How “Be the change you wish to see” turned “I” into “WE”……
When things are meant to be, the stars align and miracles unfold. In taking the initiative towards this dream, I have attracted others who share the same vision. We are now a TEAM… A team that shares the same philosophy: Learning begins with relationship and blossoms with creativity. We value relationships and individuality. We are professionals. We share a common passion for supporting, nurturing and caring for children, and seeing them reach their full potential. Together with our individual strengths and enthusiastic personalities we bring our own creative incentives to our programs.
With immediate success upon opening the center in January of 2013, it became very clear to me that I had been blessed in attracting an absolutely incredible team of staff members. The strength and personalities of the Educators at Creative Advantage is what initiated the success of our programs and is what sets us apart to this day.
The level of care, patience, compassion, creativity, and hard-work that our staff members put into their jobs, shows the parents here each day that their children are being cared for by individuals who are truly meant to be in the field of childcare. Please read our staff BIO’s for insight into the individual experience, personalities, and values of our Team Members. Finding, screening, and training the right people to be responsible for the care of these little ones is something that I take very seriously. Having said that, I am incredibly proud of my staff and feel honoured to be working with them each and everyday. It is an amazing feeling to walk through the center and see smiles, hear laughter, and witness incredible learning experiences that all comes from the passion that goes into each one of our very important jobs.
JEN – Owner
Hi I’m Jen! I have lived in Kelowna since 2005, raising my three beautiful children Kaylen, Sienna, and Evan. At home my kids and I have 2 cats and 2 dogs! I am a very energetic and outgoing person and have experience in teaching both dance classes and fitness classes. My passion for children began at a very young age. My mom ran an in-home daycare from the time I was 10 and I would rush home from school to play with the kids. Since then, I have worked in many in-home daycares and have held management positions in multiple restaurants. This work experience along with the life experiences of being married for 10 years, being in a step-family with 5 kids altogether, and being a single mom of 3, has given me the skills and compassion necessary to thrive in my position. Beyond that, the only thing that really makes me qualified to run a large care facility is my sincere and wholehearted dedication to the betterment of children’s and parent’s lives and to support my incredible staff members who help me tremendously in this endeavor.
Creative Advantage has been a huge success since the first day it opened…success that is measured in the happiness of our families and staff! Each day that I walk through the center and see how much the staff care and how well the children are cared for, I feel so very happy that I am living my dream and am inspired become better and better so that these wonderful children and amazing staff continue to be in the best environment they could possibly be! I feel that trust is an incredibly important factor in what we do here and am an open book.
RENA – Staff Manager
Hi, I’m Rena! You will find me in all the rooms at Creative Advantage covering breaks or filling in when someone is away. I started working at Creative Advantage in May 2013 and have truly enjoyed getting to know all the wonderful children and staff. My educational background includes completing my community support worker certificate, food safe, first aid, and ECE assistant certificate. I have worked with all ages of children starting in 1989 which is when I was asked to be the supervisor of the first inclusive out of school care program in Burnaby. I continued as supervisor for eight years until my husband and I started our own family. Our family moved from the coast in 2004 to raise our children in the beautiful Okanagan. I have been married for over 30 years and have two awesome children, Connor and Reanne, who are now grown. Any free time I have you will find me biking by the beach or hanging with my grand dog, Pluto.
KIRA – Co-Director
Hi, my name is Kira! I graduated from Okanagan College in 2012 from the Early Childhood Education program, with a Special Needs certificate. I returned back to Okanagan College in 2013 to complete the Infant and Toddler certificate program. I have worked at Creative Advantage since opening its doors in January 2013, but took a year of Maternity leave in 2014 then a second Maternity leave in 2018. I have enjoyed watching this business grow into the amazing place that it is today. I love being a part of this center and being able to work with such an awesome crew of people who make this center all that it is. I feel very honored to be able to work with such wonderful families and children that come into Creative Advantage.
I chose Early Childhood Education because I love working with children and watching them learn and grow every day. I believe that children learn best through play, and as an Early Childhood Educator I help them do just that. I encourage them to explore and manipulate toys and objects around them and to discover new ways of learning through hands on activities!
EMILY B – Co-Director
Hi, I’m Emily B! I’m one of the directors at Creative Advantage as well as an Infant Toddler educator. I was born and raised in the Okanagan and moved into Kelowna in 2010 to take the ECE program at Okanagan College. After graduating and working in the field for 6 months, I was connected with Jen by a mutual friend and joined the team to help open Creative Advantage in 2013 and have worked here ever since. As my family grows, I feel so lucky to work with a team of amazing people that I can trust with my own children. The passion and love that the team at Creative Advantage has for every child and family that walks through the doors is the reason I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
PATRICIA – Infant Room
Hello, I’m Patricia! I taught kindergarten in Jamaica for many years before moving to Canada. When I began working at Creative Advantage, I took on the role of Creative Learning teacher at our [former] KLO location. I took some time away from teaching but missed working with all the staff and children at Creative Advantage too much, so I returned in the Summer of 2022 working in the infant program. I loved working with the babies, but my passion truly lies with working with preschool aged children, and I am excited to once again take on the role of Creative Learning teacher in early 2023.
