DAWN MacFARLANE – Executive Director I have lived all my life in Nova Scotia and have spent more than 30 years working in the non-profit sector of child care. My formal education is in Business, Early Childhood Education, Non-profit Sector Management and Management Development for Women. I grew up with 7 siblings on the North Shore. I have 2 beautiful daughters, 2 granddaughters and now a grandson. I have worked with families in child care for 30 years, 26 of those years at Wee Care. I have worked on Federal and Provincial commitees over the years advocating for quality affordable and accessible childcare. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, swimming and cooking in a dinner club.
LIZ SDRAULIG – Operations Assistant Come from away, here to stay I have found my passion for life, work and play on the East Coast. I am fiercely proud of my 2 grown children. I am an avid fan of Canadian and live music. ECE certified and a lifetime of special needs education. Known for my extensive Pink Panther Collection and volunteerism. A piece of my heart will forever be in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
SARAH BROWN – Resource Teacher I spent several years teaching English in Asian countries before coming back home to Halifax to work in day care. I was a classroom teacher for 11 years and transitioned to Resource in March 2019. I have a degree in Child and Youth Studies from Mount Allison and am currently working on my Masters. I also facilitate workshops for the new provincial framework. I am a coach for synchronised swimming.
CRAIG BLEEKS – Cook I am a certified chef and studied French cuisine in Ontario. I have worked in many different types of establishments. I specialize in high volume dining, however I have done fine dining. My big fuzzy cat, Felix and I have been in Halifax for 8 years. *Filling in for Paula while she is off recuperating.
ANNA PLASKETT Music Therapist I hold a degree in music performance from Michigan State University and a certificate of Music Therapy from Acadia University. In my music therapy practice, I focus on developing each individuals unique potential through creative self-expression, integrating music and movement with the children and including collabrative sessions with physiotherapy. I also work at my practice Heartsparks Music Therapy and recently released a children’s album To The Moon and Back.
LINDA LONGMIRE Physical Therapist I graduated from Dalhousie University in Physiotherapy in 1971. I worked in pediatrics at the IWK hospital and even as far away as Adalaide Children’s Hospital in Australia. I love children and have a creative approach to treatment, inspiring movement through joy. When I’m not at work I like to play Newfoundland jigs on the fiddle.
JANICE DAVIS Occupational Therapist I began working in the field as an OT since 1992. Over the years I have enjoyed many different work experiences in hospitals, in the community, in nursing homes and now in childcare centres also. I am originally from Ontario but now make Nova Scotia my home. I have a very busy household with 4 children and 2 large goldendoodles. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to be part of such an incredible team.
JESSICA LaRONDE Music Therapist I am a certified music therapist currently working with Heartsparks Music Therapy. I hold a Bachelor of Music (Concentration in Music Education) (2012) and a Certificate in Music Therapy (2014) from Acadia University. I specialize in working with individuals with special needs, youth at risk, mental health, and the elderly population. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, traveling, and seeing live music.
MARLY NAUSS – Teacher in Green Explorers I am a graduate from Mount Saint Vincent University in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Studies. I am currently working on my Masters in Child and Youth Studies at MSVU. I have experience in child care ranging from public schools to impatient care at IWK. I enjoy live theatre and bringing life back to dying Cacti, succulents and ferns. I am a “plant whisperer!”
COREY HOCKINGS – Teaching Assistant in Green Explorers I am an Algonquin College graduate of the Outdoor Adventure and Education program. I’ve always found myself working with children, be it refereeing soccer and hockey at 13, or later working at the YMCA and Community Living. Ask me about my job as a White Water Canoe Tripper. I’ve worked with children, young adults, and teens and I can’t wait to see what your children teach me!
EMILY MILLER – Teacher in Green Explorers I am a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University with a degree in Child and Youth Care. I am currently working on my Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. I am proud to be a part of the Wee Care community and to work with all the amazing children and families. I love to hike, travel and play my guitar in my free time.
TAMMY ZWICKER-FITZPATRICK – Teacher with Red Researchers I graduated from the Nova Scotia Teachers College with a diploma in Early Childhood Education. I have been working at Wee Care since 2013. It is a pleasure working with children where I can nurture and provide a loving and educational environment. I value and foster individuality. I am known for fun and hosting dance parties.
SARAH RAFUSE – Teaching Assistant with Red Researchers I have been working in the child care field for 6 years. I am new to the Wee Care family and am happy that I made the transition. I got my entry leave from Nova Scotia Community College in 2017. I love watching children and learning new things. I grew up and still live in a small community near Halifax. I enjoy hiking and nature walks.
CHARMAINE EYLES – Teacher with Red Researchers I was born in New Castle, New Brunswick but have lived in Halifax since 1984. I have been with Wee Care since 2007, I obtained my ECE degree at NSCECE in 2017. I enjoy experiencing many miracles that take place at Wee Care. The children’s smiles touch my heeart to want to do more.
