Year: 2012 — Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Ekwaamjigenang Children's Centre
659 New Credit Road, RR#6
Hagersville, Ontario N0A 1H0
Type of setting: Childcare centre for children ages 0 to 5 years
Philosophy of Care
Tenacious and persistent, Patricia Barber is always on the lookout for new ways to improve activities, create partnerships and offer resources to parents and colleagues. Up-to-date and informed on any changes in the field, Barber's first concern is what is best for the child.
Support of Child Development
- Barber spearheaded the implementation of a new curriculum based on a report that she developed for parents. Entitled SPICES, the report was designed to include Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional and Spiritual development. Barber also created daily observation forms for staff to use following the SPICES headings.
- Barber was instrumental in bringing the Seeds of Empathy program (seedsofempathy.org) to her centre, where the program was piloted. The program is designed to help foster social and emotional competence in children aged three to five, while providing professional development for their educators.
- Barber has succeeded in creating an outdoor classroom with a garden, flowerbeds, birdfeeders and sweetgrass circles. Children plant, grow and harvest their own vegetables and spices and take "bean breaks" to eat their beans.
Involvement with Parents, Families and the Community
- Barber ensures that a prominent area of the centre is set up with resources available to parents and caregivers and that a bulletin board highlights notifications, events and workshops.
- Barber was a key player in re-organizing the Indigenous Supervisor's Network, which got together to discuss a mentoring program and developing practices. The program was re-named the South West Region PEACE (Progressive Early Learning Aboriginal Centres of Excellence) Network and holds regular meetings and an annual conference for early childhood educators.
Patti has helped to guide me as a working mother, supporting the fine balance between family and career. (…) Patti's strong sense of community and culture have elevated the quality of childcare that the children of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation have received.
Band member and parent
Patti is passionate about what she does and you see it within our centre. (…) She has helped us see beyond the four walls and how much more we could do for the children of our centre and community. She has helped us put the spirit back within our centre.