Welcome to Learning Ladder's NEW Website!
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Learning Ladder Childcare's Journey
I joined Learning Ladder in March 2014, and WOW has it been busy! I have been working in the childcare industry since 2002 & thought I was ready to take on a new project.
I faced a lot of challenges when I joined the team, it was not easy. Change is hard for staff and families, there is so much uncertainty when a new owner comes on board, but I had a clear vision of what I wanted for the center, and got to work. As with most projects, you build from the ground up with a strong foundation.
My first order of business was renovating the office. The original office was dark, cramped & cluttered. I tore out the old "counter top desk" with my bare hands and dragged it out to the bin. A fresh coat of paint, new furniture mixed in with some used furniture from Kijiji & art made by each class, my new space was perfection. It feels good when I walk into my office, it's my home away from home, I want everyone who walks in to feel comfortable.
We then started cleaning the center, scrubbing down cupboards, baseboards, corners & toys. Discarding anything that was broken or damaged and making a list of what toys and materials were needed. Then we had the center painted, a fresh coat of paint truly changes any space. Immediately the center felt bright & clean, parents started to notice things were changing. Within the ten months over$50,000 was spent on new toys, materials & furnishings. Purchases included new toys, cubbies, tables, chairs, desks, carpets, toys shelves, bookshelves, a light table, the staircase for the infants & an array of open ended materials that were inline with an emergent curriculum.
All the while I worked with the staff to set out cleaning schedules, programming ideas/expectations, scheduling staff for trainings. I worked with Program Support Services Team to give me new ideas on what to do next to get this center to the level of quality I was envisioning. My Quality First consultant met with me monthly and continued to remark that my ECCERS score (Quality First scoring tool) increased steadily with every visit. This positive feedback only compelled me to work harder!
Change is not always easy, but it is necessary. Not everyone was onboard or enthusiastic about the changes I was implementing. This is the hard part of any journey, not everyone is meant to finish the journey with us. In the first year there were a lot of staff changes & I wish them all the very best. I know that no one likes staff turnover, I especially don't but this is the hard part of building a strong staff team, you've got to try some people until you find the right fit. I sincerely want the best for each child, these decisions are never made lightly. They do bring us to the amazing team we have today!
As I look around at my staff, watch them play with the children at their level. Hear them speak loving words of praise as I pass their class & I know I have a FABULOUS team! It isn't a coincidence that we were honoured with our first Readers Choice Award! This award is the result of the hard work and dedication of our entire team.
It took a lot of time, hard work & commitment to get Learning Ladder Childcare to the place it is today. This was not an easy task, but very worthwhile. Here we are a year later with our first Reader's Choice Award, Platinum for Best Preschool, Oakville Beaver 2015! We are not done, there's always room for improvement and growth. Join us on this wonderful journey!
I'm Debbie Cunha!
That families are the cornerstone of a strong community
Children are our greatest resource & the most important people
Never wish time away, life is short & it goes faster than you think
Find your passion & you will find your calling
Learning is a lifelong process
Travel is essential, I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list (Susan Sontag)
My children are my greatest joy
More about Me!
I'm blessed to be the Mother of two wonderful people (Isabelle, 11 & Marcus, 9) who I raise with my husband, Rick. We live in Oakville & our house is also home to most children who live within walking distance or can convince their parents to drop them off, for this I am forever grateful.
Clearly I love children & not just my own but everyone else's too! Oakville is a beautiful town to live in, it's incredibly family focused & centered around children.. I am an active part of this community through my neighbourhood, work, school and charity.
I have more hobbies, passions & interests than I have time for so I squeeze in what I can. I'm a bookworm, experimental chef and enthusiastic baker. Travelling & learning about other cultures is so exciting for me. I love painting & DIY projects. I'm happiest in the great outdoors, hiking, boating, beach, preferably in the sunshine but I've started to learn to ski & am trying to embrace winter sports.
About my Work!
Being an entrepreneur is wonderful, hard work...a lot more work but I wouldn't have it any other way! I'm a perfectionist & would be more OCD if time permitted. I've been working with children and families since 1999. I completed my Child & Youth Work Diploma with honours in 2001 & my Early Childhood Educators Diploma in 2005. I love working with children and families, I get to meet amazing kids and their parents, aunts/uncles & grandparents. I'm constantly in awe of what they are capable of accomplishing! We are blessed to be raising children in this time where childhood is cherished and children are being empowered. In the past year I've worked to support other childcare Operators and Supervisors, this has been a rewarding experience! I mentor other Professionals in the Childcare Industry, volunteer on the Leadership Committee within the Region of Halton & will be participating in a Panel Presentation at this years Supervisor Connection.
There are so many exciting changes in childcare, the Ministry of Education is working hard to raise the bar & ensure quality childcare for everyone. Check out Learning Ladder in the Community to learn more!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
for taking the time to read through our website!
for making your child such a priority in your busy life that you are doing your research
I look forward to meeting you & your family soon!
Debbie Cunha, C.Y.W., R.E.C.E
Award Winning Childcare