KAYLA – Infant Room
Hi, I’m Kayla! You will find me in the Infant Room. I was born and raised in Kelowna. I’ve been working with children since I started babysitting at the age of 12, and I absolutely love it. So naturally, I completed the course for my ECE assistants license in 2015 and am continuing to slowly work towards my ECE through online school. In 2021 I welcomed my daughter Isabella and I feel so fortunate to bring her to work with me where I know she will be so well taken care of by everyone here. I love working here with all the children and their families. In my free time you’ll find me playing soft ball or off on adventures Isabella and my best friend Maykala.
Emily D – Tweenie Room
Hi, I’m Emily D! I was born and Raised in Nelson BC. After graduating high school, I moved first to Vancouver and then to Kelowna, where I decided to go back to school at Okanagan College where I got my ECEA certificate in 2019. I am working towards my full ECE license while I work fulltime at Creative Advantage. I love that I get to make special connections with the children here all while watching them learn and grow. In my spare time I enjoy being creative, reading and spending time outside paddleboarding.
Hello, I’m Jensa! I’m originally from Vancouver and have lived in Kelowna since 2014. I graduated from the ECE program at Okanagan College in the spring of 2020 and joined the awesome team at Creative Advantage in the fall. I welcomed my daughter, Lennon in 2021 and she is just as much of an animal lover as I am. I enjoy whistling in my free time and visiting restaurants with my little family. I love to laugh which is why I’m passionate about working with children; they keep me smiling and laughing every day.
SARAH – Tweenie Room
Why hello! My name is Sarah! I am originally from the beautiful and cold Alberta, but I moved to Kelowna in 2012 with my family. My family has since left to enjoy different parts of Canada, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to leave such a beautiful city. I graduated from the Okanagan College in the ECE program in 2022 with my full SN and IT qualifications and a heart full of excitement to get into the field. I enjoy singing, painting, scuba diving, hiking, dancing, cuddling small animals and Juggling. Though I would confess to say I am an expert in none of these things (and certainly not all at once!) they bring me great joy. Joy, I hope to share with everyone I meet big and small.
MARIE – Toddler Room Manager
Hi, my name is Marie! I was born in the lower mainland and relocated to the Okanagan when I was 10 years old. I have a teenage daughter who is my whole world! I was fortunate enough to have had amazing childcare for my daughter as she grew up and realized the importance of finding high quality care that meets a family’s needs.
Upon moving to Kelowna with my daughter in 2011, I felt it was also time for a change of career; something more fulfilling and something my daughter would be proud of me for. At the time I held a position in the salon industry working as an Esthetician and Nail Technician, so after a lot of soul searching, I decided that childcare was right for me!
In 2014, after completing my practicum at Creative Advantage and graduating with a diploma in Early Childhood Education, I was happy to be hired on as a full-time employee. I love the family atmosphere Creative Advantage holds. The team at this centre work together to create a safe and loving environment, rich in learning experiences, creative opportunities, and strong relationships.
SUE – Toddler Room
Hi, I’m Sue! I moved to Kelowna in 2009 with my family from Windsor, Ontario. I graduated from St. Clair College in 1991 with a certificate in Early Childhood Education as well as Infant Toddler care. Before moving to Kelowna, I ran my own in-home daycare for 8 years. I have worked with all ages, but for the past 18 years I have worked mostly with the 2–3-year-old age group. My favourite part of the day with the kids is circle time and doing crafts. When I am not at work, I enjoy hanging out with my two kids, going for walks at Mission Creek, cooking, and baking.
YUKINO – Toddler Room
TAMMY – 3-5 Room
VALENTINA- 3-5 Room
CAROLYNE- Creative Learning Teacher
Hello, I’m Carolyne! I am married with 4 children of my own. In 2005, after working for the Ontario Government for 15 years, my husband, daughter and I moved from Northwestern Ontario to Kelowna BC. We did a quick stint in Yellowknife and enjoyed the culture but being it was too cold, quickly moved back to Kelowna. Here is where I continued my career in teaching preschool. I stuck with it for 10 years, then in 2015, I enrolled at the Canadian College of Funeral Services and by January 2016, I was offered a Funeral Director/Embalming Apprenticing position with First Memorial Funeral Services. I absolutely loved to be a part of the healing process for families during their difficult times. However, my love for children kept shining through and I decided to come back to my Creative Advantage Family after 6 years. In my free time I enjoy the sunny Okanagan and all it has to offer; including, hiking, gardening, and relaxing on the beach. I am happy to be back with such amazing and supportive educators at Creative Advantage and look forward to nurturing and educating our children for many years to come.
