Overview

Early childhood professionals show resilience and dedication to continue meeting the child care needs of families in their communities. Every day, working parents rely on their licensed child care provider so they can go to work or school. This is essential for families and subsequently the economy overall.

The Minister’s Awards of Excellence in Child Development recognize the important work of certified early childhood educators and providers working in licensed child care programs who make life better for children and families across Alberta. Nominating these professionals, teams and programs honours excellence in their field. Doing so also celebrates their outstanding work with children at licensed child care programs across Alberta.

To celebrate and recognize their achievements, 2022 award recipients were announced May 20, 2022, on Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day.

Nine awards went to early childhood professionals with 3 awards in each category:

  1. Individuals – Certified early childhood professionals working with children in an licensed program
  2. Teams – A team of 2 to 4 certified early childhood professionals working with children in an licensed program
  3. Programs – A licensed child care program where certified early childhood educators work directly with children

Eligibility

Eligible applicants

Anyone can nominate certified early childhood educators and licensed programs for an award. The nominated individuals, teams or programs must:

  • live and work in Alberta
  • not be a member of the Awards Selection Committee

Eligible programs

Eligible programs are facility-based and home-based child care programs licensed by the Government of Alberta including:

  • day care
  • preschool
  • out-of-school care
  • family day home educators
  • group family child care
  • innovative child care

Award recipients

Past nominees

In 2022, the Alberta government received 60 nominations from across the province. Congratulations to all of the nominees.

Past award recipients

The names of past award recipients are listed below.

We gratefully acknowledge Wintergreen Learning Materials for their generous support as the corporate sponsor for the awards program.

  • 2022 Recipients

    Individual category

    • Béatrice Lucot-Gardener – Prématernelle Bobino Bobinette, Edmonton
    • Cheryl Crowther – Child Development Dayhomes, Calgary
    • Jonabel Cabasal – Kepler Academy, Edmonton

    Team category

    • Kristi Nicklason, Yuko Davidson-Kotera, and Kassandra Goodzeck – Manning Early Learning & Child Care Centre, Manning
    • Marianne Dyck and Tina Harback – Prairie Christian Academy Preschool, Three Hills
    • Lianne Wiebe, Michaela Galova, and Annecy Hill – Trellis Society – Ready Set Go, Calgary

    Program category

    • Grande Prairie Friendship Centre – Aboriginal Head Start, Grande Prairie
    • Jack James Preschool, Calgary
    • Leapah’s Learning Garden Preschool, Edmonton
  • 2019 Recipients

    Individual category

    • Fatima Bellahmer – Bissell Centre Early Childhood Development Program, Edmonton
    • Lindsay Kolada – Child Development Dayhomes of Alberta, Edmonton
    • Brenda Rathwell – Barons-Eureka-Warner Parent Link Centre-Coalhurst PLC, Coaldale

    Team category

    • Darla Trotter, Lisa Tuck – Mike Mountain Horse Elementary School-Early Education Program, Lethbridge
    • Lori Heywood, Mandy Smith, Christa Fuchs, Nadine Tomuschat – Parent Link West Network, Athabasca Parent Link, Athabasca
    • Chesell Gozo, Loredana Verdes, Anevic Habbiling – Ages & Stages Early Learning & Care Inc, Edmonton

    Program category

    • Wildflowers Childcare, Jasper
    • Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Aboriginal Head Start, Grande Prairie
    • La Garderie Les Petits Oursons. St. Paul
  • 2018 Recipients

    Individual category

    • Viola Barabas – Primrose Place Family Centre, Edmonton
    • Natasha Smith – Fulton Child Care Association, Edmonton
    • Claire Daoud – Play Days Family Day Home Agency, Cochrane

    Team category

    • Justine Mann, Jessica Lexvold, Jade Haslbeck, Allison Beck – Little Owl Learning Centre Inc., Medicine Hat
    • Benazir Ahmed, Sadia Naosheen, Sabrine Dendani – MCE Child Care Program, Edmonton
    • Wendy Koene, Melanie Freeman, Marilyn Gamble, Tracey Gerk – Peace Parent Link Centre, Peace River

    Program category

    • Opokaa’sin Childcare Centre, Lethbridge
    • Fulton Child Care Association, Edmonton
    • CUPS-One World Child Development Centre, Calgary
  • 2017 Recipients

    Individual category

    • Nicole Morrell – Johnstone Daycare, Red Deer
    • Laura Armstrong – Sunshine Day Home: Leduc-Strathcona Services for Children, Edmonton
    • Tiffany Howe – Jamie's Preschool, Calgary

    Team category

    • Janella Rodriguez, Kayla Nicholls – Early Childhood Development Centre, Drayton Valley
    • Anita Bruce, Christina Jackson – Brooks Preschool, Brooks
    • Rosemary Robins, Renee Poles, Fabrianne Isidro – Fulton Childcare Association, Edmonton

