Welcome to the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board’s (TBDSSAB) Child Care and Early Years Portal. This Portal is designed to facilitate communication with Child Care and EarlyON service providers who have a service agreement with the TBDSSAB.

Should you have any difficulties navigating the site please e-mail early.years@tbdssab.ca.

News & Updates

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Subject: The Courage to Listen Differently

“Listening is a complex state. It involves the abandoning of oneself as we come to know that we are only one being within this vast universe.”

(Carlina Rinaldi, 2001)

The Reggio Emilia Aotearoa New Zealand (REANZ) has extended access to their free webinar about listening differently. This is part of a two-part series with the first webinar being available for three more months and the second webinar becoming available on August 30th.

These webinars are “an opportunity for educators to reflect on the critical role of listening and how this permeates the everyday choices we make when we work with children. Kirsty Liljegren and Fiona Zinn will draw on the thinking of the Reggio Emilia Approach alongside their personal perspectives which hold listening at the heart of practice” (REANZ, 2021).

You can access the first webinar here: https://www.reanz.org/events

Monday, August 16, 2021

Subject: Indigenous Knowledge Exchange- Food Sovereignty

The Indigenous Professional Learning Team is extending an invitation to early years professionals to attend an upcoming Knowledge Exchange Gathering.

September 22, 2021 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT

This month Elders, Knowledge Keepers and early years professionals will share about the importance of Indigenous food sovereignty in relation to belonging, wellbeing, expression and engagement for children in the early years.

Click HERE to register by Monday September 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm EDT.

Thursday, August 8, 2021

Subject: Kindful Psychology

Kindful Psychology is a clinical psychology practice in Thunder Bay with some great resources on mindfulness and self-compassion. We have added the following resources under the Educator Resources section:

  • Feelings Chart
  • How Would I Treat a Friend?
  • Mindfulness of Feelings and Thoughts

Visit their website for more resources and ideas, including pre-recorded meditations: https://www.kindfulpsych.com/resources

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Subject: Upcoming Events

“Listening is a complex state. It involves the abandoning of oneself as we come to know that we are only one being within this vast universe”

Carlina Rinaldi, 2001

View our Calendar for upcoming events!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Subject: Indigenous Knowledge Exchange-Indigenous Song and Dance in the Early Years

The Indigenous Professional Learning Team is extending an invitation to early years professionals to attend our upcoming Knowledge Exchange Gathering.

July 21, 2020 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT

This month Elders, Knowledge Keepers and early years professionals will share about the importance of Indigenous song and dance in relation to belonging, wellbeing, expression and engagement for children in the early years.

Be sure to register by Monday July 19, 2020 at 4:00 pm EDT.

Click HERE to register.

July 21, 2020 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT

This month Elders, Knowledge Keepers and early years professionals will share about the importance of Indigenous song and dance in relation to belonging, wellbeing, expression and engagement for children in the early years.

Be sure to register by Monday July 19, 2020 at 4:00 pm EDT.

Please click the link to register.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Subject: New Resources

Have a look at the new mental health and well-being resources that we’ve added under Resources>Educator Resources>Mental Health & Well-Being.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Subject: Upcoming Gathering

We are excited to announce that Lori Huston will be sharing her graduating work from the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education program at UBC. Please e-mail us at early.years@tbdssab.ca to join us for this amazing learning opportunity.

Subject: Pedagogical Documentation

We had a wonderful conversation last week about pedagogical documentation. Three educators joined us who each play a different role in our community – one educator in child care, one supervisor of a before and after school program, and one EarlyON coordinator. This diversity of experience made for a unique dialogue and the opportunity to share different perspectives. We all read the article, Curiosity, Curriculum, and Collaboration Entwined: Reflections on Pedagogical Documentation by Pat Tarr.

As we discussed the article, an interesting dialogue came up around interrupting children’s play. Traditionally, we have been taught to ask children open-ended questions – “what are you building?” “what do you think will happen when you stack another block on top?” We felt that this can sometimes interrupt and change the direction of children’s play, and we agreed that we should be thoughtful in deciding when is a good time to enter children’s play and ask questions. It was said that we need to give ourselves permission to take a step back and observe more.

As the conversation continued, we began thinking about how educators pick and choose what they feel is worth documenting. Tarr (2010) states in the article that “what we choose to document reveals and reflects back to us what we consider important, as well as help us to see ourselves as educators within the educational relationship” (p. 12). This conversation reminded some of us about another article by Pat Tarr that talked about ethics and biases in pedagogical documentation. We shared mixed feelings about this article, and some of us plan to dig a little deeper to decide if or how the information fits with our practice.  You can access the article here: Reflections and Shadows: Ethical Issues in Pedagogical Documentation,.

Finally, one of the educators bravely shared her documentation with us. She wondered, “is this documentation?” There isn’t one right way to document children’s learning; taking time to practice documenting and experimenting with different techniques can help educators to feel more confident. We discussed our questions and curiosities about this documentation, and a new idea was shared about “stories from home” (Hedges, 2010). Essentially, “stories from home” is a form that goes home for families to fill out and share a story that took place with their child outside of the early learning setting – it’s getting the families to document!! We discussed that this would be a great way of getting to know children and families better, and building stronger connections between, for example, child care and home.

Let us know what you think about these ideas, or about the articles provided, by e-mailing us at early.years@tbdssab.ca.


Hedges, H. (2010). Blurring the boundaries: Connecting research, practice and professional learning. Cambridge Journal of Education, 40(3), 299-314. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2010.502884

Tarr, P. (2010). Curiosity, curriculum, and collaboration entwined: Reflections on pedagogical documentation. Canadian Children, 35(2), 10-14.

Tarr, P. (2011). Reflections and shadows: Ethical issues in pedagogical documentation. Canadian Children, 36(2), 11-16.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Subject: Communicating with Parents During the Pandemic

We wanted to say a special thank you to Ari Vainio and Jaymie Rusnak for hosting a conversation on communicating with parents during COVID-19. Ari and Jaymie had many clever ideas to support communication with families during these trying times. One unique example is their “virtual playdates”. Ari and Jaymie have scheduled times where families can pop in on Zoom and have a virtual visit in the program. This allows parents to get acquainted with the environment where their child spends so much of their day, and to meet some of the other children that their child plays with. Another creative idea that they shared was offering parents the option of going for a social-distanced walk (when the public health direction allows). Ari and Jaymie shared that they would go for social-distanced walks throughout the Lakehead University campus with families as a way of getting to know each other better. This provided families with a sense of comfort and trust in knowing who they are leaving their child with each day.

While there were many great ideas shared throughout the conversation, we were still left feeling like it wasn’t enough, and that we wish we could have a closer relationship with families right now. This presented as a good reminder for all of us that we are doing the best we can in the circumstances that we are dealt with currently.

