The Buddings Staff
The brilliant teachers at Buddings bring our centre the warm ability to care for this wide range of kids. These talented educators come from diverse backgrounds, upbringings, and homelands, but they share an unconditional positive regard for children and families, as well as nature, and each other. Read the bios below, or click the photos to find their contributions to our blog.
Your child will have a favourite. We don’t take it personally. 😉
Sarah MacDonald, BA., B.Ed. – Daycare Manager
Big Kids Club: Wednesday’s Water, Water, Everywhere
Sarah MacDonald joined our centre in 2014, and has been managing since the end of 2015. She comes from a family of educators, and taught preschool in her hometown in Kelowna after completing her Bachelor of Education at UBC in 2012.
At Buddings, she’s the teacher the teachers look up to, guiding our morning provocations, and leading our floor team through a period of constant recruitment and growth. She manages family accounts and billing, new member orientation, and her connection with the kids… well, that’s the best thing about her.
This winter, her Big Kids Club class is all around us, filling oceans, rushing rivers, and of course, falling from the sky. There’s Water, Water, Everywhere, and Sarah and the kids set to find out why.
Sarah is an intuitive teacher and a toddler-friend, and of course, the Daycare Manager. She’s here every day, and you can reach her directly at Sarah@buddings.ca, or her and Talia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talia Erickson, BA., BJH – Daycare Administrator
Storybook Buddings Builder
Talia Erickson created the concept and has been on the management team at Buddings flexible occasional Daycare since 2011. She holds a Combined Honours degree in Psychology and Journalism from the Universities of King’s College and Dalhousie in Halifax, and took her Daycare Basics at the Westcoast Childcare Resource.
Her appreciation for clear communication, (“use your words”), polite manners, and environmental awareness can be found throughout this website, as well as in the centre. Families can count on her for transparency and a continuing desire to improve, and kids get consistent guidance towards global responsibility.
Centre administration includes privacy, bookkeeping, HR, and website maintenance (admin@buddings, info@buddings, and Talia@buddings.ca all come to her), and she’s also our Director of Business Development, guiding Buddings growth.
This season, her Friday happenings are happening off-site, at our soon-to-be sister centre – Storybook Buddings – at Knight and Kingsway. Stuff is happening! Follow along.
Ehlssie Tecson, BA. – Daycare Educator and Assistant Manager
Big Kids Club – Thursday: Goodnight, Dr. Seuss
Ehlssie Tecson is the daycare dream teacher who catches on quickly and intuits the problems that loom large for kids and toddlers, and families, and her co-workers too! Her gentle patience, and background in anthropology seem to have given her superpowers when it comes to understanding different perspectives. She holds a Bachelor Degree from UBC, and did her Daycare Basics training right here at Buddings.
This season, Ehlssie continues her explorations of literacy and life lessons with stories from the classic children’s author (or authors), Dr. Seuss. The environmentalist, satirist, and rhyme writer has been a daycare favourite for decades. How well do you know the doc? Every Thursday, from 1 – 4pm.
She’s in the house Monday to Friday, and you can also reach her at Ehlssie@buddings.ca.
Florence Tsai, BSc. – Daycare Educator
Big Kids Club – Tuesday: Wide Awake
The season may call for a long winter’s rest, but Florence Tsai and the kids are on the look out for those that come alive! She joined our centre last spring, with a degree in nutrition from McGill University – where she was an educator’s assistant in the campus daycare.
She breezed through the Daycare Basics training earlier this year and was immediately nominated for centre snack master. She guides our social media (including her own recipes), and on Tuesdays, she and the kids get together to bake. And learn! About baking!
Wide Awake isn’t all icing and butter cream! (In fact, we’re challenging Florence with a dairy-free December.) Her class is a full blend of stories, magic, and the passion it takes to come to life in the winter! But she’s still our kitchen coordinator, and we’re assured, there will be bread! And cookies! And a gingerbread house your child will love! Tuesday from 1 – 4pm, and you can find her online at Florence@buddings.ca.
