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Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education: 2020 Recipients

Province Community Name of setting Name of educator Type of setting Highlights

Certificate of Excellence

Sherwood Park

BriarPatch Community Preschool

Meghan Hetherington

Charitable not-for-profit community preschool for children ages 2.5 to 6 years

Guided by the principles of community, empathy, literacy, creativity, kindness, movement and laughter, this well-known educator focuses on children's hearts and brains through play-based activities and by meeting individual children's needs.

Certificate of Excellence

Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray #468 First Nation Childcare Services Department

Jennifer Vardy

Aboriginal Head Start and daycare for children ages 12 months to 5 years (Brighter Beginnings Academy)

A passionate advocate for early childhood education for Indigenous families on reserve, this educator believes Indigenous children deserve the support their parents and grandparents were denied—three times the hugs, cuddles and understanding.

Certificate of Achievement


Rio Terrace Community Preschool

Shaylene Saxton

Preschool/playschool for children ages 3 and 4 years

Plenty of professional development and a study tour to New Zealand have helped sharpen this educator's focus on children's social and emotional development being as just as important as their academic, cognitive and physical skills.

Certificate of Achievement


Westminster Elementary School

Lynn Wytrykusz

Early education program for children ages 3 to 5 years

Children build their sensory, motor and creative skills through hands-on play, while also improving their executive function through games that foster impulse control, flexible thinking and other abilities.

British Columbia

Certificate of Achievement


Burnaby French Language Preschool

Naima Amalou

Preschool for children ages 3 and 4

Carrying on a 40-year tradition of offering French-language early childhood education to children from non-French families, this educator places the children at the centre of everything she does through active listening, reciprocity and collaboration.

Certificate of Achievement


La Pré-maternelle Appletree Preschool

Carole Trudeau

French-immersion preschool program for children 30 months to school age

Having one-on-one time with each child every day helps this educator understand each child as an individual. She incorporates what she learns about their interests into class activities and helps children resolve their own conflicts.

Certificate of Achievement


Simon Fraser University Childcare Society

Ines Tuzlukovic

Group childcare centre, infant-toddler program for children ages 0 to 36 months

This educator's background helping pregnant and parenting teenagers finish their high school education makes her an excellent resource for families. She fosters fellowship among parents, engages with new Canadians and launches community projects.


Certificate of Achievement

St. Theresa Point

St. Theresa First Nation School

Arlene Flett

Kindergarten for children ages 4 and 5 years

Fluent in both English and the local Indigenous language, this educator fosters Kindergartners' pride in their heritage. From setting up classroom snares for imaginary rabbits to organizing a pickerel fish fry, she engages children with familiar, age-appropriate activities.

New Brunswick

Certificate of Excellence


Lisa's Playhouse Inc.

Lisa Brown

Child care centre for children ages 0 to 12 years

This educator cares for children in the town where she grew up, seeking to share the joys of spending plenty of time outdoors, while ensuring children are nurtured and loved, and have a chance to learn and grow in ways that suit them.

Northwest Territories

Certificate of Achievement


N. J. MacPherson School

Jennifer Kravitz

Junior Kindergarten for children ages 4 and 5 years

Taking the lead from the children in her care, this educator helps children learn and grow, even when they're having a bad day. A whole day of pirate-themed activities resulted from children building a pirate ship out of a box; engaging learning centres give children their choice of activities.


Certificate of Excellence

Pond Inlet

Pirurvik Preschool

Leah Kippomee

Preschool program for children ages 3 to 5 years

This adored community child caregiver now advocates for early childhood education across Nunavut, sharing a child-centred approach based on traditional knowledge and enriched with Montessori materials and practices—all to help overcome the legacy of the residential schools.


Certificate of Excellence


Maple Grove Public School

Kim Posluns

Designated early childhood educator in a Kindergarten classroom for children ages 3 to 6 years

In a "comprehensive Kindergarten" (30 percent of students have a behaviour disorder or regressed development), this experienced educator builds student relationships to promote oral communications, engages students with outdoor learning and art therapy, and champions overall wellness.

Certificate of Achievement


Discovery Child Care Centre

Brittney Bobbitt

Licensed child care centre for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years

Even the youngest children in this educator's care (younger than 12 months) develop communications skills and life skills such as dressing themselves, all while spending the majority of the day outside having sensory experiences and developing their curiosity.

Certificate of Achievement


Discovery Child Care Centre

Pietra Salemi

Licensed child care centre for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years

Toddlers enjoy activities as diverse as rock climbing, gardening and yoga in a large outdoor space. Individuals receive the particular care they need to develop, while those with special needs are treated equitably and participate fully.


Certificate of Achievement


Centre de la petite enfance La Frimousse

Jacinthe Côté

Daycare for children ages 3 to 5 years

Over 40 years of experience and still has the same passion and dedication. The little ones in her care are her focus and she does whatever it takes to create fun environments that are conducive to learning.

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