Our Staff

At Thistleoaks, our greatest asset and selling feature is our staff. With one of the most experienced staff in the region, their dedication, enthusiasm, energy, and passion are second-to-none. Several of our staff members have been with the centre since it opened in 1989, and not only provide excellent child care, but also mentorship for staff who have recently graduated and have joined the Thistleoaks family.


Many of our staff have obtained their Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma or equivalency, while others have a related diploma or degree in the child care or education field. There are a few staff without these related degrees, but each offer a wealth of child care experience that more than offset it. As a team, the staff brings a diverse background and skill set to compliment each other and provide a best in class learning environment for the children.


All of our staff have both First Aid and CPR training, as well as criminal reference checks and up-to-date immunizations. They participate in regular professional development, and are part of the Halton region’s Quality First initiative.

Leadership

Cheryl Prentice

Executive Director

Joined Thistleoaks: 2002

I started out at Thistleoaks Child Care Centre as a Sheridan Student in the Toddler Room in 2002. I had the great pleasure of being hired upon graduation in 2003 and have called Thistleoaks home ever since. 'Home' is a funny word to use when describing a child care centre, but that is truly what Thistleoaks is. I left Thistleoaks in 2013 and spent the next 5 years working both as a consultant for Quality First and as the Halton School Age Specialist with the Region of Halton. In 2017, I returned  to Thistleoaks, it was then that I realized how much I consider Thistleoaks home. Thistleoaks is home to quality professional educators who dedicate themselves daily to developing and fostering authentic, responsive adult-child relationships, and I consider it an honour to lead this team as we continue to support the children and families within our community.

Mindy Williams

School Director

Joined Thistleoaks: 2019

 

I have been working in the Early Learning and Care field for approximately 25 years, in varied diverse settings in the Toronto, Halton, Durham and Hamilton regions, 18 years of which have been spent in leadership and management roles. I was drawn to Thistleoaks for the opportunity to work with like-minded educators, professional partners, families, and children, who inspire, reflect, support, encourage, and show determination in working together towards high levels of quality Early Learning and Care.  It is hugely satisfying work!  I am happily ever-evolving!

On a more personal note, I am a small-town girl who moved to the big city when I was 24, and recently moved to Waterdown, where I live with my fiancé and children (12, 13, 14 & 16).  I love all things creative including song writing, singing, playing guitar, and architectural design, but also love my quiet moments with a tea and a crossword puzzle!  My idea of a perfect day is out for a boat ride on the lake with my family on a sunny summer day!   

Meet the Staff

Suzie P

Current Room: Sanitation

Joined Thistleoaks: 1992

As Dorothy said, "There's no place like home!" Having had the opportunity to not only teach children but to learn and grow alongside them as well is so rewarding. Home is where the heart is, and Thistleoaks is truly my second home. 

Sarah C

Current Room: Preschool - Spruce 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2014

Thistleoaks has been a great inspiration for me in the field of ECE. It has been a fun and educational experience. For me, this enthusiasm spills over to the children and families within the centre. My older child has graduated from Thistleoaks, and my younger child is still here! 

Eva H

Current Room: Seniors

Joined Thistleoaks: 1989

2-3 sentences here about the staff member...? Years as RECE, graduated from x school, a thought on Thistleoaks? 

Michelle H

Current Room: Infants - Applewood 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2003

I enjoy coming to work each day, not only to guide and teach the children, but also to learn from them. Each day is a new adventure and no two days are ever the same. There is nothing I find more rewarding than watching each child as an individual grow, mature, and succeed here at Thistleoaks. 

Julie B

Current Room: Kitchen

Joined Thistleoaks: 2008

Thistleoaks is my second home. I am a big kid, and love all the amazing friends I have met here. I love learning, discovering, and having fun with them! Thistleoaks has a big piece of my heart! 

Jessica P

Current Room: Preschool - Cedar

Joined Thistleoaks: 2013

I love working at Thistleoaks. It's more than just a child care centre; we are a family. We build genuine relationships with our colleagues, the children, and their families, and we are a part of the community. We learn from each other and the children as we learn and play through the journey of early childhood. 

Eva H

Current Role: Supply

Joined Thistleoaks: 1990

I love working at Thistleoaks first and foremost for the children and their families. Children are the most precious things we have, and it is an honour and a privilege to be trusted to take care of your most precious. I want to do right by you and your children. I will respect your children, where they are in their development, and I love watching them grow and learn. There's nothing as special as this, and I love doing it.

Emma J

Current Room: Preschool - Cedar 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2014

In my time at Thistleoaks I have worked with the Toddler and Preschool groups. I love helping children explore their environment, and nothing brings me more joy than the sense of wonder and pride when a child solves a problem or makes a discovery. 

Lindsay M

Current Room: Preschool - Spruce 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2007

In my time at Thistleoaks, the support of my coworkers and the ideas we all share has made us able to create a successful and happy environment for the children and their families. My child has attended here since she was a toddler, and the care for her has been wonderful from all of her teachers. 