Kezia Antholyka, BA. – Daycare Educator
Big Kids Club – Fridays: Winter (High)lights
Kezia Antholyka joins the weekday teachers this season with a Friday class about becoming friendly with the things that go bump in the night. While darkness holds sway, Kez explores the light, and with a degree in Psychology from UBC, and experience in three different preschool programs she’s full of bright ideas to share with the kids.
She can sing, she can dance, play ukulele, guitar, and piano, and she speaks Indonesian, as well. That’s because she’s from Jakarta. At UBC, she coordinated the marketing for the Indonesian friendship society and now she assists our own mini-marketing team. She handles our photos for families, helps storyboard our videos, and keeps us organized at meetings.
Fridays this season, she and the kids will be shining their lights into the wintery darkness, to learn about the glittering glow that brings us together! Opposites abound, with Kez’s BKC class, Fridays from 1 – 4pm. Find her online at Kezia@buddings.ca.
Ayumi Kato – Daycare Educator
Big Kids Club Co-Presenter – Saturdays: Explore Japan!
This winter, Ayumi Kato shoots into Buddings like a lucky star. She joined our team last fall, just two weeks after arriving (back) in Vancouver, from the Tokyo area of Japan, and like a dream come true, she’s a perfect fit! She completed an associate degree in Early Childcare in 2007, and has been teaching in preschools and daycares ever since – except for the two years that she lived in Canada, and fell in love with the beautiful city of Vancouver.
Here at Buddings, Ayumi handles centre safety, morning madness, toddler tears, and daycare disasters with a smiling face, and experienced know-how. She never frazzles, and she’s full of fun. Now that she’s done her training, we’re so excited to have her on our permanent roster.
Plus! She and Tomomi and joining forces to present our Saturday-care class all about Japan! It runs from 10 – 1 every weekend, and you can find her online at Ayumi@buddings.ca.
Tomomi Ito – Daycare Educator
Big Kids Club Co-Presenter – Saturdays: Explore Japan!
The only thing better than one Japanese all-star staff-member stepping up, is two! This winter, Tomomi Ito also completes her Buddings training and brings all her experience and education (including ECE in Canada and Japan, as well as a degree in Foreign Languages, and a certificate for teaching English) to bear.
Tomomi loves to sing, and knows all the songs. She loves photography, and sees the beautiful moments between the kids, and with the teachers. She’s our Art of the Week expert, our weekend wonder woman, and starting this season, a presenter of our Big Kids Club.
Japanese traditional crafts, songs, dances, and celebrations come to life on Saturdays, and of course, there’s also the snacks! Saturdays, we cross the Pacific for an in-depth exploration of Japan!
Find Tomomi in the centre Tuesday – Saturday, or online at Tomomi@buddings.ca.
Jade Soon – Daycare Educator
Big Kids Club – Mondays: Yoga with Jade
Where in the world does Jade find the inspirations that flow through her programming and projects? Through her training in ECE! From nature! From yoga! Through mindfulness and positivity, Jade turns our attentions inward, to connect with our bodies, and bring them to stillness. Plus, she loves to get loud, to sing, dance, and make art! She’s a daycare teacher afterall!
This winter, Jade continues her Monday meditations, carrying playful positions, story-telling and dramatic play from around the world into her class – Yoga with Jade. It’s a mix of all forms of expression, and the best part will be seeing it come together. Want to see how it plays out?
Join her class, Mondays from 1 – 4pm all through the winter. You can also find her online at (you guessed it) Jade@buddings.ca.
Aiobhin Hutchinson – Daycare Educator (in-training)
With a Storybook on the make, and six days of daycare, Aiobhin Hutchinson is our go-to girl for subbing and support, and our in-training teacher of many, many talents.
She’s got tons of childcare experience, with kids from 2 – 12, and she works at the West Side Neighbourhood House as well as filling in at Buddings. Plus, with a degree in Business Management and English, she knows what it takes to get things done.
She may be Irish, but we’re the lucky ones, seeing what a natural she is with the kids. Find her in the house Tuesdays and Thursday mornings, and online at Aiobhin@buddings.ca.
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