We are thrilled to share that our Cranberry Eco Preschool Coordinator, Daniela D’Onofrio, was awarded the Regional Award of Excellence for the Vancouver Coastal Region in this year’s provincial Child Care Awards of Excellence.
Anyone who knows Daniela knows just how warranted this is! “We nominated Daniela because of her commitment and passion to our preschool for an entire generation now. The pandemic just brought her dedication into the spotlight,” Ocean van Samang, our Director of Child and Family Services told us. “Daniela brought her usual ability to listen to the needs of the community, stay open-minded, find creative solutions, and work tirelessly to adapt the program so we could provide care to as many families in our community as possible.”
Daniela completed her Early Childhood Education at Vancouver Island University and has been enjoying her work in the field for 20 years. She’s worked in both inclusion Powell River’s Supported Child Development program and Preschool.
While the Cranberry Eco Preschool has always had an outdoor focus, at the onset of the pandemic Daniela made accommodations to the space so that the preschool could be run entirely outdoors. After successfully applying for a grant last spring, she had a raised-bed learning garden built for the children, as a further learning tool. Old pegs and plywood were repurposed to create undercover outdoor spaces to hang backpacks and artwork outdoors. We’re proud to say that our classes have remained full throughout the pandemic, and that there’s already a waitlist for next year’s class.
Ocean describes Daniela as “truly seeing the individual gifts that each child brings. She is dedicated to creating an inclusive, magical space for children to learn and thrive, however that looks for them. The fact that she has done this during a pandemic is all the more impressive.”
The annual BC Child Care Awards of Excellence honour outstanding achievements of individuals, Daniela will be celebrated in the 2021 Child Care Awards of Excellence ceremony, taking place online this year. The ceremony will air on the BC Government Youtube channel on Tuesday, May 25th, 2021. We’ll add the link here when we have it!