Let us know how you’ve been connecting with families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by e-mailing us at early.years@tbdssab.ca.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Subject: Vaccines

Visit the Ontario Newsroom for updated information about what is happening in our province regarding vaccines: https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/60570/populations-eligible-for-phase-two-covid-19-vaccination

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Subject: Survey

We would like to continue planning wellness initiatives and professional development opportunities. In order to do so effectively, we would like to gather some information from you. We are asking you to please take 5 minutes to complete our survey. Click HERE to begin.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Subject: Mental Health and Well-Being

We are continuing to build a list of resources to support mental health and well-being throughout this difficult time. Check back frequently to see what has been added. The resources can be found under Resources > Educator Resources > Mental Health and Well-Being. We encourage you to share these with your colleagues, and anyone else who may find them helpful.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Subject: Wage Enhancement Grant

Attention child care operators, for access to the 2021 wage enhancement grant application templates, please visit our website: http://www.tbdssab.ca/child-care-services/

Monday March 8, 2021

Subject: International Women’s Day

Did you know that 97% of Canada’s early learning and child care workforce are women? We wanted to take the time today to say how grateful we are to work alongside so many amazing women who are supporting children and families in our community!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Subject: Dominant Discourses and Alternative Narratives

“there are many stories to be told, each one of which deserves listening to and each one of which can be questioned or contested” (Moss, 2019, p. 7)

One of the influential people for us currently is Peter Moss who is an emeritus professor of early childhood provision at UCL Institute of Education, University College London. Moss is the author of many articles and books regarding early childhood education.

Peter Moss likes to talk about early childhood education in relation to stories. He quotes Bruner (1990) when he says “mankind has an innate tendency to communicate and to make sense of existence through stories (Moss, 2019, p. 4). Synonyms for “story” are discourse and narrative. Moss talks about “dominant discourses” and “alternative narratives” in early childhood education. He describes a dominant discourse as one that has become particularly influential, or “mainstream” (Moss, 2019). Dominant discourses have a powerful influence as they insist they are “the only way to think, talk and behave” (Moss, 2019, p. 5).

We live in a time where there is a very strong dominant discourse of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism has framed much of our lives over the past 30-40 years (Moss, 2020) and has become deeply entrenched in our thinking. At its core, neoliberalism focuses on standardisation and accountability (Baltodana, 2012) and can be summed up by the quote “what gets measured gets managed” (Moss, 2019). This may help to explain why we have been focused on quality for so long. Quality is well within the neoliberal discourse as it identifies standards and is a measurement for accountability. Therefore, quality too is a dominant discourse.

Peter Moss, and many others, are suggesting that we need to come up with alternatives to these dominant discourses. He reminds us that we all have different perspectives and values which means that there does not have to be one right answer or one single way of doing things. In particular, he suggests that the way we think about and do education does not have one right answer. He believes that those who feel there is only one right way to do education are denying diversity and complexity (Moss, 2020).

As a result of this thinking, Peter Moss has adopted the concept of “alternative narratives”. Alternative narratives include other theories and perspectives (stories) that resist mainstream thinking. They allow for multiplicity and choice in the way we view early childhood education, and what we believe is important. As an example, alternatives to mainstream thinking include: Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, Montessori, and Te Whāriki. We are not looking to have you recreate one of these pedagogies; our new approach is not about recreating and making more of the same. We are hoping that you will learn alongside us, listen to the many different ways of thinking about early childhood education, and define what is important to you and what “story” you would like to tell about early childhood education.

Peter Moss does attest that it can be difficult and unsettling to break free from dominant discourses and embrace alternatives because the dominant discourses (e.g. neoliberalism and quality) have become so commonplace.  However, we, as a community, are experimenting with an alternative. We are confident that there are better alternatives to quality and we believe in the potential of our community (you) to think in new and revolutionary ways. As stated by Foucault (1988), “As soon as one no longer thinks things as one formerly thought them, transformation becomes very urgent, very difficult and quite possible” (as cited by Moss, 2020, p. 106)


Baltodana, O. (2012). Neoliberalism and the demise of public education: The corporatization of schools of education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25, 1487–1507. doi:10.1080/09518398.2012.673025

Moss, P. (2019). Alternative narratives in early childhood: An introduction for students and practitioners. Routledge.

Pacini-Ketchabaw, V. & Moss, P. (2020, July). Early childhood pedagogy: Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw interviews Peter Moss. Journal of Childhood Studies, 45(2), 98-111.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Subject: The Gift of Togetherness

The staff at Kanata Research Park Family Centre have put together an exhibit to “[celebrate] the sounds of children, of families, of nature and living things, of imagination, of democracy, of community, of tension, of reunion, and of connection” (para. 2). They reflected on the eerie sound of quiet within the child care centre when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down their programs, and the beautiful sounds when the children returned.

You can find a link to the virtual exhibit in the COVID-19 section of our Portal.

Sound Waves, Gia age 5

Monday, February 22, 2021

Subject: Challenge & Complexity

Friday February 19, 2021

Subject: What story could you tell?

HDLH Bus Tour, 2019

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board recently offered a survey regarding staff well-being. Some of the feedback from this survey was to support staff through re-connecting and opportunities to support mental health.

We know that many of the staff working in child care and EarlyON programs in our communities have strengths and talents to inspire, showcase, and bring comfort to others. Do you or does your centre have a skill to share? A story to tell? Perhaps you have a colleague that has a gift that you recognize others should see. Whether it’s documentation, cooking, crafting, or storytelling, we would like to hear what you could share virtually among our community!

Submit your idea to us at early.years@tbdssab.ca

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Subject: All the Daze Youth Virtual Art Gallery

ALL THE DAZE Productions is offering a new stage to showcase youth’s creativity.

Beginning February 14, 2021, All the DAZE Productions began a virtual art gallery to showcase youth art. This includes drawing, painting, modelling, photography, hand work and sculpture. This is being organized by Marcia Arpin, Executive Director of Nanabijou Child Care Centre.

Beginning March 1, 2021, more submissions will be accepted. Please email alllthedaze@gmail.com samples (or photos) of artwork for consideration. Marcia will respond with additional details if needed. There will be a Preschool Gallery, Junior Gallery (ages 5-7), A Senior Gallery (ages 8-12) and Highschool Gallery (ages 13-18).

To view the gallery, visit: www.allthedaze.ca or search for All the DAZE Productions on social media platforms

Marcia says that she is looking forward to building a collection of COVID creativity!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Subject: College of ECE Connexions Article- Does learning about anti-Black racism count as a professional learning activity? Absolutely!

Did you know that February is Black History Month? We would like to share with you this article from the College of ECE’s Publication Connexions: Does learning about anti-Black racism count as a professional learning activity? Absolutely! Please click HERE to read the article.

