10 Reasons to Choose Quality Early Learning and Child Care

Expert knowledge Early childhood educators are experts in child development and are trained to create inspiring learning environments!
Intentionality Early childhood educators provide your child the gift of time and attention. They will stop and explore the new flowers or jump in the mud puddles with your child.
Young at heart Early childhood educators know how to have fun! They’re not afraid to be silly and laugh with your child; all while nurturing your child’s creativity and helping to build their self-confidence.
Setting limits Every child needs reasonable boundaries, such as no playing ball inside. Early childhood educators set limits and support families in doing the same.
Love of literacy Early childhood educators read and tell stories, sing songs, and do puppet shows to inspire a love of language and to build early literacy skills.
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Confidence boost Early childhood educators provide safe opportunities for your child to be independent and to become confident in their personality and decision making skills.
Inspired learning Early childhood educators ask open-ended questions to inspire creative thought and curiosity, to encourage children to explore, and to make learning fun.
Life skills Early childhood educators use their expertise to develop programs that use play as a tool for teaching math, literacy, science and essential life skills that last for life!
Making friends Early childhood educators are educated to appropriately support children to gain social skills, which are so important in making friends and developing positive relationships!
Helping hand Everyone gets stumped by parenting from time to time - juggling schedules, demands, and behaviours. When it gets tough and you need someone to talk to, reach out to your child’s early childhood educator!
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Helping PEI families make the early years count
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Meet Our Team : Board of Directors

If you would like to contact any ECDA board member, please email info@ecdaofpei.ca.

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Cheryl MacKay

Interim Chair

Cheryl MacKay is an Early Childhood Educator with infants and toddlers at Precious Jewels Daycare in Sherwood. Cheryl has been working in the education field for over ten years after graduating from UPEI with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education. After spending four years teaching high school, Cheryl spent a year with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development before obtaining her Early Childhood Certificate. During her past five years working as an Early Childhood Educator, she’s had the opportunity to work with children from nine months to five years. She feels like every day with children is a privilege and an adventure! Cheryl joined the ECDA Board of Directors in 2018 to help advance the standards for early childhood development and to gain greater recognition for Early Childhood Educators as professionals. When not working, Cheryl and her husband are busy at home with their two small children and two dogs.

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Ashley Bernard

Board Member

Ashley Bernard is an Early Childhood Educator practicing at Sherwood-Parkdale Headstart in Charlottetown. In 2017, she graduated from the Early Childhood Care and Education program at Holland College after seeking a profession that would allow her to contribute to her community while fulfilling her need for learning. Ashley is passionate about being a lifelong learner and is always looking for ways to foster that in the children of her programs. She joined the ECDA Board of Directors to extend her connection with the early childhood community and advocate for the field. Ashley has spent most of her life living in rural parts of PEI. Outside of her professional life, she loves to explore and go on adventures during the day and snuggle up with her pets and watch a movie at night.

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Melissa White

Board Member

Melissa White is the Owner/Director of Little Blessings Child Care Centre in Stratford. She has been in the field for over 16 years – nine of which she worked on the floor with children of various ages. Melissa's passion for early learning and child care has empowered her own journey in lifelong learning; she now holds a Bachelor of Child and Family Studies as well as a Bachelor of Education from UPEI. Melissa joined the ECDA Board of Directors in 2018 to further her knowledge in the field and help advocate for the profession. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, crocheting, and various crafts.

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Tammy Shields

Board Member

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Sara Arsenault-Kennedy

Board Member

Sara Arsenault-Kennedy is an Early Childhood Educator that spends her days with the infants at Magic Moments Childcare Centre in Tignish. Sara received her Bachelor of Arts, major in Psychology in 2010 and in 2015 she received her ECE Diploma from Holland College. She has worked in Childcare since Summer of 2015 and is passionate about working with children and bringing more programs to families within Tignish and surrounding areas. Sara lives in Tignish with her two children and husband. She enjoys board games with her children and friends, reading, and being outdoors

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Lawkeysha Fife

Board Member

Keysha is originally from The Bahamas and came to PEI to enroll in Holland College's ECCE program in 2019. She got her start working in Childcare (in PEI) subbing at Holland College ELC while enrolled in the program. She graduated in 2021 and started her current job at Wee The West, Bloomfield shortly thereafter. She started out working with 2 and 3 year olds and shifted to working with 4 and 5 year olds in the Pre-K program where she has been ever since. She joined the board in January 2023 and has been very excited about this new opportunity to learn and grow. In her down time, she enjoys spending quiet time at home, exploring PEI and spending time with my family.

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Darla Farquharson

Board Member

Darla is co-owner/director of Mighty Oaks Academy and Mighty Oaks Academy School Age. Darla has worked with children and families on Prince Edward Island for over 25 years ensuring high quality care is always at the forefront of her practice. Starting as a frontline educator, Darla has seen the importance of providing support and guidance to all educators, and as a co-owner, she makes this a top-priority to support educator’s ongoing training journey for their professional practice. Previously, spending two years on the ECDA board allowed Darla great room to grow professionally and she is looking forward to renewing this journey. Darla is looking forward to being a voice for the school age sector and moving our whole sector forward in this ever changing field. Darla lives in Covehead with her husband, two children and dog. She enjoys camping, travelling and days at the beach with her family.