Year: 2012 — Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Simon Fraser University (SFU) Childcare Society
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Type of setting: Childcare setting for over 300 children ages 3 months to 13 years housed in 14 individual purpose built centres.
The building itself becomes a teacher in aiding the children to learn hope, creativity, passion and compassion for others.
A living building for living people. Pat Frouws seized the opportunity to design a new facility for the centre and has inspired and guided funders to build a place that every child deserves.
Philosophy of Care
Offering courses and external direct support from local universities and colleges, Frouws assures that children are valued and respected by a well-trained team of educators who understand the centre's vision and core values. Frouws follows the same philosophy by valuing a respectful, collaborative and reflective community environment where children are free to explore and engage the world around them.
Support of Child Development
- Frouws led the design of a new childcare centre in a direction that would meet the early learning outcomes from the provincial Early Learning Framework philosophy with features to promote respect, children's capacities, co-learning and community.
- The "living building" status for the new centre, where the building generates as much energy as it uses, collects or recycles more water than it consumes and is built with non-toxic and locally sourced materials, provides Frouws with a concrete learning experience for both children and educators about responsibility for the environment and living in sustainable communities.
Involvement with Parents, Families and the Community
- Frouws, as the Director encourages parents to participate in their children's learning and care through involvement on their non-profit Board of Directors, inviting them to comment on centre documentations (pictures and narratives), to host workshops, to share their expertise by participating in regular programming and through their annual Family Fun Day. Frouws also supports educators to update parents about their child's learning and daily activities, both verbally and through documentation.
- For example, Frouws' infant program, Kahpoo gives infants the opportunity to explore materials like clay, water and paint. Parents are involved in and connected to their child's day through individual books containing pictures and narratives about their child’s experiences while at Kahpoo.
- Frouws is involved with the SFU community, the UniverCity residential community, the ECE community and the province in her role as the centre's director. She has also partnered with the university library to secure participation in their pre-school Ready, Set, Grow program.
By sticking to her principles and staying true to her vision, Pat ensured that the Simon Fraser University Childcare Society was able to expand childcare capacity on Burnaby Mountain by 62 spaces, and she did it in such a way that the UniverCity developer finally came to understand the central importance of quality and innovation in early childhood education.
Past SFU Childcare Society Chairperson (2004-2007)
Pat is an accomplished and highly regarded early childhood educator administrator with an uncommon commitment to innovation in early childhood education as well as teaching and mentoring other young practitioners in her field.