A Career That Makes A Difference
Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education is a non-profit educational environment overseen by a Board of Directors. At the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education we are proud to lay the foundation for the personal and professional development of our students.
NSCECE offers a two-year Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma program that is founded in several decades of research and developmentally appropriate practice. Students enrolled in the program are introduced to various courses dealing with children, families and the ECE profession and will acquire the knowledge, practices and skills that will develop high self-esteem, independence, and beginnings of social responsibilities.
The focus of their studies will be designing, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate curriculum ideas in an effort to support the growth and development of children from infancy to age 12. The program includes 870 classroom hours and 600 practicum hours. Students requiring flexibility in their schedule may enroll in evening courses on a part-time basis.
Graduates find employment in a variety of settings, including: childcare centres, schools, private home daycares, nursery schools, developmental centres. Over 95% of NSCECE graduates find ECE employment following graduation.
The program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. Financial Assistance is available.
Board of Directors
- Melanie McGrath, Treasurer: melanie.mc[email protected]
- Alana Milner, Vice Chair: [email protected]
- Natasha Gibb, Chair: [email protected]
- Katherine VanTassel, Board: [email protected]
- Andrea Forbes Hurley, Secretary: [email protected]
- Jewell Mitchell, Board: [email protected]
- Barb Meens Thistle, Board: [email protected]
- Michael Knickle, Chair Lab: [email protected]
Faculty & Staff
Jewell is the new Executive Director of NSCECE. A recognized leader in the non-profit sector, she has a career anchored in helping children and families thrive. Jewell’s collaborative leadership style has resulted in significant innovation and lasting impact in the communities where she works, such as the geographic expansion of family resource services for families across Annapolis County, and most recently, the establishment of the YW Jean E.S. Irving Centre of Women and Children – a $3.5 million project designed to provide multi-layered educational, employment, housing and childcare supports to women and children, in Greater Moncton community. Jewell’s commitment to social justice and willingness to use her voice to affect change, has led her to many decision-making tables, not to mention center stage at the United Nations, a life changing experience she writes about in the international best-selling anthology: Dreaming Big Being Bold, Inspiring Stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries, and Change Makers, Vol 1. An introvert at heart, Jewell spends her free time writing fiction and enjoying the outdoors with her husband Tim, their five young adult children, and Ollie – their Wonderdog.
Tel: 902 423.7114 Ext. 222
Fax: 902 423-3346
Janet has been active in the role of Registrar at NSCECE since 1991. She has seen over seven hundred students graduate from the early childhood educator’s program. As Registrar, she maintains student records and oversees the recruitment, admissions, and registration process. She has also developed courses in Communications, Research Issues and Interpersonal Skills. She is a certified facilitator for Personality Dimensions and Instructor at NSCECE.
In addition to teaching courses she also offers professional development workshops in team building and working well with families. Janet’s outside interests include: Zumba, Book Club and Dress for Success Halifax.
Phone: 902-423-7114 Ext. 226
Admissions and Recruitment
Kathleen has been with the college since 2007 and brings 30+ years’ work experience in the private and public sector. As Admissions Officer Kathleen provides a high standard of service in a friendly and welcoming manner and is a valuable team member. Her educational background includes Accounting Certificate, DRVS; Executive Secretarial Diploma, MSVU; Certified Professional Secretary®, International Association of Administrative Professionals; First Aid Instructor, St. John’s Ambulance.
Tel: 902 423-7114 Ext. 225
Student Success Coordinator
Juliana is a Social Worker since 2005. She came to Halifax in 2016 as an international student and has been working supporting post-secondary students in mental health and academic skills since then. Juliana is a graduate from University of Brasilia, Brazil (Bachelor of Social Work), University of Barcelona, Spain (Master of Women and Gender Studies), and Dalhousie University (Master of Social Work). She loves watercolours and cats.
Emily Martinello has been working with NSCECE since the fall of 2012, first as a practicum advisor and now as an instructor. She brings with her a background in Early Intervention, supporting families with young children with special needs. She came from Ontario to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Study at Mount Saint Vincent University, and recently completed her Master of Arts in Child and Youth Study.
She has been published in the Journal of Sexuality and Disability and provides workshops in the Early Learning and Care community about children’s healthy sexual development. She is passionate about lifelong learning and is thrilled to be part of a team that values education and collaboration.
Shannon has been in Early Childhood Education since 1989. She has had many wonderful and varied opportunities to work with young children and their families as a toddler educator, a centre director and a consultant. Shannon has a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, a Certificate in Adult Education and a Degree in Business Administration.
Shannon coordinates Practicum and Guided Workplace Experiences for NSCECE students. Child Care centres that are interested in hosting a practicum student and Early Childhood Educators interested in exploring the possibility of becoming a practicum advisor are also invited to contact Shannon.
