The videos on this website were filmed in four different child-care centres in Montreal: two CPEs (CPE Big Step and CPE Les Petites Cellules) and two home daycares (Kari’s home daycare and Estrellita’s home daycare). We chose these four locations in order to provide the users of the site with a range of content that represents the typical experience of infants and toddlers who are in child care in the province of Quebec. We are so grateful for the enthusiastic and gracious participation of all of the children, educators, staff, parents and siblings that you will see in the videos.


Please note: For the purposes of this website, we have defined infants as children who are 15 months old or younger. Our toddlers are all between 16 months and 3 years of age.


To read a little bit more about each of the individual participants, click here to see their profiles. For users of this site who may not be familiar with the organization of child-care services in Quebec, I will give a brief run-down here. If you wish more detailed information, please visit the website of the Quebec Ministry of Families.


Parents of young children in Quebec can choose from a variety of licensed child-care options; two of the most popular choices are CPEs and home daycares.


A CPE (from Centre de la Petite Enfance in French) is a government-funded, installation-based child-care service for children aged 0 to 5 years. It is a non-profit organization or a cooperative, with a Board of Directors made up of parents whose children attend or will attend the child-care centre, and other professionals. Each CPE may receive a maximum of 80 children.


A home daycare is a child-care service offered in a private residence. A home daycare is a child-care service offered in a private residence, but subsidized and supported by the government.  Home daycare providers are self-employed. The number of children (between the ages of 0 and 5 years) that can be cared for at a home daycare is limited to nine. In Quebec, home childcare coordinating offices recognize and oversee most of the home daycares. Home daycares are designed to closely resemble the child’s natural environment.


A third option for parents is a private daycare, or for-profit installation-based child-care setting. I have not featured this type of child-care facility on this site, but many young children between the ages of 0 and 5 years in Quebec are cared for in this type of setting.


The Quebec government subsidizes child-care costs. Most CPEs, home daycares and private daycares offer reduced-contribution places that cost parents $7 a day.





EstrelitaEstrellitaEstrellita has two years of college-level education in an unrelated field, and has completed 75 hours of training in ECE. She completes a 6-hour training upgrade every year

Estrellita opened her home daycare to meet the need for child care in the local community. She has many years of experience working with young children, and is a calm presence at the daycare. She also loves to laugh and when you hear her warm belly chuckle, you know that she’s having fun!


PapaPapaFrancisco has completed 75 hours of training in ECE.

Affectionately known as “Papa,” Francisco is Estrellita’s husband and co-educator at the home daycare. As a male educator, he is a “rare bird” in the child-care setting, and he provides an important role model for both the boys and the girls in his care. He loves to joke around with the children and make them laugh.


MonethMonethMoneth has completed her ECE First Aid training course.

Moneth is the daughter of Estrellita and “Papa.” She is soft-spoken and gentle, and the children love to spend time with her, just hanging out.


ArturArtur: :1 year, 6 months

Estrellita’s home daycare

One of the older toddlers, Artur is a quiet, independent boy who likes to explore, especially in the backyard play area. His expressive language skills are starting to emerge, and he listens closely whenever one of the adults speaks.


BrunoBruno3 years, 2 months


Estrellita’s home daycare

Bruno is one of the older children at the daycare. He is an active, expressive child who expends lots of energy at daycare each day.


EllisEllis2 years, 10 months

Estrellita’s home daycare

Ellis is Vincent’s big brother. He enjoys all of the physical activities on offer at the daycare.


GioGio1 year, 9 months

Estrellita’s home daycare

Gio is one of the younger toddlers at the daycare. Although he often looks serious, don’t let that fool you; he has a wonderful sense of humour!


IanIan3 years, 9 months

Estrellita’s home daycare

Ian is one of the “veterans” at the daycare. He has been with Estrellita since he was very young.


MaroMaro2 years, 9 months

Estrellita’s home daycare

Maro is everyone’s unofficial “big sister.” She loves to take care of everyone, especially the younger toddlers.


PrieaPriea4 years, 3 months

Estrellita’s home daycare

Priea has grown up at Estrellita’s daycare and she’s excited to be starting “big school” soon.


VincentVincent1 year, 3 months

Estrellita’s home daycare

Vincent is the youngest toddler at Estrellita’s home daycare. He has recently learned how to walk on his own, and he’s always proud and excited to show off his new skills.





CarrieKariKari worked for 8 years as an assistant educator in a home daycare before completing a 45-hour ECE training program and then opening her own home daycare.

