About Early Learning Café
Early Learning Café began with a dream shared by Susan Ramsay and Kathy Boelsma. The dream was to connect early learning professionals to global leaders in the field of reggio-inspired pedagogy using video conferencing and online collaboration tools.
Early Learning Cafe was created in 2018 and two types of professional learning were created: Online Conversations provided real-time dialogue with early learning specials from various part of the globe and Communities of Learning provided asynchronous modules based on the conversations. Communities of Learning provided material for staff teams, regional groups or any other type of early learning cohort.
In the beginning, Early Learning Café was unique in the field of early learning continuing education. However, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021 accelerated the use of video conferencing and remote learning. Now Early Learning Café is not as unique, yet still offers a much needed space for early learning educators.
In the fall of 2020, Kathy pulled back from her involvement at Early Learning Café and Susan continues to create content and host learning opportunities. Kathy’s involvement was key in the creation of Early Learning Café and she continues to support this space as a participant in our programmes.
Inspired to Learn
I have long been inspired by children — their sense of wonder, their ways of seeing the world, and their joy in every day moments. Because of this inspiration, I pursued academic studies in sociology and early childhood education through Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College, and have embarked on a lifelong journey of learning. Experiences as a daycare provider, preschool director, special needs worker, family support worker, family literacy coordinator, early literacy specialist and RECE in kindergarten programs have taught me valuable lessons and shaped my view of children and of myself as an educator.
I value inclusion, democracy and justice for children, parents and communities. These values have found a home in Reggio-inspired philosophies — philosophies that continue to inspire me as I study Emergent Curriculum courses with the Ontario Reggio Association, and search out books and conversations that prompt me to think more deeply about early learning.
I love to learn and I learn best through reflection and conversation. I am excited to be part of Early Learning Café — a place where I can engage with each of you in conversations that truly matter.
I love to learn. It’s my passion. As a former Children’s Librarian, an Early Literacy Specialist in Lanark County, Ontario for seventeen years and as Lead Collaborator in my consulting social collaborative ReCognition, I am excited to be part of a group interested in creating a space for learning across distances and perspectives with educators.
I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator, a current Forest School Practitioner in Training with Forest School Canada, a student of the arts with my current studies taking my Creative Arts Certificate at the college level and I also work at Blueberry Creek Forest and Nature Centre on a part time basis. My current interests in researching learning are: materials children use with their whole bodies, how the elements offer provocations to learning with different ages, and how I can affect sustainable practices with materials in my programs. I welcome you to learn with us, get a coffee or tea, a comfy chair, and join in the conversation. We can’t wait to hear your ideas…