This article discusses the importance of listening to the voices and learning from experiences of Black members of communities as a foundational component of anti-bias and anti-racism work. It also encourages members of the college to consider choosing learning about anti-Black racism as part of your Continuous Professional Learning.

Keep in mind that anti-racism work should take place all year and is part of our ethical work as Registered Early Childhood Educators. The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Indicates, “The College has a legislated mandate ‘to establish and enforce professional standards and ethical standards that are applicable to members of the College and that demonstrate a respect for diversity and a sensitivity to the multicultural character of the Province’ (ECE Act, 2007).” Please click HERE to view The College’s Statement of Commitment to Anti-Racism.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Subject: Early Childhood Community Development Centre Podcast

For your information, the Early Childhood Community Development Centre (ECCDC) has created FREE podcasts related to the field of Early Childhood Education. Some examples of topics include: Recognizing Educators’ Dedication and Cultivating Well-Being, How to Cultivate Culture for Learning in Challenging Times, and Rethinking Documentation Strategies in this Challenging Time. Click HERE to stream the podcast on your device.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Subject: French Professional Learning

Attention all Francophone educators in the District of Thunder Bay. The AFÉSÉO has several upcoming webinars. A couple have been added to our Calendar, and you can find information regarding the series “les webinaires qui font fleurir” HERE.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Subject: Virtual Yoga with Kimberly Veneziale

On February 25, the TBDSSAB is hosting a 1-hour gentle yoga class with Kimberly Veneziale. Kimberly is a fun and energetic yoga instructor. She has been certified since 2013 and has been spreading peace, kindness and relaxation to the community of Thunder Bay ever since.

If you are new to yoga, we still encourage you to join us… take time for you, rejuvenate, and at the very least Kimberly never fails to make her yogis laugh!

This class is free of charge and more information can be found on our Calendar of events.

Wednesday February 3, 2021

Subject: Virtual Walking Challenge

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is hosting a Virtual Walking Challenge. We encourage you and your team to participate.

There are 3 $25 gift cards up for raffle for all participants, and you can set any goal that works for you (for example, 15 minutes a day, every day). Walking is a great way to relieve stress and get some fresh air. Educators can also consider including the children in this challenge or inviting families to participate!

Click HERE for more information and to sign up for the Virtual Walking Challenge.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Subject: Piazza ORA

The TBDSSAB pedagogical team will be participating in this year’s Piazza ORA (see information below). We encourage you to reach out to us if you are interested in this opportunity; a group of 6 or more from our community will allow everyone to receive a discounted rate. Please contact us by Friday, February 5th to express your interest in joining us for the group rate, early.years@tbdssab.ca.

The Ontario Reggio Association is providing an extraordinary opportunity to engage with Tiziana Filippini, pedagogista from Reggio Emilia, over the course of four encounters. This also includes four interim gatherings (a total of eight gatherings altogether).

Piazza ORA 2021 Dates
February 16 6:30-7:30 pm (introduction with participants only)
February 23 12:30-2:30 pm
March 9 6:30-8:00 (interim session with participants only)
March 30 12:30-2:30 pm
April 13 6:30-8:00 (interim session with participants only)
April 27 12:30-2:30 pm
May 11 6:30-8:00 (interim session with participants only)
May 25 12:30-2:30 pm

The focus this year will be on intentionality in the teacher’s role as co-protagonist of learning. Intentionality is key in shaping activities, knowing what to document and when and how to respond while allowing children to learn together in relationship. Understanding better the role of the adult in children’s learning can be the thread that is woven through our “across the province” action research projects.

Please click HERE for more information.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Subject: Well-Being Resources for Educators


The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board recognizes that this is a challenging time for all of our educators working front-line in programs. We really appreciate the hard work that you do. We have attached two resources that may be helpful for educators who are experiencing stress.

Both resources come from the Cognitive Behavioural Interpersonal Skills Manual (CBIS). This is a Canadian resource published in 2015. The first resource is titled Wellness Activities. This can help anyone incorporate more activities to support good mental health and well-being. The second resource we are sharing is called Stress Busters, which offers some simple and quick activities that can be done to relieve stress.

Wellness Activities

Stress Busters

We encourage you to print and share these resources with your staff. Additionally, educators can perform these stress busters alongside the children and demonstrate ways that children can also relieve stress.

We will continue to support operators and educators to foster a sense of well-being among programs. Thank you for all that you do for children and families! If you have suggestions for content, please email us at early.years@tbdssab.ca

CBIS_Manual_0409.indd (gpscbc.ca)

Wednesday, January 27, 2020

Subject: Coronaphobia Virtual Talk

Hello everyone,

We apologize that this is last minute, but we came across a webinar that we thought may be of interest to some. We know that the pandemic has been very hard on our mental health and well-being so we are hoping to find more ways to support you through these tough times.

Northern Hearts is offering a free webinar at 7pm TONIGHT titled “Coronaphobia”. Dr. Meaghan Labine, MD, MSC, PhD, CCFP from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine will be speaking about how the fear of contracting COVID-19 impacts our daily lives and will offer recommendations on how individuals can protect their mental health during the pandemic.

Click HERE for more information.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Subject: Belonging

Date: January 22, 2021

Subject: What is Pedagogy?

The College of Early Childhood Educators developed a Practice Guideline in July 2020 on Pedagogical Practice. In this Practice Guideline, the College defines pedagogy as follows:

“Pedagogy is the understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy and practice that supports that understanding of learning. Pedagogical thought is growing in complexity and must consider diverse and changing contexts (Vintimilla, 2019). Across Canada, and internationally, there are growing theoretical and practical discussions that describe pedagogy as a way of being that sparks conversations about life, the environment, community and relationships (CECE, 2020, p. 4).”

As you reflect on this definition of pedagogy, we encourage you to consider:

  • Does this definition resonate with you?
  • Would you define pedagogy in a different way? If so, how?
  • In what ways are you currently involved in pedagogical practice?

We welcome you to share your thinking with us by e-mailing us at early.years@tbdssab.ca.

Thursday, October 10th

Friday, January 8, 2020

Subject: Seminar

Please visit the Calendar for an upcoming learning opportunity: On The Practice of Seeing Children: Photographs in Early Childhood

Monday, January 4, 2021

Subject: Mr. Rogers

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Subject: Dalai Lama

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Subject: Season’s Greetings!

Tuesday, October 20

Subject: Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day

To join us in celebrating, find our events on the Calendar and click the Zoom link.

Friday, October 9th

Subject: Child Care and Early Years Act Review

The Ministry of Education  is seeking feedback on proposed regulatory amendments under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA). 

