About Us

At Niagara Nursery School we strive to always offer the children and families in our care the highest quality of programming…


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Our story

Niagara Nursery School has been proudly serving the children and families of Niagara on the Lake for 50 years. We are a not-for-profit child care centre that provides a child-centered environment designed specifically for children ages 0 months to 12 years old.

We originally began as a co-operative half day nursery school program until 2010 when we moved to the Niagara on the Lake Community Centre and expanded our program to include full day child care and before and after school care.

We are licensed through the Ministry of Education, CCEYA and adhere to the Ministry’s “How Does Learning Happen?” document as our guiding principles with our curriculum.​

For more information please click on link below for our Policy & Procedure Manual.

Our Philosophy

At Niagara Nursery School we strive to always offer the children and families in our care the highest quality of programming. We provide a safe, inclusive and enriched atmosphere and recognize that all children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential.

We provide opportunities for children to learn and practice physical, social, verbal and intellectual skills through our child led emergent play-based curriculum.

We provide routine and play in our programs where the children learn to accept and carry out certain routine tasks such as dressing and undressing unaided, putting toys and materials away, washing, etc. Since the routines are within the child`s capabilities, he/she comes to enjoy the responsibility of carrying out these tasks.

Each activity is designed to stimulate creativity and imagination, develop language and physical skills, increase general knowledge of self and community, and promote co-operation with children and adults beyond the family.

Under the guidance of our trained Registered Early Childhood Educators (R.E.C.E), physical and perceptual problems as well as learning disabilities are likely to be detected. This allows for corrective intervention to take place when it would have most likelihood of succeeding.

The first five years of a child`s life are extremely important. Experiences in these formative years dramatically affect the kind of person a child will become.

Our Teachers believe in the importance of self-reflective practice and on-going professional learning opportunities. The nurturing, responsive learning environment gives consideration to the individual needs of the children in our care. ​To help ensure quality of care, all of our Teachers are required to go through the Quality Child Care Niagara Reflective Practice Institute training through Quality Child Care Niagara (QCCN).


Volunteering for fundraising is now committee based for those in our membership and community who wish to use their skill sets and know how to help with our fundraising efforts. All funds raised for Niagara Nursery School go directly back into our programs through purchasing much needed educational resources for all of our programs.
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Community Connnections


Niagara Nursery School in the Community

Niagara Nursery School was the first recipient in 2013 of the Quality Child Care Niagara Exceptional Program Award, in recognition of our outstanding efforts and dedication to exemplify the Quality Child Care Niagara’s philosophy within our program as well as our outside community.

Community Projects

Implementing iPads in Early Years – Pilot Project

Niagara Nursery School was a participant in the ECCDC’s Pilot Project for Implementing iPads in the Early Years – A Pilot Project for Educators in Niagara’s Licensed Child Care Programs. To learn more, please click on the link below.
Niagara Science & Technology Project
Niagara Nursery School was a participant in the ECCDC’s Pilot Project for Implementing iPads in the Early Years – A Pilot Project for Educators in Niagara’s Licensed Child Care Programs. To learn more, please click on the link below.
Intergenerational Pilot Project

Niagara Nursery School was apart of the committee and a participant in the Intergenerational Pilot Project with the ECCDC. To learn more, please click on the link below.

Past is Present
We were participants in Celebrating Niagara’s History – The ECCDC partnered with Literacy Link Niagara on the highly successful Past is Present Community Book Project – an initiative that brought children’s literature and a toolkit of curriculum planning ideas and training to Niagara’s licensed child care programs and a family literacy kit to families across Niagara, all tied to the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations. To learn more, please click on the link below.
Naturalized Playground Project
The ECCDC and Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds joined forces to pilot a Playground Consultation & Training Service to support early learning and child care programs wishing to naturalize their playgrounds. Niagara Nursery participated in the community wide Naturalized Playground Project. To learn more, please click on the link below.
How Does Learning Happen Niagara?
​We were asked to participate in the ECCDC’s ‘How Does Learning Happen Niagara?’ Video. To view the video please click on the link below.

Community Involvement

Niagara Child Care Sector Executive Committee
Niagara Nursery School’s R.E.C.E/Supervisor, Candice Penny is a committee member of the Niagara Child Care Sector Executive Committee. The Niagara Child Care Sector Executive Committee serves as the voice of a higher standard of child care in Niagara. We assist child care providers and programs with continually improving the quality, value and range of services they offer. Our ultimate goal is to create a community in which all children have access to developmentally appropriate care and education. To learn more please click on the link below.

"The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child's own natural desire to learn."

Niagara Nursery School

6 Anderson Lane
P.O.Box 908
Niagara On The Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0

(905) 468-9055



© 2019 Niagara Nursery School

Privacy Policy

Privacy of personal information is an important principle to Niagara Nursery School. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services we provide. We also try to be open and transparent as to how we handle personal information. This document describes our privacy policies.

What is Personal Information?

Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to their personal characteristics, (e.g., gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), their health, (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them), or their activities and views, (e.g., religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual). Personal information is to be contrasted with business information, (e.g., an individual’s business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation.

Protecting Personal Information:

We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason we have taken the following steps:

  • Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area.
  • Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, passwords are used on computers.
  • Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies.
  • Staff are trained to collect, use and disclose personal information only as necessary to fulfill their duties and in accordance with our privacy policy.
  • External consultants and agencies with access to personal information must enter into privacy (confidentiality) agreements with us.

Retention and Destruction of Personal Information

We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory and legislative bodies. However we do not want to keep personal information too long in order to protect your privacy.

We keep our client files for two years after the client withdraws from our centres. Financial records are kept for seven years. Employee files are kept for seven years after termination of employment. We destroy paper files that contain personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it, and when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is formatted to erase any information contained within.

