’s Story
ANHBC’s Childcare Directors and staff play an instrumental role in providing exceptional care to families of all backgrounds. Beyond fostering an inclusive, nurturing environment, they create opportunities for children to grow alongside their community.
To honour Child Care Month in BC, we are sharing a story from Stefani Chandler, Childcare Director at Alex House.
"Alex House Children’s Centre Programs have been growing and evolving since we opened our doors in 2011, from 58 to 358 licensed spaces. This growth lives and breathes with us on a daily basis and is an evolving journey for all of Alex House.
When I first started at Alex House, I didn’t fully understand the Reggio Emilia philosophy as an approach to learning. I learned it is in the way that we are present with the children, the sense of belonging that children and families feel, the way that educators are co-learners with the children and families - helping them to learn from the world around them through patience, trial and error, and time. The support and mentorship of ANHBC, Frog’s Hollow Learning Centre and Alex House has allowed me to carve a way through this journey with the children, families and staff team. As an educator I have grown both personally and professionally, starting as a childcare coordinator, and then nurtured and mentored into the role of Director of Childcare. Initially, I didn’t have the confidence in myself to see that I could grow into a leader. In the field of Early Childhood Education, the only way to be in a leadership position is to be guided and mentored by fellow educators that believe in you, and I found this here at Alex House and ANHBC. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have thought this was possible and it is now a privilege to mentor and guide our team of 50+ educators.
ANHBC’s desire to connect people and empower them to create the change they want to see in their communities is evident at Alex House. The team I am surrounded by inspires me to be passionate about supporting our community, to create a place for children, families and educators where there is a true sense of belonging, that provides quality child care which is inclusive, collaborative, leading edge, and innovative in our community. It is as simple as walking into any one of our child care programs and seeing a child and family greeted at the door, the great big hugs a child receives from their educator, the enthusiasm of a child running into their classroom to excitedly sit beside their peers, a place for families to connect with each other and a place for educators to lean on and support each other. This past year, the families at our Crescent Beach location have created a partnership amongst one another and have taken the lead to create our first parent social night and develop a fundraising project for our child care programs. They are developing their community of support around their children and our programs. This, for me, is truly the sense of family and community, and is what you feel when you enter the doors at Alex House.
In honour of Childcare month, I want to stop and pause and highlight that none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the hardworking, dedicated, passionate and diverse team of educators I am surrounded by. Each individual brings their unique strength, passion, love and creativity to our team and assists in creating quality, inclusive and collaborative programs at Alex House."
Thank you, Stefani, for sharing your amazing story!
To learn more about ANHBC’s child care, visit anhbc.org.