Please see the following documents:

We encourage you to provide the ministry with your comments no later than November 20, 2020. You can send your response by e-mail to: CCEYA_consultation@ontario.ca 

Thursday, October 10th
Subject: ECE Qualifications Upgrade Program – October 2020 

The ECE Qualifications Upgrade Program will be offering free webinars in English and French see HERE for more details.

Friday, September 18th

Subject: RESCHEDULED Web Cafe featuring special guest Karen Longridge- Wednesday October 7th, 2020 9AM-10AM

Join us for the next Web Cafe, where we will enjoy an open discussion on supporting children’s mental health in child care with Karen Longridge, MSW RSW, Social Worker with the Preschool Assessment Consultation Program at the Children’s Centre Thunder Bay.  Please email early.years@tbdssab.ca to register.

Tuesday September 15th 

Subject: Ontario Aboriginal Head Start Association- Knowledge Exchange Gathering

Indigenous Professional Learning Opportunities
Knowledge Exchange Gathering
If you registered on September 8, 2020 for the Knowledge exchange please register again as we have had technical difficulties with registration.  We apologize for any inconvenience.
Reflecting on How Does Learning Happen?: Ontario’s Pedagogy for Early Years in Urban Indigenous Communities
The Indigenous Professional Learning Opportunities is extending an invitation to early years professionals to attend our upcoming Knowledge Exchange Gathering.
September 23, 2020 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EST
This month Elders, Knowledge Keepers and early years professionals will share this new opportunity and explore Indigenous Pedagogy.   

Be sure to register by Monday September 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm EST.

Please click here to register.

Tuesday, September 8th

Subject: Returning to Child Care; Preparing ourselves and our Children presentation for families

Children’s Centre Thunder Bay has created a video called Returning to Child Care; Preparing ourselves and our children. This video has been uploaded to the CCTB website and can be accessed using the link below:


The video is a 30 minute presentation for families when introducing a child to the early learning environment in the age of COVID-19. It focuses on building new life-skills with children and encouraging open and respectful communication between caregivers and staff in the context of a constantly changing situation.

Please feel free to share this link with families. 

Friday, September 4th

Subject: Engaging with Families

A Child Care program who was able to provide Emergency Child Care services in Kingston writes, “We were apprehensive about parents not being permitted to come into into the centre, however, the staff found effective ways to use electronic communication with families (notes/photos etc.) so not seeing their child’s teacher face to face was not an issue at all; in fact we have received so much positive feedback from families that they feel very involved and informed about what is happening at the centre even though they have not set foot indoors” (Ontario, 2020, p.3)!

What are some ways that you can invite feedback from and engage with families while maintaining physical distancing? E-mail us at early.years@tbdssab.ca!

Friday, August 14th, 2020

Subject: Quote

“The toy in the child’s hand is alive.”

-Magda Gerber

Wednesday, August 8th, 2020

Subject: Valuing Educators as Child Care Re-Opens

The Building on How Does Learning Happen? document states that “Involving educators in planning for reopening right from the beginning, values their expertise and ideas and is critical for a successful reopening.” It further goes on to say that “Educators who experience being valued contributors will be better able to support children and their families during the re-opening transition” (Ontario, 2020, p. 3).

We want to know how you feel educators can be involved at your centre! Send us an e-mail with your ideas so we can share them on the Portal! early.years@tbdssab.ca

Friday, July 31st, 2020

Subject: Web Café Survey

The TBDSSAB Early Years team is seeking your feedback on the series of Web Cafés that we have hosted.  Please click the Survey Monkey link to anonymously complete the brief survey.  It should take less than 5 minutes of your time.  We thank you so much for your participation in the survey. 

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

Subject: Special Needs Resources Programs Survey   

Hello! My name is Ashley Hymers, I am a Resource Consultant with the Special Needs Resources Program (SNRP) at Children’s Centre Thunder Bay (CCTB).

As part of our continuous improvement philosophy using a LEAN model at Children’s Centre Thunder Bay, the SNRP program is currently looking at the Progress Review process that is completed for children involved with the Special Needs Resources Program. This process is used to monitor children’s progress in relation to their Early Learning Support Plan (ELSP) goals which are implemented by the Child Care Program.

We are looking to get feedback from the voice of the customer, which is you. If you could please take the time to complete the attached survey and please forward this to your Executive Director, Supervisor, Assistant Supervisor, Front Line Educators, and Support Staff. We are working towards streamlining the process to provide quality services for your program. We value your feedback and opinion!

The results of this survey will be shared with the LEAN green belt working group and are anonymous as there is no identifying information. Please complete the survey by August 4, 2020.

You can access the survey by clicking the link below or copy and pasting it into a browser:


Thank you for your time and feedback!

Ashley Hymers RECE, RC

Resource Consultant

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

Subject: New Ministry Document: Building on How Does Learning Happen?

The Ministry of Education has released a new document to extend on How Does Learning Happen? titled Building on How Does Learning Happen?.

Click the link below for access:


This PDF highlights the ways programs can continue to foster the Four Foundations during these times of change and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This document contains reflective questions, stories, and suggestions for programs of ways to continue to align with How Does Learning Happen? during these unprecedented times.

Please review the document and share it widely with your colleagues in the early years profession, and stay tuned as we will continue to post on our portal about Building on How Does Learning Happen? and offer some opportunities for our community to engage and share ideas and stories about pedagogy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, July 20th, 2020

Subject: Face Masks in Enclosed Spaces

Please note the following from the TBDHU website:


“Enclosed public space” means indoor public spaces of businesses and organizations that are accessed by the public.  For example, restaurants, retail establishments, churches, libraries, sports facilities, gyms, common areas and waiting rooms, public transportation and personal service settings are all “enclosed public spaces”.  Schools, child care centres, day camps, and other indoor spaces not accessible to the public are not considered an enclosed public space.

Monday, July 20th, 2020


Ontario Aboriginal Head Start Association is pleased to announce the launch of the Indigenous Professional Learning Opportunities.

OAHSA will be providing professional learning opportunities across the province that reflect Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) pedagogies, epistemologies and leadership for off reserve Indigenous Child Care and Early Years programs.

Please visit Ontario Aboriginal Head Start Association at www.oahsa.ca to subscribe and find latest information on professional learning opportunities.

See HERE for the official announcement containing more information.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Subject: Screening Tool

Attention providers! We have added the COVID-19 Active Screening Tool for Parent or Caregiver Dropping off to the COVID-19 Resource section.

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

Subject: Notifications

We send out e-mail notifications when something new is added to the site or when we want to remind you of upcoming opportunities. If you would like to receive notifications regarding the Early Years Portal, please send an e-mail to early.years@tbdssab.ca.

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Subject: Survey

“It has been five years since the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA) came into effect on August 31, 2015. It was designed to strengthen compliance, health and safety in child care settings across the province. As part of the Act, the Ministry of Education is required to conduct a review of the legislation within five years of it coming into effect.”