Being a home daycare provider is a family affair for Kari. Her co-educator is her sister-in-law, and her mom has a daycare just down the street! Kari is an experienced educator who knows just how to create a warm and cozy environment for the children in her care.


SuzanneSuzanneAlthough she has no formal training in ECE, Suzanne has lots of experience working with young children, both as a church schoolteacher and a parent of two young children of her own.

When Suzanne goes to work every day, she brings her family with her: Suzanne is Kari’s sister-in-law, as well as her co-educator, and her two children (Liam and Caitlyn) attend Kari’s home daycare. Suzanne loves to be creative with the children, and really enjoys quieter moments, just “hangin’ out.”


CaitlynCaitlyn2 years

Kari’s home daycare

Caitlyn is one of the older toddlers at the daycare. She likes to know exactly what’s going on, and what everyone’s doing, especially her big brother Liam!


CassieCassie4 years, 5 months

Kari’s home daycare

As one of the oldest children at the daycare, Cassie often takes on the role of “big sister” to the younger children. She’s a bright, friendly child who “tells it like it is.”


ChristopherChristopher3 years

Kari’s home daycare

Christopher is one of the “big kids” and he’s been with Kari for a while. He is very interested in how things work and can spend a long time examining different objects, trying to figure out what makes them tick.


ErraldErrald1 year, 5 months

Kari’s home daycare

Errald is one of the younger toddlers at the daycare. He doesn’t say much right now, but that probably won’t last much longer, as his language skills are beginning to emerge.


LiamLiam3 years, 10 months

Kari’s home daycare

Caitlyn’s big brother Liam is a force to be reckoned with! He’s always on the go, and particularly enjoys a physical challenge.


RaeneRaene2 years, 8 months

Kari’s home daycare

Raene is a friendly boy and one of the older children at the daycare. He speaks several languages, and is always keen to learn about new things.


RichardRichard2 years, 2 months

Kari’s home daycare

Richard, one of the younger toddlers, is a keen observer of the world around him. With his big bright eyes, he can sit quietly for long moments, just drinking it all in. When he smiles, his face just lights up!


YahyaYahya3 years, 6 months

Kari’s home daycare

Yahya is a sociable boy who likes to play with his buddies, Raene, Christopher and Liam. He particularly enjoys pretend play and art activities.





LitsaLitsaLitsa has completed an Attestation in ECE. She has more than 10 years of experience.

Litsa is an experienced educator who loves working with the toddlers. Whenever she gets a chance, Litsa puts on the music and sings and dances along. Everyone loves these spontaneous “dance parties”!


CatherineCatherineCatherine has completed an Attestation in ECE. She has more than 10 years of experience.

Catherine is francophone, so when she and Litsa work together in the toddler room, they switch off: Litsa speaks in English and Catherine speaks in French. It’s so rewarding when the children start to pick up new vocabulary in a second language!


ThresaThresaThresa has completed an Attestation in ECE. She has many years of experience.

Thresa hopes to open her own daycare one day. Right now, she’s enjoying working with Litsa in the toddler room. Thresa is a warm, comforting presence in the room and her hugs are simply the best.


AnnetteAnnette: Annette is a student who is completing a stage (internship) in the toddler room. She works hard to learn as much as she can about working with this age group, and enjoys all of the challenges along the way.


ArianneArianne1 year, 10 months

CPE Les Petites Cellules

With her big, bright eyes, Arianne observes everything that’s happening around her. She can be a bit shy at first, but once she warms up, she’s raring to go!


CharlotteCharlotte1 year, 4 months

CPE Les Petites Cellules

Charlotte is certainly a busy little girl! She zooms around the toddler room, exploring every inch!


DiegoDiego1 year, 11 months

CPE Les Petites Cellules

Diego is a real wonder! Besides speaking multiple languages, he’s quite the ladies’ man. He’s formed a strong bond with Maya.


FlavioFlavio1 year, 6 months

CPE Les Petites Cellules

Flavio’s passion in life is playing with balls, and he does this every chance he gets, even when he’s supposed to be tidying up!


JasmineJasmine1 year, 7 months

CPE Les Petites Cellules

Jasmine likes to explore, but she does it in her own quiet way. She keeps a caring eye out for her peers in the toddler group; she’s often the first to offer comfort or go get help from an adult if someone is in need.


