“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
The RFC Team
Leeann Bogart – Live & Learn Early ON Child and Family Centre Play Group FacilitatorLeeAnn recently joined Rural Family Connections this past summer, working as an Early On playgroup facilitator at our new site in Greely. She is excited to continue this fall, in advocating for the growth and support needed in our rural communities. LeeAnn moved to Greely after completing her bachelor’s in psychology at Guelph university. She continued her education at Algonquin and works as a Child and Youth Counsellor. For the past twenty years, she has had experience working with children with special needs within the school board, group homes, and home support. LeeAnn is a mother of three school-aged children and did spend those first years at home working only part-time. During that LeeAnn volunteered for 8 years in helping to run a parent/child cooperative playgroup in Greely. Today she enjoys volunteering at the school and continues to provide respite care for a local foster home. The opportunity to work with Rural Family Connections is “the perfect fit”. LeeAnn is looking forward to meeting all of you. Come enjoy all the fun there is to have in Greely!
Maria Crosby – Executive DirectorMaria has been part of the Rural Family Connections organization for over 28 years and was instrumental in establishing this organization as the umbrella for our 3 programs: Metcalfe Cooperative Nursery School, Metcalfe Home Daycare and the Live and Learn Resource Centre. Starting with the Metcalfe Cooperative Nursery School in 1987, Maria did double duty as the Director and much-loved Teacher. During her tenure at the school she initiated the opening of the Metcalfe Home Daycare and in 2002 lead a dedicated team to establish the Live and Learn Resource Centre. In 2007, Rural Family Connections was established and Maria took on the role of Executive Director. In addition to her ECE Certification and Ontario Teaching Certificate, Maria has a BA in Child Studies. She is very committed to the field of Early Childhood Education and is active on the Home Child Care Managers Network, and the Nursery School Network.
Deborah Cross – Resource Worker, KinderCamp Teacher & M.C.N.S. Supply TeacherDeborah has been a part of the Rural Family Connections family since about 2005, starting with us as a Metcalfe Home Daycare provider. As a provider, she would bring her son and her daycare children to playgroups at the Live and Learn Resource Centre. Then, in 2007 Deb accepted a position as a Resource Worker, facilitating playgroups where she has become very popular with our playgroup children. On occasion, Deb can also be found, filling in as a supply teacher and KinderCamp Teacher at our nursery school. Deb has completed 1 year of her Early Childhood Education Certificate and has been a Girl Guide leader since 1985. In 2012, Deborah was presented with an Ontario Volunteer Award for 25 years service.
Erin Finlay – Metcalfe Home Daycare Home VisitorErin graduated as an Early Childhood Educator from Loyalist College in 1997. after her final placement at a daycare in Calgary, Alberta. Erin’s love and passion for working with children and families started at a young age, before beginning college she was a live in nanny for a family with two young children. Erin has always had a job that involved children with experience as working in the schools as an E.A. to most recently as an E.C.E. in the kindergarten classes, to driving a school bus, having her own home daycare when her three children were young, and working as a site supervisor for the Learning Centre, Before & After School program. Erin is excited to join the Rural Family Connections team and looks forward to meeting all of the children & families and also to all the new experiences ahead.
Leigh Ann Gillies – Office ManagerLeigh has worked for Rural Family Connections since 1998 beginning with us as a Metcalfe Home Daycare provider. As a childcare provider, Leigh took part in our playgroups and other programming at the Live and Learn Resource Centre. In 2004, Leigh took on the inaugural role of Office Manager for Rural Family Connections. In this important role, Leigh wears many hats including office management, administrative duties and as first point of contact for clients, childcare providers and young families looking for resources and childcare options. Parents call, not knowing what questions to ask. So I find it really satisfying when I’m able to guide them through the options and give them the peace-of-mind that we can help them meet their child’s social and developmental needs in a safe setting where someone cares about their well-being.
Lorna Greer – Metcalfe Cooperative Nursery School TeacherLorna joined Rural Family Connections as a Resource Worker at our Live and Learn Resource Centre in April 2012. She is currently teaching at the Metcalfe Nursery School in the pre-school, toddler and KinderCamp programs. In addition, Lorna has been involved with children’s programs, coordinating a church childcare/nursery program and teaching Sunday school. With her working and volunteer experiences, Lorna found Early Childhood Education (ECE) a natural progression. As a result, Lorna received her E.C.E. diploma from Loyalist college in the Spring of 2016. I love watching the children learn through play, songs and games. This is some of the most fun learning that children may ever do. It’s wonderful to be part of that.
Jaime Hodges – Live & Learn Early ON Child and Family Centre Play Group FacilitatorJaime is a graduate of Early Childhood Education program and has been a daycare provider 14 years. She has been part of the Rural Family Connections team since 2014. Jaime currently shares the role of playgroup facilitator at our Osgoode Village Location.
Elsa Justice – Live & Learn Early ON Child and Family Centre Playgroup FacilitatorElsa started with MCNS in the fall of 2009. She comes to us with 5 years of experience as a kindergarten teacher in Mexico. She currently shares the role of playgroup facilitator at our Osgoode Village Location.
Liz LeCain – Live & Learn Early ON Family & Child Centre Playgroup Facilitator
Liz is originally from the Maritimes and now nestled in just outside Osgoode with her husband, 4 kids, dogs and chickens. She is a graduate from Bishop’s and Queen’s Universities and is an elementary school teacher in Ottawa, but currently enjoying some extra time off with her family. She enjoys exploring alongside kids as they engage in a variety of play-based and outdoor learning experiences. Liz looks forward to welcoming you with a smile at the Kars and North Gower playgroups!
“I should ask that a gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout a life”- Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder (1998)