Click HERE for more information and to take the survey(s).

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Subject: Welcome Educators, Cooks, and Resource Consultants!

We have some new faces joining us on the Early Years Portal and we would like to say a warm welcome to all of you!

Please have a look around and get familiar with this site. Our hope for this Portal is to be able to share resources and information with you, as well as upcoming professional learning opportunities. Note, there may be some content that is not relevant to your work such as the Fee Subsidy information or the Funding Applications because this site is intended to support many roles within our Child Care and EarlyON programs. With that being said, you may find that you learn something new about the field in perusing these documents.

We want to make this site work for you and meet your needs as an early learning professional. If there is something you’d like to see added to the site or if you have any feedback for us, please send an e-mail to early.years@tbdssab.ca

Additionally, if you have other friends or colleagues who work in a TBDSSAB-funded Child Care or EarlyON program, you can direct them to e-mail early.years@tbdssab.ca to request an account!

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Subject: Throwback Thursday!

What an interesting year 2020 has been so far. We thought we were in for a 3 week March Break, and look where we are today. The Emergency Order continues to be extended, and we are all navigating this new normal of living with COVID-19. Since March, the TBDSSAB has supported the operation of three Emergency Child Care programs within our District, and we are now into Phase 2 where some child care centres are beginning to reopen under rigorous guidelines.

At this time, even with the re-opening of child care programs, we are unable to visit all of you like we have in the past. This opportunity to slow down and reflect on our work, our lives and our values implores us to consider what changes we want to make as we move forward and how we might reframe a “new normal”.  We will come out of this time changed, and hopefully for the better.

As we look back at the memories we’ve shared together, we want you to know that we are thinking of all of you, missing you dearly, and wishing you the utmost safety and well-being at this time. We look forward to what the future holds for our work together and a time where we can be reunited.

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Subject: COVID-19

Visit our new COVID-19 page under the Resources section! We will continue to post documents and information related to COVID-19 and the early years on this page.

Monday, July 6th 

Subject: Early Years Web Café

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our very first Early Years Web Café! During our first gathering, there were many questions about and a lengthy dialogue around the re-opening of child care and emergency child care. Click HERE for the notes from our first gathering.

We look forward to coming back together and picking up where we left off:

  • play materials – what can stay, what needs to be removed, how many materials can be available?
  • social distancing in early years settings – what does this look like? how can it be done?
  • inspirations from Diane Kashin – what can she teach us? how does it apply to our community?

Visit the Calendar for more information and to register for the upcoming Web Café on Thursday, July 16th!

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Subject: Play First Summit

Our Early Years Team has registered to participate in The Play First Online Summit.  This 5-day conference is FREE and will bring ECE leaders from around the world together, all in one place, sharing insights and ideas collaboratively.

If you are interested in participating in this online summit you can register HERE.

If you register for the Play First Summit, please send an email to Kim at kim.figliomeni@tbdssab.ca.  Following the conference, we will organize a Zoom session (or two😊) to share our take-aways, curiosities and aha moments.  As educators working together, this opportunity to dialogue and share our thoughts and interpretations with one another will support us in our work with children.

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Subject: Updated Policy & Procedures

The Policy and Procedures for Re-Opening Childcare Centres in the District of Thunder Bay have been updated with the following revisions: 

1. On page 12  under 2.3 Space Set –Up & Physical Distancing:  Where two cohorts are using the same indoor space, operators must ensure that a 8ft. temporary physical barrier is in place to ensure that physical distancing of at least 2 meters between cohorts is maintained.

Rationale – After discussion with other PHU’s and our EH department – it is not reasonable or necessary to ensure a floor to ceiling barrier and we are changing the guidance to in our local document to support an 8 foot barrier.

2. On page 16 under Other Considerations:  we will be removing the following bullet point:  There should be no food provided by the family/outside of the regular meal provisions of the program.  Exempt is where food is required due to a child’s allergies/intolerances such as dairy free milk/milk alternative/gluten free food items.  Special precautions for handling and served food is to be in place.

This will be replaced with – Bagged lunches may be allowed and bagged lunches must be labelled.

Rationale – After discussion with the Ministry Inspector (thanks Anita)  – centres that have been previously approved for bagged lunches may allow for bagged lunches and lunch bags must be labelled.

Visit the COVID-19 page for the most current version of the Policy & Procedures. 

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Subject: We want your feedback

We are planning on hosting coffee talks in attempts to bring educators together in our community during these uncertain times. Please have a look at the poster below and let us know if you are in favour of these ideas, or if you would like to make alternative suggestions. Please e-mail your responses to jodi.corbett@tbdssab.ca 

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

SubjectRegistration Open for Online Early Childhood Education Diploma Program

Below is a news release from Sault College for an online ECE program that has been launched. The program is offered after 3:30 pm each day and is geared toward those already working in the field of ECE that need to become qualified in order to register with the College of Early Childhood Educators. The Qualification Upgrade Program that is offered by the Ministry of Education would be available to cover costs for upgrading.

 (Sault Ste. Marie, ON May 19, 2020) – Sault College understands the value of offering versatility in its programming while balancing the needs of every kind of learner. To complement this, Sault College and Contact North are offering a fully online Early Childhood Education diploma program. Join us from anywhere in Ontario and complete your studies remotely. Registration for September 2020 is now open and can be done by visiting www.ontariocolleges.ca and searching program 1330.

This full-time, 18-month, fully online program is designed to prepare students for a position in the Early Childhood Education/Early Years field and give them the tools to have a meaningful and successful career in this critical area of early education. Studies are delivered via Contact North (virtual classroom, online live), and run for four consecutive semesters ending December 2021. Associated placement opportunities will aim to be completed in the student’s home community. Placements will occur in accordance with public health guidelines.

“We understand that diversity in program options is important for today’s learners. Sault College is proud to work with Contact North to offer another means for students to obtain their diploma in Early Childhood Education,” said Lori Crosson, Director, Continuing Education and E-Learning. “This intake is open to students from across Ontario with the added benefit and flexibility of being able to complete studies completely online. Registration is now open for September 2020, and we encourage all interested students to apply today,” she added.

“Contact North | Contact Nord is excited to support students anywhere in Ontario to participate in Sault College’s Early Childhood Education program using our Adobe Connect web conferencing platform” stated Leigh Kitlar, Director, Recruitment & Partnerships, North Central Region, Contact North | Contact Nord. “In addition to using the platform, our staff is also helping Sault College recruit students for this fully online program in communities across Ontario.”

More information about this program can be found on our website or by contacting Carla Bumbaco at  carla.bumbaco@saultcollege.ca.

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Subject: Online Professional Learning Opportunities

Are you looking for ways to keep busy while social distancing? Below is a list of websites and webinars that may be of interest to you or your staff. 