    Program category

    • Glenora Child Care Society, Edmonton
    • Lurana Innovative Child Care, Edmonton
    • Catholic Family Service Parent/Child Learning Centre (Louise Dean), Calgary
  • 2016 Recipients

    Individual category

    • Sylvianne Robiinson – North Edmonton Family Day Home Agency, Edmonton
    • Jessica Walker – Play Days Family Day Home Agency, Cochrane
    • Lesly Perley – Drayton Valley Family Day Home Agency, Drayton Valley

    Team category

    • Angela Birnie-Browne, Veronica Ibanez – Children's Centre Demonstration Preschool, Grande Prairie
    • Erin Feeney, Claudia Mejia, Chantelle Oevering, Kaylee Karseboom – Lurana Shelter Childcare, Edmonton
    • Syed Fafza, Zaidi Ambreen Zaidi, Alvina Zaidi – Tiny Toes Castle, Red Deer

    Program category

    • Sonshine Children's Centre, Calgary
    • Early Start Program, Norwood Child & Family Resource Centre, Edmonton
    • Parent Preschool Partnership Program, Barons-Eureka-Warner, FCSS, Coaldale
  • 2015 Recipients

    Individual category

    • Meghan Hetherington – Briar Patch Community Preschool, Sherwood Park
    • Sandra Martin – Varsity Preschool, Calgary
    • Lorrie McCullough – Oliver Early Learning Centre, Edmonton

    Team category

    • Carmen Newchuk, Christine Ralph, Shimi Mani – Edmonton Northwest Preschool, Edmonton
    • Louise Caron, Sarah Heacock – Grandin Prescolaire, Edmonton
    • Denise Morgan, Doreen Barsi – A Bright Beginning Childcare Centre, Grande Prairie

    Program category

    • Good Shepherd School Out School Care, Fort McMurray
    • Terra Child and Family Support, Edmonton
    • Jasper Out of School Care, Jasper
  • 2014 Recipients

    Individual category

    • Amanda Taks – North Edmonton Family Day Home, Edmonton
    • Jodie Vesso – Town of Beaumont Early Learning Child Care, Beaumont
    • Ashley Cipywynk – Capilano Playschool Association, Edmonton

    Team category

    • Kelsey Harvey, Andrea Draganiuk, and Chandima Semasinghe – 100 Voices, Stadium Location (Genesis Early Learning Center), Edmonton
    • Shirley Harvey, Nikki Rafuse, Courtnea Ledger, and Adrianna Pierce – Edmonton Garrison MFRC OSC, Edmonton
    • Johanna Tassie, Melissa Taylor – Edmonton Hospital Workers Child Care, Edmonton

    Program category

    • Jack James Preschool, Calgary
    • Glenora Child Care, Edmonton
    • Allen Gray Child Development Centre, Edmonton
  • 2013 Recipients

    Cultural Practices

    Ginette Clement – Prematernelle Capucine, Calgary

    Early Childhood Services

    Joan Green – Calgary Board of Eduction, Calgary

    Collaborative Private Early Childhood Services

    Shilo Thorne – Oliver Centre Early Learning Programs for Children & Families, Edmonton