LexieLexie1 year, 10 months

CPE Les Petites Cellules

Lexie is a quiet, observant child. Lately, she’s been experiencing some separation anxiety, so she seeks out regular, close, warm contact with the educators to help her feel safe. When she’s feeling more secure, Lexie likes to sit by her friend Piper.


MayaMaya1 year, 10 months

CPE Les Petites Cellules

Maya is a charming girl with an adventurous spirit and a bright smile. Maya and Diego have formed a strong bond, and enjoy playing together on a regular basis.


MelissaMelissa1 year, 4 months

CPE Les Petites Cellules

Melissa enjoys her time in the toddler room, especially when she can hang out with the other girls in the group.


PiperPiper2 years, 1 month

CPE Les Petites Cellules

As the oldest child in the group, Piper likes to take on various responsibilities and help out the educators. Maybe she’ll be an educator herself one day!





KarenKarenKaren has completed her Attestation in ECE. She also has extensive High/Scope training. She has many years of experience.

Karen is an educator who likes to try new things and take on new challenges. Her adventurous nature rubs off on the toddlers in her care – they would follow her just about anywhere!


ShermaShermaSherma has completed a DEC in Early Childhood Education. She has also completed her Infant-Toddler certification in the High/Scope training program. She has many years of experience.

Sherma brings a warm, sunny spirit into the toddler room. She always looks so relaxed and attentive as she chats with the children about anything and everything that interests them.


AlexAlexAlex was hired by Leanna’s parents to act as an integration aide. She has no formal qualifications in ECE but she is presently completing university studies in a related field.

As an integration aide, Alex works closely with Leanna, her parents and Sherma and Karen to make sure that Leanna’s needs are being met.


MontseMontse: Montse is one of the administrators at the daycare, but you can’t keep her out of the toddler room. She loves to drop by for visits, so she can help out, read stories or just hang out with the children.


AlanAlan1 year, 11 months

CPE Big Step

Alan is an explorer, a lover of the colour red and a great one for turning any object into a hat. Put these things all together, and you can see why Alan always has adventures when he’s at daycare.


CharlieCharlie2 years, 4 months

CPE Big Step

Charlie has been experiencing some separation anxiety lately, so he and his parents rely on the educators to help him cope when he’s at the daycare. Reading stories is one activity that’s guaranteed to help him feel better.


LeannaLeanna3 years, 1 month

CPE Big Step

Leanna enjoys observing her peers in action and exploring sensory materials, like sand and water. Although Leanna does face challenges in her day-to-day life, with the support of her family, and everyone at the daycare, she gets the most out of each new learning opportunity.


MatteoMatteo2 years, 2 months

CPE Big Step

Whether it’s riding, sliding, dancing or running, Matteo is happiest when he’s moving!


MatthewMatthew2 years, 7 months

CPE Big Step

Matthew is a bit of a social butterfly: he “flies” here and there, wherever the action is!


NicolasNicolas2 years, 6 months

CPE Big Step

Nicolas is a big hugger. He’s an affectionate boy who enjoys expressing his emotions physically. He’ll take any opportunity to simply snuggle in.


NinaNina2 years, 2 months

CPE Big Step

Small in size, but big in spirit, Nina likes being in the mix at the daycare.


NourAllahNourAllah2 years

CPE Big Step

Even though English is a new language for NourAllah, he works hard to communicate with the educators and his buddies at the daycare. When he learns a new word, he finds lots of ways to work it into his conversation!


OakleyOakley: :2 years, 7 months

CPE Big Step

Oakley is an independent soul. He often likes to do his own thing. With his blue dinosaur in hand, he moves confidently around the toddler room, stopping regularly to joke around with Karen and Sherma.


PhoenixPhoenix2 years, 9 months

CPE Big Step

Phoenix is a born leader! She loves to take charge, but because she’s got such a big heart, she also loves to look out for everyone else, and make sure they’re alright.


RoryRory2 years, 10 months

CPE Big Step

Rory is a go-getter. She’s often one of the first to try something new, and when her baby sister grows up a little bit more, it’s a safe bet that Rory will be teaching her all kinds of things!


SarrinahSarrinah2 years, 10 months

CPE Big Step

Sarrinah has an artistic nature. She’s focused and contemplative, but also expressive and exuberant. Her smile lights up the room.


YacoubaYacouba: 1 year, 11 months

CPE Big Step

Yacouba is a real charmer. When he flashes his big, bright eyes at someone, he usually gets what he wants.

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