If there is any other way we can help you and/or your staff at this time (such as professional learning or sourcing resources), please reach out to us. We would be happy to support in any way we can as we navigate through this unprecedented time. 

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Subject: Taking Care of Yourself

Kim came across the wonderful article below. It shares some inspiration and ideas regarding how, as educators, we can find the value in this down time or time away from work. 

When fishermen cannot go to sea, they mend their nets: planning for productive workplace closures

We’re thinking of you and sending you well wishes throughout this difficult time.

Friday, March 3rd, 2020

Subject: Piazza ORA – Re-cognizing the Morning Gathering

The Ontario Reggio Association (ORA), in partnership with Reggio Children, has organized opportunities for a group of members to learn together in “ZOOM” gatherings with Tiziana Filippini. This opportunity begins next week, however there are still a few spaces available.

“Participants will research one aspect of theory-in-practice together, so conversation in our online gatherings can be focussed.  Tiziana’s suggestion of the assembly – the time in the day when the whole group gathers to revisit what is “in play” as the metaphorical ball goes back and forth among and between children and educators, engage in conversation and plan the day – resonated with us.  We recognize the potential for this focus to open consideration of how we support conversation with and among children, how we invite and provoke and sustain their engagement with ideas and materials, how we build a group every day, and how documentation reveals our thinking and being.  Although infant-toddler centres and preschools here often include “circle time”, the idea of a morning assembly (perhaps we might call it a daily reunion – coming together again as one) is less common.  We would like to invite educators to come together in a virtual piazza to interrogate the way we typically organize the day with and for children.  We know that documentation is central to this research into our thinking and practice, and sharing it so we can think together is essential.”

Here is an outline of what the ORA is thinking:

  • 4 Zoom Meetings with Tiziana Filippini – 12:30 – 2:30pm
  • 4 Zoom Meetings with ORA only – 6:30 – 8:00pm
  • Must be a Member of ORA (a one-year membership is $25 and information can be found here: https://ontarioreggioassociation.ca/membership/)

For more information see the attached photo or visit the ORA website: https://ontarioreggioassociation.ca/product/piazza-ora-re-cognizing-the-morning-gathering/

Thursday March 5th, 2020

Subject: Government of Canada- Public health guidance for schools (K-12) and childcare programs (COVID-19)

“The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), in collaboration with Canadian public health experts has developed this guidance for federal/provincial/territorial (F/P/T) public health authorities (PHA) on the prevention and management of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools and childcare settings.”

Click on the links below for information to share with the staff in your programs regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)



Monday, November 25th, 2019

Subject: Eye See Eye Learn

“Each year, thousands of children start school without ever having an eye exam. Parents often believe that their child will let them know that they cannot see well, but children are rarely able to tell that they have poor vision because they have nothing to compare it to. That’s why we recommend that all children have their first eye exam at 6 months old, again at 2-3 years old, and every year after that. In Ontario, yearly eye exams for children are covered by OHIP until they turn 20 years old” (www.eyeseeeyelearn.ca)

Click on the links below for information to post in your programs to make families aware of this wonderful program.



Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Subject: Community Webinar Schedule


I am pleased to share the Community Webinar Schedule regarding the Qualifications Upgrade Program and Leadership Grant for studies in early childhood education. As you may be aware, the Qualifications Upgrade Program and Leadership Grant provides financial support for tuition, travel expenses and training allowances to support students obtaining their ECE qualifications or leadership studies in early childhood education.  Please feel free to share this information broadly with those who may be interested.

Louise Piercey, Manager, Child Care and Early Years Programs

Monday, August 12th, 2019

Subject: Storing and Preparing Breast Milk

Families attending child care may choose to provide expressed breast milk or formula for their child(ren).  When this is the case, staff must ensure that they are storing and serving these items safely and hygienically.

According to p.7 of How Does Learning Happen?, “Families love their children and want the best for them. Families are experts on their children. They are the first and most powerful influence on children’s learning, development, health, and well-being. Families bring diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Families should feel that they belong, are valuable contributors to their children’s learning, and deserve to be engaged in a meaningful way.” Supporting families’ decisions around feeding fosters all of the Four Foundations (Belonging, Well-Being, Engagement, Expression).

Below are two resources that can be shared with all staff who may serve breast milk to children about how to safely and hygienically store and serve breast milk.  These resources can easily be posted in the programs as a visual reminder for educators on the guidelines around storing and preparing breast-milk.  The source of this information is the Best Start resource Breastfeeding Matters (L’allaitement ça compte) and the second resource is also from Best Start, Expressing and Storing Breast Milk.

Families may also choose to provide infant formula for their child at child care.  The instructions for preparing and serving formula are included on the packaging.  Here is a resource from Best Start called Infant Formula: What You Need to Know.  This resource has information about safely and hygienically preparing, serving, and storing formula.

If programs or staff have additional questions about feeding, how to safely store breast milk, they can view the above PDFs for free at the link provided, or contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.  Be sure to also check out the Best Start website for other resources for families at your centre on child health and development.

Monday, July 29th, 2019

Subject: Water Safety

It’s great to see that many programs are taking advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having this summer! With that being said, please remember that water play can be very dangerous for young children.

We are encouraging you to have a look at the resources below and to share this information with parents and caregivers. Even if your program is not partaking in water play, families may be visiting pools, splash pads, and lakes throughout the summer.

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

Subject: Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines

“As young children grow and develop, they need to work towards high levels of physical activity, low levels of sedentary behaviour and sufficient sleep each day to be healthy — they need to Move, Sleep and Sit the right amounts. The new Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (ages 0-4) show there is an important relationship between how much sleep, sedentary behaviour and physical activity children get in a 24-hour period.”

Follow the links below for helpful and informative resources about integrating a healthy balance of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep for children and youth.

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Subject: A Journey Through Doors

I had the pleasure of attending a presentation given by two educators at Schoolhouse Playcare Centre. These educators shared an interesting journey that they’ve had in the preschool room about doors. It was incredible to see how the educators extended this interest and acted as co-learners with the children.

The two educators truly embraced the inquiry process. Through their observations, they determined the children were curious about doors. They planned for new ways of exploring doors throughout the program such as in the art and blocks areas, and they created documentation to educate families and community members about the learning, interests, and questions they’ve been exploring. Some exciting highlights were:

  • they had families bring in photos of their doors from home
  • they had parents and grandparents help to add a door with hinges, doorknobs, and a doorbell to the dramatic play area, and;
  • they added door handles and real tools to the play environment for children to explore and manipulate

Thank you for the hard work you are doing with the children and families at Schoolhouse Playcare Centre. You have truly fostered the four foundations throughout this journey and it’s great to see the creative ways that families have been engaged along the way. Additionally, thank you to Wanda for inviting me to attend this presentation. Alex and I don’t often get to visit programs outside of our regular visits for Quality Assurance, but we’ve learned that attending these types of events is one of the best ways for us to build positive relationships with educators.

