The weather over these past few months has hopeully impressed visitors to our city, that is at its best when the sun shines and it’s warm enough to walk around without layers of clothing. Let’s hope it continues a little longer, as we have a number of educators from around the world spending a total of three weeks here.
Thirty early childhood educators are participating in the Talent Exchange Program (TEP), an annual event held in a different location each year hosted by Busy Bee, the U.K.-based child-care company with a significant presence of approximately 1,000 child-care programs globally
This year’s event has invited delegates from the U.K., Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and the U.S. coming together to exchange best practices and experience some of what Alberta has to offer. They will participate in educational events, training, professional development opportunities, sightseeing and experiential excursions.
The delegates, who applied to and were chosen from their various regions, are here to exchange pedagogical insights and methodologies reflective of international best practices in areas such as creating holistic learning environments, managing challenging behaviours, and the value of individualized inquiry-based earning. This multi-week exchange will showcase how international co-operation can elevate the quality of care and education provided young children.
Pods of six delegates are based in five of the local Calgary centres to research, develop and implement takeaway projects which they will present to senior leadership teams here before departing Canada to consider implementing in their home countries.
The Canadian office was launched here in 2011 by an investment group with a passion to deliver high quality child care and exciting opportunities to learn.
Under the brand name of BrightPath, they acquired 38 providers of small child-care operations throughout the city. It branched out into Ontario with the acquisition of Peekaboo in Toronto that gave them a total of more than 70 daycares, and others were opened in Edmonton.
In Calgary, BrightPath has added five new builds of three-storey, 20,000-square foot daycares in greenfield locations in Creekside, Legacy, Mackenzie Towne, Chestermere and Richmond that accommodate between 250 and 270 children. Similar large centres have also been opened at Windermere and West Hendy in Edmonton.
Each centre is daycare licensed to serve ages 0-6 all day and up to 12 with after school programs and there are also in-house programs for children with mild to moderate ability needs.
In Alberta, families are able to seek financial assistance from the provincial government as well as the federal grants.
In 2017, Busy Bee bought BrightPath, which is backed in Ontario by the OTPP (Ontario Teachers Pension Plan). Its new CEO, Mary Ann Curran now resides in Toronto, but Calgary remains the regional head office with a staff count of more than 800.
Among the Calgary-based executives, Samaya Khattak serves as BrightPath chief education officer. With a love of all things academic, she has an inexhaustible passion for early learning and development and is currently supervising a BeeCurious proprietary curriculum framework that is being used in North America and is being explored by other Busy Bee affiliates.
Also, a new Connect App has been devised that will display a child’s development updates to their parents.
Busy Bees North America CEO Mary Ann Curran says, “We firmly believe that collaborative efforts of bringing together talented educators from diverse backgrounds will lead to a truly transformative learning experience. TEP embodies our commitment to raising the standard of early years of education and care across the world and fostering culture and continuous improvement and excellence in service.”
Calbridge Homes, a premium home builder in Calgary and area for 45 years, is wooing Torontonians by poking fun at where they live in a cheeky video about the benefits of moving to Calgary.
Developed by its agency of record Trigger Advertising, it features a couple from Ontario talking of the many benefits of their move, including living near real mountains plus the ability to afford a bigger home with a backyard for their dog.
Nicole Ziemann, managing director sales and marketing, Calbridge Homes, says, “It’s more than just the price difference; we offer a simple home buying process that includes a moving concierge and paid legal fees on closing, plus a variety of quick possession homes.”
David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at [email protected]