Marley Butler (co-owner) is a Montessori Preschool Educator from Vancouver Island who has been working with children for 10 years. She completed her Montessori Preschool training in 2014 and received her Early Childhood Educator Diploma with a specialization in Inclusive Care (Special Needs Educator)in 2019. She has worked in a variety of school settings, from large private institutions to small in-home daycares. Through this experience, Marley has discovered what really works for children and what needs to evolve in order to continue offering “best practice” in education.
Marley is committed to the families and shares her knowledge and insight into the child’s world with home caregivers. Marley has had experience working with children from all walks of life, and she has always been able to connect, support them on their personal journey to reach their goals, and provide unconditional acceptance and love.
Marley is also a multi-talented educator, who brings life and excitement into the classroom through sharing her passion for verbal story-telling and performance. She has taught classes of the arts for children and enjoys incorporating this element with weekly opportunities for the children including dance, music, theatre, and multi-media art. Marley shares her knowledge of the French and Hul’qumi’num languages with children in the form of games, songs, and stories.
Marley will be continuing her education in the fall of 2021, to finish her final practicum and obtain her specialization as an Infant-Toddler educator. Then in January 2022, she will move on to teach mainly at Nestlings, our new centre in Saxe Point.
Kayla McBride (co-owner) was born and raised on the island. It brings her great joy to watch children explore the world through natural discovery of their environment, while following their inner guide. With her love for gardening, sewing, and baking, she is always eager to find a way to incorporate her hobbies into the children’s daily learning.
Kayla has been providing care for children ages 3-5 for the past 12 years. She graduated from Camosun College in 2010 with a certificate in Early Childcare Care and Education. In 2017 she received her credentials in Montessori Early Learning through Age of Montessori. Kayla has been an educator at a large Montessori private school for the past 8 years. During this time she took on many different roles such as classroom assistant, CASA directress, and pre-school directress. Through this she has experience in time management, classroom management, scheduling, and curriculum planning. During her time as a classroom assistant she has worked alongside children with higher needs such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism, and learning differences.
Her love for each child and their family is always shown by creating strong personal relationships that include open communication. She sees each and every child as their own special being and is always observing them to help foster their interests and support their needs.
Kayla is currently completing her Infant/Toddler Montessori training in order to create and support the Nestlings program, where she will be teaching weekly.
Caitlyn Neufeld is an Early Childhood Educator Assistant who is passionate about providing children with a nurturing, loving and inclusive learning environment. She was born and raised on the mainland and island trips from her own childhood formed her love of Vancouver Island at an early age.
After receiving her credentials from Camosun College, she continues on her own educational journey with a dedication to expand her formal practice. Caitlyn has a multifaceted background, receiving a diploma in Illustration & Design from Capilano University in 2013 followed by years of work on organic farms locally and abroad to develop an intricate understanding of the nourishment we receive from nature. During this time, a variety of volunteer opportunities allowed her to contribute to communities growing food with children. She has volunteered her time in learning gardens to connect children to their land, aiding them in developing a sense of place and belonging.
Caitlyn is committed to share her artistic sensibilities, naturalist insights and sense of wonder with the children she meets on her journey as an educator. Outside of the classroom, Caitlyn loves practicing yoga, running, painting and tending her garden in Metchosin.
Caitlyn is currently on the journey to completing her Early Childhood and Education diploma, and we are fortunate to be offered this insight into best current practice in education for young learners.
Jennifer Weening was born, raised and has resided in the city of Victoria her entire life. She attended the Early Childhood Care and Education program at Camosun College completing her certificate in 1999 and achieving her Early Childhood Educator License in 2002. She has been working in the early childhood field for over 20 years, in many different capacities.
Jennifer’s previous employment at a local Montessori preschool as an educational assistant, working alongside children with special needs in all inclusive setting is where she was introduced to the world of Montessori education. Jennifer fell in love with Montessori philosophy for the early years of a child’s education. She enrolled in the West-Mont Montessori Teacher Training program and earned her Montessori Partnership Early Years Diploma in June 2020 through the Montessori Partnership UK.
Jennifer has a strong passion for teaching young children following the principles of the Montessori method. She believes in creating a strong, nurturing, caring, respectful and loving environment for each child to grow and learn at their own pace. Jennifer’s talents lay in providing group lessons in the areas of science, art, cooking, and French. She loves to create multiple types of mediums of materials for children to explore including visual aids such as felt stories, educational games and songs. Jennifer has multiple hobbies including spending time outdoors, gardening, knitting, crotchet, creative writing, travelling abroad and most of all caring for animals, especially her older cairn terriers and family members’ farm animals.
Her personal philosophy is to treat each child with the love as a member of her family and embrace each learning opportunity as a unique experience. Jennifer’s passion for education of the young child has ignited her personal love of learning and she will be returning to school for additional training in Early Childhood Education and Montessori Training for Infant and Toddlers. She plans on continuing her education towards her Early Childhood and Education for Inclusive Care specialization.
Emma Conde is a Montessori guide and Early Childhood Educator who interweaves Montessori materials and pedagogy with an outdoor, land-based philosophy. Born and raised on Bowen Island, BC, Emma grew up in a small island community where children and art were her passions.
She moved to Victoria in 2008; received a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Victoria in 2013; and then moved to Vancouver to continue her education at the Montessori Training Centre of BC (AMI) in 2014. Since returning to Victoria she has operated in-home daycares alongside her two young children; including, most recently, Kelp and Crab Playschool. She believes children teach her best; and seeks to meet them where they are while guiding fun and self-determined development. Her work attempts to re-center the connection between children and the land through collaborative outdoor projects, nature-based art, and encouraging the mindful connection and wonder all children feel in the natural world.
At home with her children Emma can be found in her garden or scrambling along the rocks by the sea.