(some photos removed due to confidentiality in order to make this site public)

April 29th, 2019

Subject: HDLH Bus Tour

We had an incredible time with everyone who came out to the HDLH Bus Tour on Saturday. Child care and EarlyON educators mingled together, shared ideas, observed, inquired, and (best of all) enjoyed some WHEELY awesome bus jokes!

Thank you to everyone who participated, and to all of those who helped to make this event possible. A special thank you to the four operators who took part in our planning committee and offered to host the tour at their centres. An additional thank you to our incredible bus driver, Kirk, who was a team player and kept us laughing all throughout the day!

The first stop was at the Sherbrooke EarlyON where we were inspired by the many ways to incorporate loose parts into the environment. Educators looked closely around the environment, and many were inspired by the bulletin board that read “WHAT DOES PLAY MEAN TO YOU?”      

Next, we headed to Rural Roots where the educators had presented a multitude of displays and invitations to play. Several educators took a liking to the way natural elements and real materials were used to extend classic learning opportunities. For example, using a real log for the Five Green and Speckled Frogs.


We FUELED the educators up with lunch, and headed to our next stop – Abiinojiishiik-amino-yawook. Here, educators were offered a traditional experience through a smudging and drumming ceremony that was followed by an opportunity to taste bannock and cedar tea. Miigwetch!      

Last, but not least, we arrived at Nanabijou. Here, the educators from Nanabijou were excited to share their talents with us. As we made our way through the centre, we discovered the concept of ateliers and observed new ideas for incorporating nature into the program.

 Below is a snapshot of some of the learning that took place throughout the day:

“I was able to gain a new understanding of how educators foster the 4 foundations through materials and how to extend children’s learning through the use of loose parts”

“I enjoyed how the EarlyON Centres celebrate their families and I feel I can build upon these ideas and traditions.”

“I really enjoyed the indigenous teachings. I will be able to bring these new ideas back to our program and learn with our families.”

“Documentation doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be very simple.”

“Great to see different views. Can we network more often?”

April 15th, 2019

Subject: ECE Grants

February 15, 2019

Subject: Supporting Sacred Teachings

Child care and EarlyON educators had a lovely time this week at the Supporting Sacred Teachings Make and Take. A special thank you to Lynda Banning, FASD Regional Program Worker with Anishinabek Nation, who shared her knowledge and culture with us. We appreciate your guidance and support as we work to provide inclusive and respectful environments for young children.

Some of the highlights from the workshop were when Lynda shared with us teachings about the medicine wheel, allowed us to explore the four medicines, and provided materials to create tobacco ties. Additionally, Lynda talked about the Seven Grandfather Teachings and how we can teach children honesty, humility, love, respect, truth, bravery, and wisdom. To compliment the Seven Grandfather Teachings, the educators created stones to represent these sacred teachings that can be used throughout their programs. For example, educators might use these stones for storytelling, teaching, or displaying. There are endless possibilities for these beautiful and special manipulatives. See the photos below for some of the amazing creations from the workshop.

Thanks again Lynda. The resources, support, and teachings you’ve provided are infinitely valuable in providing programming that fosters the Four Foundations (belonging, engagement, well-being, and expression).

Here are some book suggestions provided by Lynda:

October 25th, 2018

Subject: Yuck Science!

We had a blast at the Yuck Science workshop this morning with Emily Kerton, Senior Scientist at Science North. Emily provided us with many great icky, sticky, and gooey ideas to share with the children, along with some fun vocabulary – viscosity, scat, and non-Newtonian fluid.

See the Educator Resources page for some great resources to share with educators and families!




October 19th, 2018

Subject: ECE Qualification Upgrade Program

There have been some changes to the Qualifications Upgrade Program. More specifically, applicants are now only required to be working 6 months, rather than a year to be eligible.


The objective of the Early Childhood Educators Qualifications Upgrade Program (ECE QUP) is to support individuals to obtain an Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma and become eligible to apply for membership with the College of Early Childhood Educators. The ECE QUP also provides financial assistance to Supervisors, front line Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) designated to leadership positions and/or responsibilities, and to RECEs aspiring to leadership roles for post-secondary courses that will build their leadership capacity.


To be eligible to receive grants under the ECE QUP Diploma Stream, individuals must have at least 6 months of experience in eligible child care and early years settings. Individuals working at an Ontario EarlyON Centre or employed in a child care or child and family program funded under Journey Together are exempt from the requirement of having been employed for at least 6 months. To be eligible for the Leadership stream, individuals must have at least 2 years of experience in eligible child care and early years settings.

The program prioritizes funding for Francophone and First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) applicants and unqualified individuals working under Director Approvals or Letters of Permission. In order to be eligible for support through this program, applicants must be legally entitled to work and study in Canada and complete their program of study in Ontario.

Financial Support

Financial support is provided through education grants, travel grants, training allowances and book allowances for successful diploma stream applicants. The Education Grant covers the cost of tuition through direct sponsorship, where the grant program pays tuition fees to the school without requiring upfront cost coverage by the student, or by reimbursing the student for pre-paid tuition.

Travel Grants are available to assist students who have been approved for an Education Grant with commute expenses incurred while attending classes, first aid training, and/or placement. Travel Grants may also provide assistance to individuals who are required to live temporarily away from home to pursue their studies.

For full-time students, a Training Allowance of up to $5,000 per semester is provided if they resigned or took unpaid leave from their position to pursue their studies or $300 per course if they remain employed part-time (less than 30 hours a week). Part time-students receive a Training Allowance of $300 per course, regardless of hours worked. Book Allowances of $500 per semester are provided for full-time students who are not eligible for a Training Allowance. All employment must be disclosed, regardless of whether it is at an eligible agency.

Leadership stream applicants are eligible for education grants and travel grants, but not training or book allowances.


Additional information on the Early Childhood Educators Qualifications Upgrade program is available on the website (http://www.ecegrants.on.ca/qualifications-upgrade/) or by calling the toll free number, at 1-866-989-9299.

September 19th, 2018

Subject: Engagement

There is a lot of fantastic work happening in our community and there is no shortage of talent and creativity among our early years sector. Have a look at some of the amazing activities below that are engaging the minds of young learners throughout the District of Thunder Bay. Consider how these activities reflect the four foundations of How Does Learning Happen.

As an example, the foundation Engagement encourages educators to facilitate opportunities for children to learn through exploration, play, and inquiry. Furthermore, “the environment plays a key role in the quality of children’s exploration and play. Indoor and outdoor spaces, materials, and furnishings (including how they are positioned), accommodations to ensure equitable learning opportunities and participation for children with special needs, as well as the general design of the space, and the organization of time, all have a significant influence on children’s level of engagement and the possibilities for in-depth exploration and learning” (HDLH, 2014, p. 36).