CHERYL BENEDICT – Teacher in Yellow Submarines From Dalhousie I received a B.A. in 1983 and in 1985 I earned my Bachelor of Education, focus on Special Education from Acadia University. I have been a proud teacher at Wee Care since September 1985. in 2009 I was honoured to be a recipient of the Prime Minister Award – Certificate of Achievement – for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. In 2018 I was awarded N.S. provincial award – The Infinity Award of Excellence – for years of service at Wee Care and in the field. In my spare time I enjoy reading and hockey, family members, the Mooseheads and the Leafs. I can often be found exploring Nova Scotia on “mini-vacations”.
AMBIKA SITAULA – Teaching Assistant in Yellow Submarines I received much of my formal training in Kathmandu, Nepal. I have a Bachelor in Humanities and Social Science from Tribhuwam University, and Child Psychology training. I moved to Canada in 2012 with my husband and 2 children. I love travelling, gardening and being social with friends and family.
KIM WATCHORN – Teacher in Yellow Submarines I am a long-time resident of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. In 1988, I graduated from the Nova Scotia Early Childhood Education College. I enjoy travelling, knitting and cats. I have been working at Wee Care since 2017.
AMANDA JEFFERS – Teacher in Mango Tango I received my Bachelor of Applied Arts in Child and Youth Studies with honours from Mount St. Vincent University. I have 20 years of experience in the field and nearly half of those have been at Wee Care. I like fall leaves, sunshine, butterflies, snowmen and the sound of children laughing. I love to read and my favourite quote is “Dreams come true one step at a time.”
PAULINE RODRIGUEZ – Teaching Assistant in Mango Tango I was born in the Philippines. It’s sunny most of the time there! I recently moved to Nova Scotia 🙂 I worked as an English teacher for 2 years back home. I taught children from ages 5-15 years old. I have always enjoyed working with students and seeing how much they learn and grow. A few of my favourite things are pastel colours, pasta, the beach, road trips and reading books.
LAURA STEWART – Teacher in Mango Tango I first graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2014, it was then that I realized I wanted to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education. Over the next few years, I worked in several centres while I completed my B.A. in Child and Youth Studies and graduated from the Mount again in 2017. Through my work experience I’ve developed a passion for creating diverse learning spaces and I’m excited to be able to continue to grow at Wee Care. In my off time I enjoy spending time with family, art, and photography. *filling in for Olivia Arnold while she recuperates
JOAN HILLIER – Teacher in Purple Lavender Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, I graduated Early Childhood Education from Loyalist College in Ontario. My husband, Carl is in the military and we met and married in Ontario, although we both call the Rock home. I am very close with my siblings and enjoy playing golf, tennis and pickleball. I have a very unusual nickname…Ask me about it! My obit will say that I am sweet, loving and a lot of fun. It won’t be wrong!
ESTHER TSE – Teacher in Purple Lavender I have been with the Wee Care team since July 2017. I was born in Hong Kong and came to Canada at a young age. I hold a Diploma of Early Childhood Education from NSCECE, a Bachelor of Management from Dalhousie University, and a Level 10 in Piano Performance. I enjoy travelling, baking, music and spending time with my husband Alan. I love working with children and I am dedicated to promote an inclusive environment for them to explore. I am very grateful to be a part of this amazing place.
SARAH KEDDY – Teacher in the Blue Lagoon I was the first baby born in the New Year of 1996 in Truro. I moved to Halifax in 2014 to study Child and Youth Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. I was lucky enough to do a practicum placement at Wee Care and fell in love with the idea, place and staff. Upon graduation, I started work there. I have a cat named Winnie who is named after my favourite childhood character Winnie the Pooh. I have been playing violin since 8 years of age and I love the outside.
LAUREN JENSSEN – Teacher in the Blue Lagoon In 2016 I graduated from Mount St. Vincent University with my Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Study. I was born in the beautiful Annapolis Valley where I spent most of my childhood outside exploring. I believe that there is so much to be learned through nature I try my best to bring the children’s activities outside whenever possible! In my spare time I love to travel, I have been to South Africa, Iceland and all over Europe but have many other places I would still love to see. When I’m not working, I’m usually found across the bridge at home with my husband James and my two cats Leo and Finn.
OLIVIA ARNOLD – Teacher in Mango Tango Off on extended leave. Return date unknown
PAULA BRUMAIRE – Cook Off on extended leave. Return date unknown
NEL GODIN-KEATING – Volunteer I come to Wee Care two mornings a week to help with the laundry and reading to the children. I started my education at Wee Care with Cheryl Benedict in the baby room. I am now in grade 12 and in my free time I enjoy shopping, working out, baking and cooking.
ANDY – Volunteer At Wee Care I am a gadget guy, inventive and innovative, a handyman. Before I retired, I had a 20 year career as a Remedial Seating Technician with the IWK, I modified seating for children with special needs. I have always been creative and even pursued an Art degree in University. Originally from Syracuse NY, now a proud Canadian. A world traveller with quite a story to tell.