Cheryl Fontaine

About Cheryl

My love of the outdoors started young. I grew up in the Okanagan where I spent many hours in our family’s big ol’ back yard, riding my bike around the yard, gardening with my mom, eating the juicy peaches we grew, building roads and cities in the sandbox with my brother.  As I grew older I remember biking down to the nearby creek to swim, family camping trips and ice skating at the local outdoor rink. However I always loved the towering, lush green of the west coast and left the interior for the lower mainland in 1998.

Once I got to the lower mainland I did a variety of jobs in the service industry and eventually found a career as a legal assistant where I worked for about 12 years.  While work as a legal assistant was a stable and secure, I felt unfilled and I longed to leave and do something in line with one of my other passions.  My life changed directions completely with the birth of my son in 2013.  I was a new mother and did not have the heart to go back to work that I was not passionate about and leave my son in a daycare.  Of course like many families we couldn’t even find a daycare.  As a family we made the decision for me to stay at home for a time.  While my son was just one year old I decided to go down the path to open my own home based daycare so my son would have other children to play and socialize with.  It was during this time while running my own LNR daycare in East Vancouver that my eyes were opened to the world of forest school and outdoor education.  It was something I always believed to be true – that children thrive in the experience of being outdoors where their imaginations can flourish and their bodies can be challenged.  Mud, puddles and sticks! Now I was able to facilitate outdoor play in my own daycare. The path I was on felt right to me.

After enrolling my son in an outdoor early learning forest preschool program, I became inspired to go back to school to obtain my ECE Certificate. Since 2017 I’ve had the joy of working as an Early Childhood Educator offering outdoor forest programs, first with Muddy Boot Prints, and now with my own play-based, outdoor preschool program in the Tri-Cities area.

I’ve had the opportunity of working with elementary age kids, but my favorites are the little ones, and I believe that nature is our teacher, children are capable, and muddy play is so important for curious preschoolers.

In my spare time, I enjoy biking, gardening, camping with my family and plinking on my ukulele.

About Nina

Childcare has always been a passion for Nina, raising her own nibblet while attending night school in order to earn her early childhood educator diploma with honors. She ran her own day care for eight years and is excited to join with a team who shares her values. Specifically an outside education setting which elevates the need for children’s input and child led education styles. An emphasis on play and fostering an environment which builds non-conventional education models is of specific interest, allowing children to be children. Childhood is such a unique and special time that enjoying those years can specifically build a foundation for a happy and fulfilled life.

All spiritual life begins with a sense of wonder, and nature is a window into that wonder.

-Richard Louv