We encourage you to reflect on your programs using the questions below. Additionally, you may be interested in sharing these at a staff meeting or having educators reflect in a journal. We also welcome you to share your reflections with us if you would like us to reflect with you.

Questions for Reflection:

  • If we see all children as curious, competent, and capable of complex thinking, how will this be reflected in the environment?
  • How could greater complexity and challenge be integrated into the environment? (p. 39)
  • Consider how the environment and experiences that you provide for children engage them. What draws them in?
  • What areas of the environment do not attract children? Why might this be? What changes might be needed? (p. 39)





May 3, 2018

Subject: Exploring Anishnawbemowin with Children

Special thanks to Alanna Mamakeesick, from Little Lions Child and Family Centre, for her guidance with today’s professional learning session.  Alanna shared with educators simple strategies to incorporate Anishnawbemowin (Ojibwe) language into their programs.  This was a make-and-take session and participants were able to make resources to take with them to enhance the cultural aspects of their programs. A wonderful morning was had by everyone who attended.

Also, a big thank you to Debbie at CTC for assisting with printing and laminating. We appreciate all the help and resources that CTC has to offer to our community!

For additional resource information follow the links below.



April 18th, 2018

Subject: Loose Parts Bank

Communities Together for Children is excited to introduce their new Loose Parts Bank where educators can give unwanted materials and take materials that can be used in their programs for a variety of purposes. This is a great way to put into practice some of the ideas from the Loose Parts books that we gave out earlier this year (if you still haven’t received your copy, please contact Jodi at Jodi.Corbett@tbdssab.ca).

Daly and Beloglovsky define loose parts as “alluring, beautiful found objects and materials that children can move, manipulate, control and change while they play. Children can carry, combine, redesign, line up, take apart, and put loose parts back together in almost endless ways. The materials have no specific set of directions, and they can be used alone or combined with other materials” (2015, p. 3).

Please see HERE for more information about CTC’s Loose Parts Bank.

December 8th, 2017

Subject: Science North Workshop

We had tons of fun yesterday with Emily Kerton at our Science North workshop. Emily put us all to work by sending us on scavenger hunts, playing with polymer, and doing science experiments. The educators left with lots of great ideas and resources to bring back to their programs. See the Educator Resources page for some of the activities Emily shared.

Additionally, Emily let us know that she is available to go in to programs. Science North has many great opportunities for children such as their portable planetarium and live critters (painted turtle, snakes, and geckos). You can contact Emily at 333-3701 for more information on how to make this possible at your centre.

Thank you to all of the educators who were able to join us. It was nice to see everyone!

November 1st, 2017

Subject: Updates

Hello everyone,

On behalf of the Child Care and Early Years Team at the TBDSSAB, we would like to apologize for the temporary pause in utilizing the Portal. As of today, we will return to posting all of our news, updates, and Professional Development opportunities to the Portal. A notification e-mail will go out when something new is posted, however, we would encourage you to check back on a regular basis to keep abreast of new information.

This week, we want to take the time to acknowledge a big achievement for Early Childhood Educators in Thunder Bay. Last week, for ECE Appreciation Day, the Thunder Bay City Hall held a short ceremony, followed by a flag raising, to acknowledge the invaluable role that ECEs hold in our community. See the photos below for a glimpse of this wonderful event.


On another note, we recognize that the College of Early Childhood Educators has mandated ongoing professional development through their CPL program. If you would like to receive a certificate for you and your staff to acknowledge your participation at the Relationships Matter event with Karyn Callaghan, please e-mail Jodi at Jodi.Corbett@tbdssab.ca.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out the Calendar before you log out to see our upcoming professional development opportunities!

June 23rd, 2017

Subject: Nutrition Make n Take

Thank you to all the educators who came out to join us for the Nutrition Make and Take yesterday! Megan Bellinger, public health dietitian, and her student, Ferran, inspired us with the information they provided on gardening with children and promoting vegetables and fruits in child care settings. We were also spoiled by Megan with a fruit tasting to start off our day. Megan shared with us a variety of unique fruits, including dragonfruit, nectarines, and Asian pears.

After learning some new tips and tricks to bring back to the program, the educators were given some time to create a variety of resources! We had fun making puzzles, matching games, and lacing activities. See below for a sneak peek of what we got up to yesterday.

Also, a big thank you to Deb at CTC for assisting with the die presses and the laminating. We appreciate all the help and resources that CTC has to offer to our community!

The feedback that we received from this session was very positive and one educator wrote, “Awesome presenters. Lots of knowledge/engaging/inspiring. Great time of year to offer this. Loved having time to make resources. Thank you!”  We are thrilled that this style of session was such a hit and we look forward to offering another make-and-take session in the fall!

June 14th, 2017

Subject: Eat Local Cooks Session

Thank you to everyone who came out to join us for the “Eat Local” session last week. Lots of information was shared and we had lots of discussions between us. The session was so engaging that it was scheduled to end at 3:00 and we were still discussing and sharing after 3:30!

We had Megan Bellinger from the TBDHU talk about the local food movement and introduce us to what it means, why it’s important, how to get started and more. Additionally, we had two amazing guest speakers join us.

First, we had Dayln Bryan from Superior Seasons who discussed how Superior Seasons is making it possible to eat local. Dayln let us know that deliveries are made on Wednesdays and Saturdays and are free to businesses. Check out the Superior Seasons website for more information and for a list of producers in the District of Thunder Bay (superiorseasons.ca).

Secondly, we had Heather Conrad from the Children and Family Centre who presented a frontline perspective on how she gets creative with using local foods in her meals. Heather is very passionate about this topic and it was inspiring to hear what she had to say. One of the many great mentions that Heather made is the value in building relationships with the local farmers. Not only do local foods provide nutrition for the children, but we can also visit the farms where the foods are grown and invite farmers into our programs.

Heather was kind enough to offer us a tour of her kitchen at the Children and Family Centre on Wednesday, June 28th at 1:15pm. If you would like to be a part of the tour, please contact Jenna Jenkins at Jenna.Jenkins@tbdssab.ca or call 766-2111 extension 4108.

Thank you again to all of our presenters. You’ve reminded us how important networking is. We are infinitely thankful for the knowledge and ideas that were shared and we look forward to partnering with you again in the future!

Welcome to the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board’s (TBDSSAB) Child Care and Early Years Portal. This Portal is designed to facilitate communication with Child Care and EarlyON service providers who have a service agreement with the TBDSSAB.

Should you have any difficulties navigating the site please contact Jodi at Jodi.Corbett@tbdssab.ca