Kootenay Kids Society is an accredited non-profit community service organization.
Who We Are
We started out in 1971 as the Nelson Family Day Care Society, a collection of child care homes for children with diverse abilities. We have stretched and grown, and now operate multiple programs with nearly 40 full and part-time staff and three worksites in Nelson.
Kootenay Kids Society is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who meet monthly to review operational issues, and provide direction and guidance to the Executive Director. The Executive Director oversees the Society’s day-to-day operation and ensures parents receive high quality services, sound management of the society’s resources, and a healthy workplace for staff.
What We Do
Kootenay Kids Society remains true to its roots, and we continue to support and strengthen families. Funded largely by government contracts, we deliver a wide range of programs and services including licensed child care, Aboriginal family programs, and resources for child care providers, physiotherapy and occupational therapy for young children, a wide range of parent education programs, and opportunities for families to meet socially and connect with each other.
WhY We Do It
Kootenay Kids Society honours Indigenous culture by recognizing that children hold a sacred place. And as adults, we have a sacred responsibility to care for them.
MEET OUR BOARD
I am an early childhood educator with 40 years of experience of working and teaching in the field. I worked for Kootenay Kids in several capacities as an employee before joining the board as a director. My decision to join the board was motivated by my positive experiences as an employee. I simply wanted to give back to the society that had been my family for over a decade. I also wanted to bring a strong voice for early child development and families to the board. I represent Selkirk College and the early childhood care and education program in my work as a co-chair for Kootenay Kids Society.
I am an instructor in the Early Childhood Care and Education program at Selkirk College and have been an early childhood educator in the West Kootenays for many years. As a parent, I accessed family and community early years programs. As an early childhood educator, I utilized the workshops and resources available through the Child Care Resource and Referral program and have also been a Kootenay Kids Society employee. I am a Kootenay Kids Society board member because I have a personal and professional understanding of the importance of supporting children, families and the early years professionals in our community. I believe in the important work that is carried out by all Kootenay Kids Society staff and am happy to have the opportunity to support as a member of the board.
Brenda M. Wiest, MA
I have lived in Nelson since 1989 and thought it was time to give back to my community in a meaningful way. In 2018, I joined the Board of Kootenay Kids Society as Treasurer, employing my extensive knowledge and skills as a bookkeeper and business consultant.
I volunteer with Kootenay Kids Society as a way to connect with my community and support an organization that has supported me as a parent. Two of my three children attended ECLC, and everyone in my family has directly benefitted from the programs offered by KKS. I have no background in ECE, and my education and employment experience are not connected to working with children and families. My career is in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and while this profession is unrelated to supporting young people in our community, I am pleased to be able to contribute to KKS as a board member. Having diversity on the board allows for a multitude of opinions and perspectives, leading to a healthy decision-making process. I have been a board member since 2016 and currently serve in the position of Secretary.
I was introduced to KKS through my daughter Olive who is now two-and-a-half. She told me about the wonderful care and learning she experiences during her days at ECLC. To see a child in such good hands is truly heart warming. I accepted an invitation to join the board in 2020. I operate a construction business in Nelson. I hope to offer my skills in business to strengthen and further KKS in its goals of supporting families, children and the amazing staff.
I joined the Board at Kootenay Kids six years ago, when my oldest son started attending ECLC. After the first day, it was clear that the staff at the centre were a truly special group of caregivers and teachers, and I wanted to be a part of this incredible organization. Kootenay Kids plays a vital role in supporting children and families in our region, and I am beyond proud to play a small role in its success! My marketing background has provided me the ability to support website development and rebranding, social media content creation and even a cookbook design! In return, I’ve been given a truly wonderful experience with an incredible group of dedicated, hard-working people who are deeply passionate about providing the best for all of our Kootenay kids!
While the joys of raising children are real, most of us will also experience challenges, feelings of frustration, or self-doubt at one time or another.
By leaning on each other, and respectfully learning from one another, we can all benefit. It takes community to raise children and nurture families. Please let Kootenay Kids Society be part of your community.