A local educator has received the award for best Francophone early childhood educator in B.C. at the annual Francophone Parents Conference and annual general meeting in Vancouver on Nov. 23.
Renée Lachance was chosen from all the educators working in Francophone early childhood education centres in British Columbia.
The criteria is strict, and she rose above all the other nominees. She is the manager, lead educator, and one of the founders of Les Petits du Pacifique, a French-language centre located in Sechelt. She successfully runs the play-based program with great creativity and a passion for the outdoors. She has an outstanding voice and has recorded a French-language CD for the children with songs she uses throughout the year with them.
Lachance was trained in Quebec and worked there for many years in pre-schools before moving to the Sunshine Coast where she was hired by the Conseil Scolaire Francophone (School District No. 93) as a specialist working with children with language disorders and also supporting teachers in class with special needs students.
In 2007 Lachance and a group of dedicated parents and teachers started working on opening the first French-language pre-school program on the Sunshine Coast.
In January of 2010 Les Petits du Pacifique opened its doors in the elementary school École du Pacifique. The centre now runs three full days a week offering parents full day care for their 30 month to five-year-old children in a Francophone environment. The centre collaborates often with the school in many cultural events and allows the children an earlier exposure to the French language in a school setting in preparation for Kindergarten.
Lachance said that the award is not only for her, but also for her dedicated assistants Meriem Driss and Nathalie Flibotte, who work in the centre as well. She is appreciative of the hard work, enthusiasm and love they share with the children.
For more information about Les Petits du Pacifique, call 604-741-5852 or see www.lespetitsdupacifique.ca.