About the award recipient: Now retired, Roni Cahen generously spends her retirement years mentoring Early Childhood Educators and being “on the floor” with infants and toddlers, continuing to learn from them. Her strong vision for responsive, collaborative and inquiry-based learning has fueled many passions and modelled passionate and critical ways of educating young children.
Roni was—and continues to be—an early childhood educator who works tirelessly to improve child care in British Columbia. She has been instructing early childhood education in college level programs for more than 30 years and while her accomplishments are many, one that particularly stands out is the design of a process to implement inquiry, taking small steps, inviting children’s collaborative meaning making, repeating experiences with minor changes as pertinent, revisiting work to engage children in discussion and to set an expectation of collective inquiry.
She continues to volunteer as a mentor to educators at the SFU Child Care Society, where she guides educators to implement reflective practices as teacher researchers.
Passion for early childhood education drives her commitment and her work. She voraciously reads research in ECE and strives to implement it in her practice. The sources of learning for Roni are many. She travels, watch movies, and she appreciates cultural events. This enriches her vast experience teaching and intellectually growing. When a new book in ECE studies is published, it is certain that Roni has already purchased a copy to feed her desire to grow and learn.
Roni attended University of California in Berkeley, later taking early childhood courses in New Jersey and completing those initial studies at Vancouver Community College. She received her MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College in 1996, She worked with children for five years in New Jersey and twenty years in the Lower Mainland and was a teacher in Richmond, BC at a Parent Participation Preschool for eighteen years. It was during that time that she began teaching various Early Childhood Education courses for Richmond, Delta, North Shore and Burnaby. She continues to be an instructor in the Burnaby Community and Continuing Education ECE Program, but at this point in her life focuses on teaching curriculum courses that reflect Reggio-inspired practice.
The Nominees: The CCCF would also like to recognize all of the nominees for the CCCF Award of Excellence 2017. Each one has contributed significantly to early childhood learning and care in Canada and are worthy of recognition. They are:
- Marilyn Armstrong and Gina Blank from St. Albert, AB and Edmonton, AB
- Liz Bruce from Oakbank, MB
- Deepika (Dee) Bakshi from Calgary, AB
- Carmelita “Carmen” Tilley from Fort McMurray, AB
- Barbara Wolff from Edmonton, AB
- Anick Lia-Pehe from Winnipeg, MB
The Canadian Child Care Federation’s Award for Excellence in Child Care honours individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of child care and is presented biennially.
It recognizes accomplishments in all areas of child care, including those who work directly with children. Nominees have given their time, talent and energy to enhance child care in Canada and have:
- contributed to a higher quality of child care, locally, provincially or nationally
- advocated on behalf of children, families or caregivers
- made a recognized contribution to the profession
- assumed a high level of responsibility
- demonstrated commitment and creativity
The CCCF would also like to thank all of the individuals who took the time to nominate all of these outstanding candidates as well as the Awards Selection Committee, chaired by Marni Flaherty from Hamilton, ON and comprised of committee members Jean Robinson from Lincoln, NB, Cathy Ramos from Halifax, NS, Ruth Houston from Toronto, ON, Jadranka Pocrnic from Saskatoon, SK, MaryAnn Farebrother from Calgary, AB and Carla Hees from Vancouver, BC.