    Parent Link Centre

    Jane Donnelly – Western Rocky View Parent Link Centre, Cochrane

    Rural Day Care

    Catherine Oczkowski – Children's World Daycare, Edmonton

    Rural Family Day Home

    Sara Johnston – The Vermilion Family Day Home Program, Vermilion

    Rural Out-of-School Care

    Jamie Greene – Town of Beaumont After School Care, Beaumont

    Rural Pre-school

    JoAnn Keir – Westbrook Playschool Association, Cochrane

    Special Needs

    Lee Stachniak – Auntie Lee's

    Urban Day Care

    Mila Chan – Bow Valley Child Care Centre, Calgary

    Urban Family Day Home

    Kathryn Lowther – North Edmonton Family Day Homes, Edmonton

    Urban Out-of-school Care

    Janet Huffman – Good Shepherd School Out of School Care, Edmonton

    Urban Pre-school

    Jennifer Tse – Glendale Community Pre-School, Calgary

  • 2012 Recipients

    Urban Day Care

    Stephanie Rayner – Children First: Eagle Ridge Nest, Fort McMurray

    Rural Day Care

    Kristi Edwards – Town of Beaumont Early Learning Child Care Centre, Beaumont

    Urban Pre-school

    Nancy Fritsche – Discovery Time Preschool, Edmonton

    Rural Pre-school

    Micheline Hebert – Friends of Playschool, St. Paul

    Urban Out-of-school Care

    Tammy Earl – Mount View School Age Care, Calgary

    Rural Out-of-school Care

    Crystal Deschamps – Fishing Lake Out of School Care, Fishing Lake

    Urban Family Day Home

    Colleen Gray – Watch Me Grow Family Child Care Program, Grande Prairie

    Rural Family Day Home

    Shauna Smith – Razzle Dazzle Family Day Home, Sylvan Lake

    Special Needs

    Candace Halseth – Leaps & Bounds Child Care, Stettler

    Cultural Practices

    Trudy Ressler – MCHB Daycare, Edmonton

    Parent Link Centre

    Adine Shuchuk – Jasper Place Child and Family Resource Society, Edmonton

    Leadership

    Carol Lutes – Duck Inn Day Care Centre, Edmonton

  • 2011 Recipients

    Urban Day Care

    Monica Munoz – Spanish Montessori Learning Centre, Lethbridge

    Rural Day Care

    Laura Grenning – Town of Beaumont Early Learning Child Care Centre, Beaumont

    Urban Pre-school

    Ronni Candelora – Mount Royal University Childcare & Preschool, Calgary

    Rural Pre-school

    Amber Hennig – Grande Cache Creative Kids Pre-school, Grande Cache

    Urban Out-of- School Care

    Denise Johnson – It's A Blast, Lethbridge

    Rural Out-of- School Care

    Tammy Miller – Innisfail School-age Program, Innisfail

    Urban Family Day Home

    Pamela Balkwill – Medley Family Day Homes, Cold Lake

    Rural Family Day Home

    Gemma Wiebe – St. Paul Family Day Homes, St. Paul

    Special Needs

    Rozina Hirji – Marlborough Learning Centre, Calgary

    Cultural Practices

    Francine Ricard – Ecole Pre Maternelle Bobino Bobinette, Edmonton

    Parent Link Centre

    Betty Huck – Family Centre Society of Southern Alberta, Parent Link Centre, Lethbridge

    Leadership

    Elsie Harder – Child Development Dayhomes of Alberta, Calgary

  • 2010 Recipients

    Rural Out-of-School Care

    Christopher Kruk – Beaumont After School Care, Beaumont

    Urban Pre-school

    Janet Steeves – Discovery Preschool, Calgary

    Urban Family Day Home

    Robin Matrai – Children's Choice Community Child Care Services, Calgary

    Special Needs

    Ronda Abildgaard – Children's Choice Community Child Care Services, Calgary

    Urban Day Care

    Leah Bussey – Glenora Child Care, Edmonton

    Urban Out of-School Care

    Ela Olszewska – Monarch Child Care Society, Edmonton

    Cultural Practices

    Edna Desjarlais – Kikino Aboriginal Headstart, Kikino

    Rural Day Care

    Emma Takac – Children's World Day Care, Pincher Creek

    Rural Pre-school

    Sandra Simmelink – Cookie Jar Preschool, Pincher Creek

    Rural Family Day Home

    Loma Orlick – Stettler Family Day Homes, Stettler

  • 2009 Recipients

    Urban Day Care

    Crystal Ryan – Canmore Community Daycare, Canmore

    Rural Day Care

    Patsyann Sanftl – Whispering Hills Daycare Society, Athabasca

    Urban Preschool

    Laurie Knoll – LaPerie Community Playschool, Edmonton

    Rural Preschool

    Suzanne Chivers – Namao Nursery School, Namao

    Urban Out-of-school Care

    Maggie Tew – Adventures School Age Care, Calgary

    Urban Family Day Home

    Colleen Kwong – Family Day Home, Beaumont

    Rural Family Day Home

    Dawn Wiseman – Family Day Home

    Cultural Practices

    Claudia Murga – North Edmonton Family Day Home Agency

    Special Needs

    Helen Cameron – Special Needs Calgary

  • 2008 Recipients

    Rural Day Care

    Patricia Young – Children's World Day Care, Pincher Creek

    Urban Family Day Home

    Robin Matrai  – Children's Choice Community Child Care Services, Calgary

    Rural Family Day Home

    Tracy Davis-McMillan – lnnisfail Family Day Home Society, lnnisfail

    Urban Nursery School

    Rose Maynard – Alexandra Play School, Calgary

    Rural Nursery School

    Lynne lngs – Rimbey Nursery School, Rimbey

    Urban Out-of-school Care

    Lynette Bowers – Ivy Lake Sensations Out-of-School Childcare Program, Grande Prairie

    Rural Out-of-School Care

    Shirley Webster – Beaumont After School Care, Beaumont

    Special Needs

    Jan Wregget – Time to Play Preschool, Airdrie

    Cultural Practices

    Malgorzata Lawicka – Southgate Medallion Family Day Homes, Edmonton

Contact

Connect with the program if you have questions about the Minister’s Awards of Excellence in Child Development:

Email: [email protected]

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