Shannon also is the coordinator for our online learning platform. This is an exciting new venture that will help to meet the needs of our diverse workforce of current and future educators.
If you have any inquiries about practicum or online learning, you can reach Shannon at [email protected] or 902-423-7114 ext. 232.
Nadia has been working with NSCECE since the Summer of 2016, she works as our Graphic Designer. She took Graphic Design at NSCC Ivany Campus and Graduated in June 2009. To add to her skill set, Nadia returned to NSCC graduating in 2018 from Graphic and Print Production.
EYCDC Circulation Desk
Sarah is the library clerk at the Early Years Community Development Center, housed in the NSCECE building. She has a BA from St. Thomas University, and has worked in youth programming, special education and the public library setting. In her spare time, Sarah can be found hiking, painting, playing guitar or voraciously reading. Sarah is a firm believer in universal education and is thrilled to be a part of the NSCECE team!
Alicia Boutilier graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Child and Youth in 2004, and from the University of Maine at Presque Isle with an Elementary Education Degree, concentration k-8 in 2008. She continued her studies at Mount Saint Vincent University obtaining a certificate in Early Childhood Administration in 2012.
Alicia had spent several years travelling and teaching in elementary schools throughout Asia, Europe, United Kingdom and the United States. In 2011 Alicia had the opportunity to be involved in the construction of and the formation of Friends for Life Early Learning where she became the Director in September of 2011.
In 2019 Alicia joined NSCECE as a Pyramid Model Coach, a new position being offered to Pre-Primary classrooms and Early Learning Centres throughout NS.
Anne has worked in the childcare field for 18 years in various settings; daycares, camps, private homes and schools. She obtained a E.C.E certificate and Diploma from Enfield college in U.K. and after moving to Canada she received a Bachelors Arts degree in Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in Family studies as well as a Masters degree in Adult Education from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. She enjoys working with students, early childhood educators and early childhood professionals as a pyramid coach and as a staff member, helping people to grow and develop in the childcare field.
Elaine acquired her Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies from Concordia University in Montreal. She began her practice in Montreal then had the pleasure of continuing her work here in Halifax. She has close to 10 years of experience working in Early Childhood Education with children and their families. Previously, Elaine has worked with practicum students from the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Educators in the classroom by helping guide the students through a reflective process of learning. Presently, Elaine’s role at the college is a Pyramid Model Coach.
In her spare time, you can find Elaine reading a book in her hammock or hiking the scenic coastline of Nova Scotia.
Pyramid Model Coach NSCECE/EYCDC
I am an Early Childhood Educator that believes “Every child should have an Early Childhood Educator Who’s Heart beats a little faster when a child accomplishes a new skill.”
I have worked in the childcare sector for 28 years in various positions. As a Professional Early Childhood Educator, my experiences were primarily working with children between 18 months to 5 years, while mentoring and coaching other educators within a collaborative team approach. As an Inclusion Coordinator, I seen the real benefits of a collaborative team of stakeholders (child, educator, family, and other para professionals) who believed working together supports the well being of the child’s development in a quality play based inclusive environment. During these years in the field, I had the opportunity to be a Practicum Advisor/Classroom Mentor for Practicum Students with NSCECE and MSVU. This opportunity provided me an area to strengthen my skills and growth in authentic mentoring and coaching experiences with adults as they learn to become Early Childhood Educators while on practicums. Finally, in the role as an Executive Director of Non-Profit Centres, it gave me an in-depth reflective lens perspective of leadership, coaching and mentorship. To develop a true understanding that positive relationship-based foundations create a positive culture are the key to success for children and educators.
I obtained my ECE Diploma from Holland College P.E.I Level II with a Supervisors Certificate in 1993. In 2010 I was the recipient of The Early Learning and Care Award of Excellence in Practice from the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia. Over the years I have gained experience, strengthened skills and practice-based knowledge in Leadership, Mentoring, Coaching Early Childhood Educators in providing enriched Inclusive & Diverse programs while supporting children, their families and educators. My passion is working closely with all stakeholders, for children to play learn and develop in enriched relationship-based environments.
Lab School Director (Akerley) / Faculty
Karen Patterson is the Centre Director of Akerley Child Care Centre, located in the Akerley campus of NSCC in Dartmouth. The centre is one of three Lab Schools affiliated with the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education. We offer quality child care for 53 families within our community serving children from 4 months-5 years. Karen is a faculty advisor for the Guided Work Experience program of the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education.
Karen graduated from Mount Saint Vincent with an Bachelor of Arts degree in 1994, and from St. Joseph’s College of Early Childhood Education with an Early Childhood Education Diploma 1994. She continued her studies at Mount Saint Vincent University obtaining a certificate in Early Childhood Administration.