Lorena R

Current Room: Toddler - Birch 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2012

I love to work at Thistleoaks. It is my second home. Here I feel like family and I feel a lot of support from the team. I love to work with children of all ages. I have liked kids since I was a girl, taking care of my mom's friends' children. Through my son I have learned a lot about child development, milestones, and abilities. I studied at Sheridan and graduated with High Honours, but it was working full time that taught me how to work with children. Theory is good but not enough without practice! I love seeing the fruit of my work in my efforts with the children; they get so many skills while they grow physically if the environment is appropriate and positive. Being an ECE is the most rewarding profession, but it's the most challenging, too. We are responsible for the well-being of our children for the rest of their lives. 

Nisha S

Current Room: Toddler - Birch 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2015

 

I am a dedicated and reliable RECE. It has been an amazing experience getting to know the staff, families, and children as well as the diverse culture and background within the centre. I love to be around children and to guide them through their learning and development for them to be successfull individuals. 

Michelle W

Current Room: Toddler - Willow 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2014

It has been an incredibly rewarding experience connecting with the children and engaging their bright minds to reach their full potential. I love that Thistleoaks feels like a 'home away from home' where children, families, and staff always feel welcome. 

Brent W 

Current Room: Sanitation

Joined Thistleoaks: 2017

Thistleoaks, a place like no other... It has been my pleasure and distinct honour to be a part of the exceptional place that is Thistleoaks. Nothing compares to seeing the world through a child’s point of view; having a unique opportunity to experience the day-to-day at their level really is an incredible experience. I view myself as a co-learner with not only the kids, but also the wonderful collection of educators with whom I spend my days. I am dedicated to ensuring that the School Age program is a safe place of belonging as well as inclusion under the theory that we are all stronger as one big team. I am proud to be a part of such a tradition of excellence... and happy to be the biggest kid in the room who calls this place home. 

Luisa D

Current Room: Toddler - Willow

Joined Thistleoaks: 2017

Thistleoaks arrived in my life when I had just come to Canada in 2015, when my daughter started in the Toddler room. Since that moment, I have felt that we arrived into a big family and I loved it - I felt safe leaving my daughter in good hands in the big family called Thistleoaks. That is the reason that pushed me to work here, to belong to this family and learn more about Canadian culture in this great centre. 

Nakilla N 

Current Room: Infants - Applewood 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2013

Thistleoaks: a place like no other. I love coming to work every day; having that excitement to see my team brings me joy. It is wonderful knowing I have such amazing people surrounding me, and helping me grow my experiences and work ethic. 

Alliyah A

Current Room: Sanitation 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2018

My journey at Thistleoaks has been amazing! Since I started here, I’ve been enjoying every minute of it, right from the first day. I first started working in the Toddler room, and now I’m working School Age. I love helping children to be adventurous in their play as well helping them to have fun each and every day. I like working with the staff here; they all have welcomed me with open arms! 

Joe W

Role: Joe of all trades!

Joined Thistleoaks: 1997

I love working here, I love being around the kids and the families. I love talking about sports with anyone who wants to chat with me! Go Leafs Go!  

Jasmyne G

Current Room: Infants - Applewood

Joined Thistleoaks: 2017

I have enjoyed getting to know all of the children here at Thistleoaks, and I look forward to coming to work each day, as each day here provides me with the opportunity to learn and gain valuable life experiences. 

Alyssa Z

Current Room: Toddlers - Willow

Joined Thistleoaks: 2019

Ever since I was young, I have always enjoyed caring for young children. I love forming relationships with the children that allow me to explore and discover the world with them and also console and comfort them. I look forward to forming many more relationships with the children at Thistleoaks!

Kasia A

Current Room: Infants - Applewood 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2012

Thistleoaks is my second home. I feel very lucky to have found such a great place to work. The staff, families, and children at the centre have made this experience and journey one that I will cherish and remember for a lifetime. 

Eva M

Current Room: JK/SK - Maple 

Joined Thistleoaks: 2017

Every day here at Thistleoaks is a rewarding experience. Thistleoaks gives me the opportunity to meet great people, all the staff that work in this place, they do not only work with the knowledge in their field but with heart and soul involved. As a Supply Teacher, I have worked in all the classrooms at Thistleoaks, from Infants to School Age and I can tell, the teamwork and loving care make this child care centre a special place. This is not only a working place for me, between the children and the staff here, I feel like home.

Victoria P

Current Room: Sanitation

Joined Thistleoaks: 2019

Thistleoaks has been a big part of my life since I was born as my mum is one of the educators at the centre. I attended both the nursery school and school age programs as a child, and I volunteered in the KinderClub room as a teenager. I am excited to be working at Thistleoaks and being part of the Thistleoaks family. Working at Thistleoaks has given me the opportunity to practice working with children since they'll be a big part of my future as I hope to become a Paediatric Doctor. 

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