You Can Look at Your Information

With some exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. Often all you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand, (e.g., short forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with the access.  If there is a problem, we may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access.

If you believe there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are wrong. Where we agree that we made a mistake, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include in our file a brief statement from you on the point.

Jessica Lattanzio

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Karen Den Besten

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I was 24 years old and I knew when I worked at a summer camp I wanted to do this job

What is your favorite thing about your job?
I think that developing a close, trusting relationship with the children to help them feel safe and cared for.

What is your favorite thing about Niagara Nursery School?
I enjoy working in the community I live in and working with the wonderful women as a team.

What is a moment that has impacted you in your career?
A smile, a hug and a big loud good morning Ms. Karen!

Who inspires you?
My children of my own and the children I take care of daily at work.

What is your favorite quote?
Every child is a different kind of flower and together they make this world a beautiful garden.

Wendy Kulp

1981 : Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts
B.A. Geology/outside concentration Psychology

Niagara Nursery School, NOTL, ON
1999-2001 : Member of Coop/Parent
2000-2001 : Board Member
2004-2011 : Volunteer and Paid Duty Substitute

Niagara Nursery School and Community Care Center
2011-present : Paid Duty Substitute/Supply Teacher
2012-present : After School/After Care Teacher

District School Board Of Niagara
Oct 2001-Present : Noon Hour Supervisor @ Laura Secord/St. David’s Elementary School
1984-1995 : Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, MA
1985-1995 : Overnights Program Teacher/Assistant
-Assisted in developing and implementing program activities for school age children’s groups (mostly Scouting) and families staying overnight in the museum.
-Additional projects included: Intern: Reworking “Bubbles Exhibit” and assisting with Multicultural Book Project

El Buche del Canguro/A Kangaroo’s Pouch, Chelsea, MA
1982-1986 : At the time “EL Buche” was a Non- Profit Bilingual preschool/daycare program for
children 27 mos- 6 years of age. With an emphasis on multicultural education, family service and natural food/nutrition.
1982-1985 : Co-Teacher in “Rainbow” for 3-4 year olds
1985-1986 : Co-Teacher in “Sun Moon” for 5-6 year olds
– Attended numerous workshops/seminars on a myriad of topics: Child Development, Recording and Observing Child Behavior, Child Abuse and Neglect, Bilingual and Multicultural education, Curriculum development, Public Health issues in the community, Literacy, Teaching theories and techniques, Music and movement..

– Completed QCCN training phase one & two
– Food Handlers Certificate
– First Aid – CPR Level C
– Niagara Early Learning and Child Care Awards of Excellence, 2011
– Received “Contributor Award for Volunteers and Colleagues”

Maegan Price

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
When I was in my last year of high school I did a randomly set up co-op position in a day care
because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for college. After 1 week at the center I was in
love with the atmosphere, environment and children. From then on I couldn’t see myself
anywhere else.

What is your favorite thing about your job?
Watching children accomplish something they have been working on. I love seeing the process
of a child mastering a new skill and the pride on their face when they finally succeed brings me the most joy. I’m so happy I get the chance to be a part of that success.

What is your favorite thing about Niagara Nursery School?
I’m really proud of our program and the dedication we all put towards staying on top of the
newest developments in Early Childhood Education. We have become a strong team and I think we are a great representation of an emergent program that embraces all new developments like nature based play, risky play, and child led activities.

What is a moment that has impacted you in your career?
It’s not so much one moment as a period of time that has impacted my career the most. In the
course of my career so far I’ve had the chance to work in a classroom that has had a few children with differing abilities at one time. It was a very challenging journey for me but definitely opened my eyes to how many different kinds of needs are out there. This time challenged me to adapt to my environment and inspired me to further my education of strategies to help children with special needs in the classroom.

Who inspires you?
There are a lot of people who inspire me. Professionally, people who embrace nature in an
educational setting and help others understand the benefits of that. I get a lot of inspiration every day from my co-workers as their brilliant ideas spark something inside me that motivates me to be a better teacher. But most of my inspiration comes from my mom. She was and still is always there for me to help and support my goals, my dreams, helps me get over obstacles, and become the best person I can be. I know in the world that there are some children out there that may not have a support like that and if I can help a child be confident in their growing journey even just a little bit like my mom helped me then I will be a happy teacher.

What is your favorite quote?
I’m a big reader so I come across quotes all the time that inspire me and my favorite changes
constantly. However I have 2 that really have struck me as insightful lately.
‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn’ ~ Benjamin Franklin
‘When you capitalize on a child’s interests, the child learns that life is interesting.’ ~ Mary

Candice Penny

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a teacher, the education and care of children is life’s passion. For me there is nothing more rewarding then making a difference in a child’s growth and education

What is your favorite thing about your job?
Being witness to a child’s new discovery or mastering of a skill, seeing that joy in their eyes when they look at you and say ‘Look I did it, I did it all by myself!’ Knowing that I played a small part in that child’s growth and educational journey makes my heart smile!

What is your favorite thing about Niagara Nursery School?
I remember coming in for my interview and immediately felt this feeling of a warm and loving atmosphere. I knew in that moment that I was home. This is where I want to be. 

What is a moment that has impacted you in your career?
There have been many little moments throughout my career, the ones that impact me the most are when I am getting to know a child and their family, learning their personalities and interests. When I am building and fostering meaningful relationships with them are the moments that have impacted me the most and have helped shape me into the educator I am today.

Who inspires you?
I am inspired by the love and support of my family, by the hard work and dedication of my colleagues and the families at our school. I am inspired everyday by the children in our care to challenge myself as an educator to do the very best I can for them. 

What is your favorite quote?
The one quote that speaks to me both personally and professionally and that has always stayed with me is, ‘If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we could teach the way they learn.’ ~Isnacio Estrada