Provincial Child Care Council welcomes new members
October 12, 2017
VANCOUVER – The Provincial Child Care Council (PCCC), which will play a key role in supporting the Province’s efforts to introduce universal child care in B.C., is welcoming five new members to its roster.
“I am looking forward to working with the Provincial Child Care Council in the coming months,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy. “Our universal child-care plan will ultimately lead to one of the most significant new social programs in B.C.’s history, and having the council’s collective expertise to support us through this process is invaluable.”
The PCCC provides advice on the policies and programs that affect the affordability, quality, stability and accessibility of child care. Its members are appointed from throughout the province, and represent five key sectors: Aboriginal, law/business, child care, education and non-profit/local government.
“Parents are struggling to find quality, affordable child care in B.C.,” said Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen. “We need input from child-care professionals and policy makers, like those on the Provincial Child Care Council, to help us shape the move to universal child care – a move that will make an enormous difference for B.C. families.”
Joining the 21-member council this year are:
- Kim Adamson, general manager of child care for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver.
- Deb Bryant, CEO of the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of British Columbia in Vancouver.
- Kevin Campbell, managing director of Investment Banking at Haywood Securities Inc. in Vancouver.
- Charlene Gray, president of the Early Childhood Educators of BC and senior manager of the Comox Valley Children’s Day Care Society.
- Rena Laberge, owner/operator of Buddy Bears Family Child Care in Victoria.
“We are excited to welcome our new members to the Provincial Child Care Council, and we look forward to working together to advocate for quality, affordable child care for every B.C. family,” said Wayne Robertson, chair of the PCCC. “I’m confident that the skills our members bring to the table will help the B.C. government find a solution to the child-care crisis in our province.”
The PCCC members are trusted, confidential advisors to the Minister of Children and Family Development and the Minister of State for Child Care. The members will provide valuable input into the overall implementation details for B.C.’s universal child-care plan.
For more detailed biographies of all of the PCCC members, please visit: http://ow.ly/mlxu30fFYew
A backgrounder follows.
Provincial Child Care Council member biographies
The Provincial Child Care Council consists of 21 members, all of whom have child-care, policy or management backgrounds. A brief biography on each member included below.
Kim Adamson (appointed Oct. 10, 2017) is the general manager of child care for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. Adamson has an MBA from Royal Roads University and was provincial manager for Success By 6 at the United Way of the Lower Mainland where she developed recommendations and implemented strategic priorities for the Early Childhood Development Provincial Partnership. She was also regional early years co-ordinator for the Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative.
Deb Bryant (appointed Oct. 10, 2017) is CEO of the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of British Columbia, located in Vancouver, and has a masters degree in leadership from Royal Roads University. Most of her career has been spent in the not-for-profit sector, which has given her a big-picture perspective on where improvements and progress can be made. She believes strongly in the importance of peer networks and collaboration.
Kevin Campbell (appointed Oct. 10, 2017) is managing director of investment banking at Haywood Securities Inc., where he focuses on advisory and finance in the mining sector. He is also the chair of the Lochmaddy Foundation, a Canadian private charitable foundation that focuses on development programs in Africa. He is an advocate for child care and the arts.
Charlene Gray (appointed Oct. 10, 2017) has been an early childhood educator for more than 25 years, and is currently the senior manager at the Comox Valley Children’s Day Care Society and president of the Early Childhood Educators of BC. She has a diploma and has taken early years specialization courses from the University of Victoria.
Rena Laberge (appointed Oct. 10, 2017) is the owner/operator of Buddy Bears Family Child Care in Victoria, a past chair of the BC Family Child Care Association, past president of Southern Vancouver Island Family Child Care Association, and owner of Felt Stories by Rena. As a licensed family child-care provider for more than 20 years, Laberge realizes the need for child-care providers to access inexpensive activities that allow children to learn while playing.
Natacha Beim (member since Feb. 12, 2014) is the CEO and founder of Cefa Educational Systems and CEO and founder of Cefa Early Learning Schools in West Vancouver. Active in her community, she is the strategic alliances chair of the Entrepreneurs Organization. Her awards include a Top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneur Award and the WOW Woman of Worth Award for Empowered Educator. She is also a three-time finalist for the Women of Distinction Award for Education Training and Development. She holds a masters degree in education from the Universidad de la Republica in Uruguay.
Diane Bellesen (member since Dec. 31, 2014) is a facilitator and instructor for family child-care providers at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Douglas College, and a licensee at the Child’s View Children’s Centre in Surrey. She was the past chair of the BC Family Child Care Association, a director of the Surrey Food Bank, past president of the South Fraser Family Child Care Society, and a member of the Provincial Council for Girl Guides of Canada. She has a child and youth care counselor diploma, an early childhood education certificate, a one-year family child care certificate, and has completed her healthy opportunities for preschoolers facilitator training.
Gail Brown (member since Feb. 12, 2014) is a retired early childhood educator and the manager of Children First, a regional/provincial initiative to support children and families in Cranbrook. She was a social worker with the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and a licensing officer with the Ministry of Health. Brown is a trustee for the Southeast Kootenay school district, chairperson of the French Language Committee, and board liaison for two Cranbrook elementary schools. She has a bachelor of social work from the University of Victoria and a masters in early childhood education from the University of Alberta.