In her spare time Karen can be found at the lake enjoying time with her family.
Lab School Designate (Leeds Street)
Jessica Landry is an Early Childhood Educator with over ten years’ experience working with young children. Jessica has been working with NSCECE since May 2010, first as an Educator at Leeds Street Child Care Centre and more recently continuing her passion with lifelong learning with education and mentoring as a Practicum Advisor to students and educators. Still working at Leeds Street Child Care Centre Jessica was recognized for her innovation and excellence in the field and was the 2019 Prime Minister Award Recipient of Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Jessica is gaining experience and knowledge in leadership and mentoring through many administrative roles and responsibilities. Jessica is pursuing her Early Childhood Administrator – Continuing Education Course at Mount Saint Vincent University.
Lab School Designate (Mawio'mi)
Sheri received her Early Childhood Education diploma from St. Joseph’s College in 1998. Since graduation she had the privilege of working along side many great mentors and ECE’s. In 2003 she joined NSCECE, Akerley Child Care Centre as an educator, but then pursued a role as practicum advisor, contact teacher and most recently designate. In 2018, she attended MSVU for the ECE administration course and since then has been putting these skills into her daily work. In August 2020 she accepted a transferred and is now working at one of our sister locations Mawio’mi Child Care Center.
Sheri enjoys spending her downtime with her husband and 3 children. If she isn’t at the rink you can find her at the ballfield always cheering on her children and their teams.
Hello, I’m Susan I live in Dartmouth with my cat Callum. I have a grown son, Justin who lives in Dartmouth as well. In my spare time I love to paint, knit and sew. I work at Tallahassee Children’s Centre as Assistant Director and teach Preschool and in the School Age Program. I’ve worked with children professionally since 1992 after graduating from St. Joseph’s College, now known as Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education. I’ve done many courses and workshops since graduating trying to keep on top of what’s current in the field, including completing my Certification in Early Childhood. I have attended the Management in Early Childhood Setting course at Mount Saint Vincent and obtained my Adult Education Certification from Dalhousie University. I’ve taught Music for Young Children at Jane Norman College and I also work for N.S.C.E.C.E teaching Play as Curriculum. I’m looking forward to meeting students and giving them support on their journey to becoming an Early childhood Educator!
I love to learn which motivates me to teach.
Jennifer has been an Early Childhood Educator for more than 20 years and has co-learned in play-based environments with children of various ages. Since completing her Early Childhood Education Diploma at Seneca College and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at York University, Jennifer continues to learn and grow, and is fascinated by how relationships shape learning. Most of Jennifer’s experience as an Early Childhood Educator has taken place at a large childcare centre in Toronto where she had the opportunity to create meaningful learning communities with children and families, as well as mentor Early Childhood Education students from a variety of colleges. After some time spent in supervisory roles at two child care centres, Jennifer worked within the public sector as a Child Care Consultant providing support and guidance to early learning staff within licensed child care centres. Currently, Jennifer is enjoying her work within the Public Libraries system, as she creates warm and supportive learning environments for children and their families. Jennifer is passionate about building joyful communities where children can thrive.
Shannon graduated as an Early Childhood Educator 25+ years ago, following the completion of a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology/Psychology. After receiving her ECE diploma, Shannon worked in before/after school child care programs, kindergarten child care programs and operated a home child care program. In 2002, Shannon was hired by the Municipal Government as a Resource Consultant in an Ontario Early Years Centre and then moved to the role of regional Early Literacy Specialist. In 2007 Shannon accepted the position of Supervisor responsible for the operations of four regional Ontario Early Years Centres, the Data Analysis Coordinator Program, Infant Hearing Screening, Child Care Fee Subsidy, Early Literacy Consultation and Child Care Quality Improvement supports. In 2017, Shannon was appointed to the position of Children’s Services Department Manager and continues to work in this role where she is responsible for the planning and service management of a child care and early years system serving thirteen municipalities with a total population of 100,000 people.
Jane Cawley is an early childhood/adult educator with 45 years of experience working with children, families, and educators. After retiring as the Executive Director of NSCECE in 2016 Jane joined the Lawson Foundation funded Physical Literacy in the Early Years (PLEY) Project at Dalhousie University. She can also be found teaching a course or two at MSVU and at NSCECE. Jane is committed to excellence in the education of young children and in the education and professional development of those who teach them.
Taylor has been working with NSCECE since Autumn 2020. She brings with her a background in supporting infants, young children, and their families holistically as a birth and postpartum doula, infant massage instructor, program facilitator, and director of a play space in a family resource centre.
