Name: Stephanie Hunter
Introducing Stephanie Hunter
Position: Early Childhood Specialist
Image source: PMFRC
Tell us more about your role at the PMFRC and the programs that you are involved in.
Play Troop is our EarlyON drop-in program that offers an informal, safe and secure environment for parents and their children (ages 0-6) to engage in play-based learning. The program uses several spaces which include a classroom learning environment, outdoor play yard and the gymnasium.
I also facilitate Mommy & Me, Daddy & Me, Saturday Morning Breakfast & Play Time, Kids in the Kitchen and Music and Movement.
Each program is designed to incorporate learning experiences, enhance early childhood development, and encourage families and caregiver engagement. These play-based learning experiences help children to reach their full potential, and provide access to a multitude of resources for parents.
How long have you worked for the PMFRC?
I have had the pleasure of being a part of the PMFRC team for three years. I was a Head Educator at both Lil’ Troopers North and Lil’ Troopers South, and had the opportunity to teach both preschoolers and toddlers.
Tell me about your background (experience, education, etc.)
I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator, and have studied Early Childhood Education and Children with Exceptionalities. I have over 10 years of experience working in the Early Years sector as an educator, a supervisor, a facilitator and a presenter.
What can people expect to see when they first meet you?
I am approachable, enthusiastic, innovative and receptive to families. It is important to me that families feel included and that they are part of the program. I do everything a can to create an inclusive environment where participants feel safe and secure.
What is your favorite part about working for the PMFRC?
I admire the leadership and values of the PMFRC. The culture and the environment are genuinely supportive. I enjoy being a part of a team that continually incorporates the individual family dynamics into their programs and services.
What is your greatest accomplishment or proudest moment working for the PMFRC?
I was asked to be a Presenter of “How Does Learning Happen?” Ontario’s Pedagogy, at the PMFRC Children’s Services Conference in 2016. This request was an acknowledgement of my knowledge and experience incorporating the use of environment as the third teacher. I support child-centered learning through play and inquiry, and because of this the PMFRC nominated me for the Prime Ministers Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education -- the highest honour in Canada in the field of Early Childhood Education
Where are you from and what brought you to Petawawa? How long have you lived here?
I am from Canada’s capital, Ottawa. My husband was posted here in 2015. Like many -- the military gave us this opportunity to enjoy the Ottawa Valley.
What advice do you have for families transitioning to Petawawa?
Experience the journey; it is not where you live but how you live that makes a home. Do not be afraid to be yourself and become part of the community. There is something for everyone everywhere, and it just takes time to become accustomed to the new cultures of a community.
What is your favorite thing about living in the area? What is your favorite thing to do in the winter? The summer?
Our family is very musical. We spend our time outdoors with friends and family enjoying BBQs and listening to our fellow musicians collaborate in the summer weather.
Leave us with a few words of wisdom -- what is your favorite quote?
A goal without a plan is just a dream - Just do it!