Melissa Burke (member since Feb. 12, 2014) is currently the director and founder of Vancouver Island Kidz Kompany Childcare Group Ltd., which currently has five locations throughout Nanaimo. Burke volunteers for the Canadian Cancer Society, BC Children’s Hospital and the Nanaimo Child Development Centre. She holds her certification as an early childhood educator from Vancouver Island University and has taken various courses in child development, inclusive child-care settings, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Anne Cooper (member since Jan. 15, 2013) is a retired superintendent from the Revelstoke school district. Previously, she was superintendent of schools in Fort Nelson. She is a member of the Human Early Partnership, the Middle Years Development Instrument Advisory Committee, as well as a founding member of the Revelstoke Social Development Committee, the Revelstoke Early Childhood Development Committee, and the Screen Smart Committee. In February 2013, she received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing her as one of the outstanding educational leaders in British Columbia.
Nancy Gale (member since Feb. 12, 2014) is the executive director of the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association, a member of the Williams Lake Community Policing Board, vice-president of the Williams Lake Downtown Business Improvement Association, and member and sustainability taskforce co-chair of the Non-Profit Labour Market Partnership Project through the Vancouver Foundation’s Social Service Advisory Committee. Gale has a bachelor of arts in sociology from Carleton University, and a master of continuing education from the University of Calgary.
Daljit Gill-Badesha (member since Feb. 12, 2014) is a middle-school manager with the City of Surrey, and chair and co-ordinator of the Children’s Partnership’s South Asian Early Childhood Development (ECD) Task Group. Gill-Badesha has a bachelor of arts in psychology, a diploma in education from the University of British Columbia, and a master of arts in educational psychology and leadership studies from the University of Victoria. She also has an early psychosis intervention program certificate from the Fraser Health Authority.
Roxanne Harris (member since Dec. 31, 2016) is the principal of Qwam Quum Stuwixwulh Community School in Ladysmith. She formerly taught grades 9-12 at Stz’uminus Secondary school and later became principal of that school, as well as Penelakut Island Elementary school and Penelakut Island Learning Centre. Harris has a bachelor of education from the University of British Columbia and a master of educational leadership from Vancouver Island University.
Laura Lee Kent (member since Jan. 15, 2013) is a co-ordinator for the West Vancouver Child and Family Hub. Previously, she was co-ordinator of volunteer services with North Shore Neighbourhood House and John Braithwaite Community Centre. She worked as a substitute teacher for Westcoast Family Place and as a preschool teacher at Highlands Preschool in North Vancouver. She is a member of the Early Childhood Educators of BC, and has a bachelor of applied science’s child studies from the University of Guelph.
Angie Maitland (member since Feb. 25, 2016) has worked as a pre-school teacher and is currently a child-care centre manager for the Haisla Nation Council in Kitimat. She is the vice-president of Tamatik Status of Women and director of the First Nations Early Childhood Development Council. She holds an early childhood education certificate from Northern Lights College and her supervisor fundamentals certificate from the University of Northern British Columbia.
Sandra Menzer (member since Oct. 20, 2011) is a consultant and the former executive director of the Vancouver Society of Children’s Centres in New Westminster. Previously, she was the executive director of operations for Collingwood Neighbourhood House, and a child and youth care worker for Browndale Care Society. Menzer studied social work at the University of Victoria.
Wayne Robertson, QC (member since April 1, 2010) is chair of the Provincial Child Care Council and its longest-serving member. He is the executive director of the Law Foundation of B.C. in West Vancouver. He has a long history of serving on community committees, including the North Vancouver Recreation Commission, the North Shore Multicultural Society, and the Lynn Valley Little League. Robertson has a bachelor of arts in English and psychology from Carleton University, a bachelor of social work in community development from the University of Calgary, and a bachelor of laws from the University of Alberta.
Charles Schneider (member since Dec. 31, 2014) recently retired as an elementary school principal in the Central Okanagan School District. In Kelowna, Schneider served on the Early Learning Partnership and Kelowna child-care committees. In 2015, he moved to Surrey and joined Children First and Middle Years Matter committees. He has a master of education degree in educational administration from the University of Victoria, a professional teaching certificate, and a bachelor of arts in history and political science from the University of Calgary.
Amanda Smedley (member since Feb. 12, 2014) is the deputy director of the Exploration Place in Prince George, where she held positions as manager (teaching and learning), and education officer. Smedley received the University of Victoria Award for the Master’s Student with the highest grade-point average and the Ronald C. Corbeil Award for Merit in Program Evaluation. She has a bachelor of science in biology, and a bachelor of education from the University of Northern British Columbia.
Suzanne Sterling-Bur (member since Feb. 12, 2014) is from the N’lakap’mx Nation through her father and the Sto:Lo Nation through her mother. Sterling-Bur owns Godey Creek Consulting in Merritt and is a part-time instructor for the Early Childhood Development Program at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. She is also the Interior region’s Aboriginal early childhood consultant for the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Passionate about early childhood development and promoting quality of life for children and youth, she currently serves as president of the Rotary Club of Merritt Sunrise, president of Nicola Family Therapy, and treasurer for the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society. She is a board member of the Aboriginal Steering Committee for the Human Early Learning Partnership Research Team at the University of British Columbia.
Margaret Warcup (member since Feb. 25, 2016), executive director of the Kitimat Child Development Centre, has worked in the early childhood development field for more than 35 years as a physiotherapist and administrator in Terrace and Kitimat. She is also a member of the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators Board of Examiners. She has a masters of science in community health from the University of Northern British Columbia and a bachelor of science in rehabilitation medicines from the University of British Columbia.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development