How we see Sunflower Early Learning Society
This community-based, not-for-profit childcare program offers preschool and out-of-school childcare in North Vancouver. With a curriculum rooted in the Reggio Emilia philosophy, Sunflower Early Learning Society makes children’s early education engaging and meaningful.
At Sunflower, kids are valued for their ability to do meaningful work and their sense of wonder and curiosity. Teachers view them as competent with an innate ability to learn about the world around them, and they’re encouraged to express themselves and learn through interaction with their community. Parents are considered to be partners in education, at Sunflower, and teachers are viewed as guides who help facilitate the exploration of children’s interests.
How Sunflower Early Learning Society sees itself
"Sunflower is a community centred Not-For Profit Childcare Society that offers Reggio Inspired Preschool & Out of School Care Programs in the heart of beautiful Pemberton Heights, North Vancouver. Drawing inspiration from the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, Sunflower creates an inclusive space for children and families to co-create curriculum and living pedagogies. At Sunflower you will find that children are valued and honoured for their ability to do meaningful work, their sense of wonder and their curiosity."
"Some families might be surprised to see that we don’t have a strict, structured curriculum, but instead a flexible and hands-on curriculum. Each year our programs look different as the children and educators come together to create unique groupings with different interests, thoughts and observations. We aren’t afraid to step out of our daily routine to take a sporadic walk to the forest, or even bake muffins in the classroom!"
"Families choose our school over other schools because we offer a calm, welcoming and nurturing classroom. Oftentimes when families first enter our space, they feel relaxed with our neutral colours and natural light. We work hard at creating spaces that make our children feel comfortable - natural items from the outdoors, a cozy corner for children who need a quiet space, photos of families to comfort children who may be having a tough day and a magical outdoor space hidden amongst the trees."
"Our educators set up open-ended activities and provocations for children to explore, as opposed to sit-down lessons. As a Reggio-inspired school, we investigate and inquire about different topics through play and exploration. Our goal is to empower children to be researchers in their own learning experiences."
"Something that can be unappreciated until realised at Sunflower is the incredible benefits of joining our Sunflower Board of Directors. All parents of Sunflower are eligible to join our Board every fall at our AGM. Being a board member is a way to build strong local networking connections and make an impact in our community. Sunflower Board members also receive the benefit of priority registration for all of our programs including preschool, B&A and Camps."
"1. Sunflower is a Reggio Inspired school and advactes for emergent, co created curriculum that fosters curiosity and wonder in children and families alike.
2. Sunflower Preschool has existed in some capacity in Pemberton heights since the 1960's.
3. We hire and train experienced, educated and diverse staff to teach at Sunflower.
4. We are in a local community building which keeps us connected to our roots.
5. Our garden is an enchanting place for children and educators to learn and play."
How people from the school’s community see Sunflower Early Learning Society
Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone
Katherine Keenan, Executive Director
I knew from the moment I walked in that Sunflower Preschool was a very special place. I have the privilege of leading the school and I fall further in love with it everyday. From our intentional and developed classrooms to our enchanting garden and caring educators, your child will feel warm and welcome as they enter and experience preschool. Our variety of classes allows you to select a time and number of sessions that works for you while our diverse and experienced staff guide you through your time at Sunflower. One of the things that makes Sunflower so special is its community orientation and Reggio curriculum. Our Sunflower students learn through experience and engage with the community on varying levels. Our older children plan and host community events while preschoolers take local walks where we wave to neighbours and play with friends. Our education team works to ensure everyone is included and is able to learn at their best. We notice small things and develop long term inquiry projects into topics that interest and engage children. Come visit my office for a coffee and I can tell you more about this truly magical place.
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Sunflower Early Learning Society
Next steps to continue your research:
Continue researching Sunflower Early Learning Society with OurKids.net, or visit school website.