Chatham Day Care Center, National Inclusive Education Award Recipient for 2020

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Staff of the Chatham Day Care Center, Miramichi

The staff of the Chatham Day Care Center have created a truly inclusive environment where all children are welcomed and embraced for who they are and their abilities as individuals. Daily learning activities are based on the individual strengths of children and the centre uses these strengths to support children with their specific challenges.

The staff truly care about their roles in early learning and demonstrate strong leadership for inclusive practices both within the early childhood sector and their region. The educators are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure each child succeeds, and are committed and dedicated to ensuring a sense of belonging for each child.

The Center’s continuous work with families and community partners creates a circle of support. Inclusion is not just a policy but an essential part of their everyday practice. The Early Learning team have created an exemplary environment where all children are welcomed and embraced for who they are and what they can do as individuals.

Heather Fowler’s child has been at Chatham Day Care Center since he was 9 months old. At around 25 months, her child was formally diagnosed with Non-Verbal Moderate Autism. The staff at the Center were instrumental in encouraging and supporting her during the diagnosis process. Her child is now 9 years old and attends the Center’s after-school program.

Heather says her child was never excluded or had limitations placed on him. The Chatham Day Care Center has become an extended family that has celebrated every milestone with Heather and her child. The team even helped create a pilot initiative with the transition from the Center to the school for Heather’s child that was so successful that it was recommended as a standard practice by the school.

Heather credits the team at Chatham Day Care Center as a primary reason her child now uses words and is passing grade 4 with accommodations instead of modifications. Through every change in development and behavior issues as her child has matured, the team at the Center have fostered a supportive, welcoming and inclusive environment.

There is no doubt that inclusion at Chatham Day Care Center is heartfelt. With heart and passion, they consistently foster an environment that exemplifies inclusion.

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