Child care providers who provide outstanding care, connection and learning environments for B.C. children were recognized at the ChildCareBC Awards of Excellence ceremony held on Saturday, May 27, 2023.
“The ChildCareBC Awards of Excellence honour the outstanding achievements of individuals, organizations, school districts and local governments who help families and communities thrive by providing or supporting the delivery of child care,” said Grace Lore, Minister of State for Child Care. “The winners and nominees represent the dedication and commitment the child care sector as a whole brings to work every single day. It’s an honour to be able to celebrate and highlight the work of these professionals who provide critical care for our children.”
After an open call for nominations and a review by a selection committee comprised of stakeholders and ministry staff, 12 Child Care Awards of Excellence were awarded across seven categories. The awards were given to people and teams who support families in their communities through exemplary leadership and by providing access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care programming.
The 2023 ChildCareBC Awards of Excellence recipients include:
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Connie Bourne, Metrotown YMCA Child Care, Burnaby: Bourne started her career at the YMCA in 1990 and began her leadership journey in 1995. Bourne has collaborated with new ECEs, guided mid-career child care professionals through growth opportunities and demonstrated remarkable dedication to the children and families she has served. Her vision for excellence over a 30-plus-year career has inspired individuals of all ages to be the best they can be.
- Child Care Leadership – Karen LeSage, Ridge Meadows College, Maple Ridge: Since joining the college, LeSage has led a complete curriculum refresh, a partnership with Katzie Nation (Katzie Early Years Centre) to incorporate Indigenous content throughout the curriculum, and more. She takes a personal, hands-on approach with her students, assisting them with professional and personal issues whenever possible. Karen has also put supports in place for neurodiverse students.
- Inclusive Practices Award – Little Badgers Early Learning Programs of Windermere: Little Badgers welcomes children of diverse needs and cultural ethnicities, including Indigenous backgrounds, francophone, families of young or single parents, and children with extra support needs. The centre excels in providing an enriched environment for children with diverse needs and backgrounds.
“It is an honour to receive this prestigious award, and I could not be more grateful to work in the child care sector and for the opportunity to follow my passion for building meaningful relationships where everyone feels valued and has a sense of belonging,” Bourne said. “Working in the YMCA’s child care program at Bob & Kay Ackles YMCA Nanook House provided me the opportunity to work with a diverse community, and I gained experience by working together with the children, families and staff in providing an inclusive place to connect.”
In addition to ChildCareBC Awards of Excellence, 28 child care facilities with more than 40 years of service received the Child Care Legacy Award recognizing the generations of B.C. families they have been a part of.
Launched in 2008, the awards celebrate the achievements of individuals, organizations, school districts and local governments that help families and communities thrive by providing or supporting the delivery of quality child care in B.C.
- May is Child Care Month in B.C.
- Every two years, the ChildCareBC Awards of Excellence recognize the contributions that early childhood educators, licensed child care providers, non-profit and private organizations, businesses and local governments make throughout British Columbia.
- This year’s award recipients were chosen from 50 nominations submitted by peers, parents, child care advocates, local governments and other organizations.
For more information about the ChildCareBC Awards of Excellence, including award criteria and previous winners, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcarebcawards
To read about ChildCareBC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
For more information about becoming a licensed early childhood educator in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/earlychildhoodeducator
To learn about B.C.’s Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, and other ECE supports, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/ecestrategy
For more information about opening a child care business, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/space-creation-funding/open-licensed-child-day-care/licensed-child-care-facility
A backgrounder follows.