MAYKALA – Multi-Age Manager
Hi, I’m Maykala, and I am one of the Managers at Creative Advantage Childcare. I am a very bubbly and caring person. I always have a smile on my face, and I am easy to talk to and get to know. I grew up on a farm in a small town in Saskatchewan and I made the best decision of my life to move to Kelowna after high school in 2014. I graduated from Vancouver Career College in 2016. In my spare time, you will find me along with my Australian shepherd, Kaya, hiking, camping, paddle boarding or on other outdoor adventures. My mom and Grandma used to own a Scrap-booking store, so I learned a lot and have developed a passion for Arts and Crafts. I chose Early Childhood education because I love watching all of the little ones learn and grow. The children make me laugh and smile every day and I feel very grateful to be a part of their lives. I love working with them, teaching them, and helping shape them into the young adults they become.
JULIE- Multi-age Room
Hello, I’m Julie! I have always wanted a career in education but really fell in love with the idea of childcare. In high school I took prerequisite for ECE but opted to try a career as a Veterinarian Technician. I enjoyed working with animals very much, but I got pulled back into childcare doing before and after school care. I continued to perfect my skills working with children of all ages and abilities and eventually went back to school to take the Early Childhood Educator certification. I graduated in 2012 with honors from Vancouver Career College. My first full time position was here at Creative Advantage though I took a few years break to raise my children while operating my own cleaning business. I am back full time as my kids are now 7yrs and 11yrs and my stepson is 17yrs. Family and community are important to me, and I was very involved with my children’s school for the past 5 years with many dedicated volunteer hours. I also started a neighborhood watch years ago to better my community. Family time is very important to me, and we like being in the great outdoors. We enjoy fishing, kayaking, hiking and camping. Getting inspired by nature is also reflected in my art, which is my favorite hobby and has been since I could hold a pencil. My philosophy aligns with Creative Advantage and I full hearted believe in the vision. I am excited to meet every child who comes into my care, and I promise to care for them with warm and welcoming arms.
KALLI- Break Coverage/ Closing Manager
DANI – Break Coverage/ Music and Yoga Instructor
Hi, I’m Miss Dani! I have been sharing my love of music with this center for the last three years. After developing a strong bond with the children and staff of Creative Advantage, I decided to further my education, so I could join the team on a more regular basis. I feel very lucky that I have been able to bring my daughters Penny and Perri here with me, as I believe the environment at Creative Advantage is wonderful for children. I received my Professional Music Diploma in Nelson B.C and from there studied Music Therapy in North Vancouver. I have written and recorded music (in Toronto) and have performed with several groups/bands over the last 10 years. I’ve always had a huge love for children and decided to move in a different direction with my music and began teaching young children in Kelowna. I was born and raised in Kelowna and am happy to once again call it home and excited to be a part of the Creative Advantage team. I couldn’t be happier to share yoga, music, and movement with every single child at the center!
GABY – Break Coverage
Hi I’m Gaby! I have been a childcare worker for over 20 years. I did my Early Childhood Education at MacEwan University in Alberta and I am trained to work with children of all ages. I currently work part-time, and you’ll usually find me covering breaks in all of the different programs at Creative Advantage. I am also a student at Thompson Rivers University where I am enrolled in my last year of the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree program. I am a mother to a wonderful son who is the center of my life and in my free time you will find me with him or busy working on my passion project of making and selling bracelets. I enjoy working at Creative Advantage and I am always looking forward to spending my day with the wonderful children and staff members.
BARB – Professor in ECE
My name is Barbara Fay and I am a born and raised “Kelownian”. After completing three years of post-secondary education at UBCO, I relocated to Calgary, AB in 1994 with my husband where I attended Mount Royal University, completing a Bachelor of Applied Communications (Public Relations) in 1998. I worked as a communications practitioner for seven years before I welcomed my new role as “Mom” with the arrival of our three beautiful children. In 2003 we moved back to Kelowna to be closer to family.
I am a graduate of the Early Childhood Education diploma program from Okanagan College where I now teach. An advocate of lifelong learning I believe in the importance of being a facilitator for children and I am committed to being a positive, influential voice in the Early Childhood Education profession. I recently completed my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education all while teaching ECE courses at the Okanagan College.
Enthusiastic, energetic, and creative I strive to bring best practice to everything I do. I am an advocate for children and families and am excited and privileged to be a part of children’s journeys through play and learning.