Working together as mother and daughter, Sandy Shields and Allison Barrow have a combined history of 50 years in the field of Early Childhood Education. Their passion and personal connection with families and teachers have been a trademark for them as the school celebrates its 10th year in operation.
Sandy Shields has devoted the past 35 years to the education of young children. Graduating with her ECE in 1984 she successfully went to school part time, raised 3 children and worked full time. Sandy’s resume includes the opening and development of 5 childcare centres for another operator in York Region, prior to the opening of Beckenridge and Heritage Discovery Preschool. Sandy is a role model to follow, from her wonderful personality to her team spirit. Her relationship with children is relentless and she still has children from past years calling her to chat; Sarah is now 27 years old.
Allison Barrow has been teaching and supervising in the field since graduating with her ECE in 1991. Her love of early childhood education has been focused on reflections of the Reggio Emilia Approach for the past 10 years. Allison was part of the 2002 and 2011 Canadian delegations to the schools of Reggio Emilia and participated in an in-depth study of the philosophy. In 2006, she was on the executive committee to host the 100 Languages of Children Exhibit in the prestigious TD Centre in Toronto and now is on the Board of Directors for the new Ontario Reggio Association. Her 7 1/2 year old son Davidson is a constant reminder to her ideal that you never underestimate the power of a child.
They understand that to be successful requires lasting relationships and continuous involvement with the community. The schools belong to many organizations:
- Association of Day Care Operators
- Ontario Reggio Association
- North American Reggio Emilia Association
- York Region Child Care Committee: Quality Assurance – Past board member.
The schools have also participated in community events:
- Hosted the Children’s Village for The Centre for Dreams: 3rd Annual Festival of Trees.
- Decorated a tree for auction winning Most Creative Tree and the People’s Choice award 2006 & 2007.
- 2010 & 2011. Hosted One Urban Mama. Mom and Baby Show at Angus Glen Golf Course.