Her guiding philosophy is that nurturing, centering, and uplifting families is our role as members of “the village” that raise our next generation. Taylor completed her degree in Child and Youth Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, and her thesis research explored the historical emergence and patterns of child rearing advice to mothers from the early 20th century to present.
Erin has been working with young children for over 15 years. She specializes in working with children with disabilities, both locally and internationally. She received a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University where she completed a thesis researching alternative therapies for young children with mental health concerns.
Maggie began working in the field of early childhood education in 2007. She has worked in childcare and family resource, and taught pre-primary at Armbrae Academy and the Shambhala School. More recently, she was involved in two research projects at Ryerson University, exploring social inclusion of children with disabilities, and ‘race’ and racism in early childhood education. She also worked as an instructor in the undergraduate Early Childhood Studies program at Ryerson, supervising practicum students.
In 2019, Maggie returned to Halifax after six years in Toronto. She joined the NSCECE team in the summer of 2020.
Maggie holds an MA in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson and a BA in Child and Youth Studies from MSVU.
She doesn’t have much spare time these days, but if she did, she would love to run, cycle, swim, bake, and read a book. She is usually found chasing after her two young sons.
Cathy Ramos is an early childhood educator who began her work in the sector more than 20 years ago. Her experiences include working with children of all ages; supporting children and families in inclusive childcare programs; team building and supporting ECEs in an administrative role; and currently supporting childcare programs as an Early Childhood Development Consultant. Cathy is also an adult educator and has been NSCECE faculty as well as a facilitator for a variety of professional development opportunities. Being active in the field of early childhood is also very important to Cathy as she has had voluntary roles on the boards of directors of the NSCCA and the Canadian Child Care Federation.
Valerija has over 25 years of professional experience working with children, youth and families in various roles such as: Early Childhood Educator, Child Mental Health Worker, Youth Care Worker and Educational Support Worker. She is originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina and immigrated to Canada during a war in her homeland.
Valerija obtained a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from a Teacher’s College in her country, then continued her education in Canada. She graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Sociology (2000) and Masters in Child and Youth Study (2004). In her research thesis, she focused on immigrant youth from the Former Yugoslavia and their experiences as newcomers in Canada.
Valerija has been working at the IWK Health Centre with the Mental Health and Addictions Program supporting children, youth and families within the Adolescent Intensive Services. She also presented several workshops at the NSCECE, offered as professional development for Early Childhood Educators.
Valerija is currently enrolled in the Adult Education Certificate program at Dalhousie University.
Sarah Silver has worked in Early Childhood Education since 1998. She has had the opportunity to work in varying settings with children and families across Nova Scotia.
She has a Diploma in Early Childhood Studies, Degree in Child and Youth Study and Certificate in Management in Early Childhood.
Sarah has worked as an ECE in Family Resource Centres, Child Care Centres, and Respite Care with children of all ages. Her passion for supporting children and families in inclusive early learning programs led her to support and mentor ECEs in administrative roles as a Program Coordinator as well as Executive Director.
Sarah has a passion for learning, facilitation, and resource development. Currently Sarah supports Early Learning Programs as an Early Childhood Development Consultant.
Pamela Snow is an Early Childhood Educator with over seven years’ experience working with young children. She has been working with NSCECE since the spring of 2012, first as an educator at Leeds Street Child Care Centre in Halifax, and more recently as an Inclusion Coordinator and Practicum Advisor. Born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2007. She moved to Halifax in 2009 with her husband Vincent, and in 2012 she graduated from NSCECE with a diploma in Early Childhood Education. She is passionate about education and mentoring students and fellow educators. She has held professional development workshops at NSCECE as well as the wider community, and she is currently pursuing a certificate in Adult Education at Dalhousie University.
Susan has been in the ECE profession for over 30 years in various roles, such as: Early Childhood Educator, Director, Practicum Advisor, College Instructor and Consultant. She has worked in both Canada and the U.S., and is particularly interested in curriculum approaches, literacy, and art. She presents and writes regularly on these topics, and is inspired by approaches from Reggio Emilia and inquiry-based practices.
Susan studied at MSVU here in Halifax and at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, CA.
Courteny is from a small village located in Guysborough County, she now resides just outside of HRM. She graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University and has experience working in childcare settings as well as experience as a Behavioural Interventionist in British Columbia working primarily with children who have Autism, she is currently the lead ECE for a Pre-Primary program within HRCE and absolutely loves it.
In her spare time Courteny can be found with her family, camping and swimming are some of their favourite activities. She also enjoys crafting especially with her Cricut.
Sue Willis is the Executive Director of Point Pleasant Child Care Centre, a non-profit organization with three locations in Halifax. She is also the President of Willis & Associates, Early Learning and Care Consultants, part time faculty at the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education and a long-time advocate for quality early learning and care programs for young children.