Kootenay Kids Society is a 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 over 50 full and part-time staff and five 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

Robin Rowley – Chair

I am the Chair of the Kootenay Kids board, and a new member of the Kootenays community. When planning my move in the summer of 2021, I started looking for childcare for my son and was immediately struck by the breadth and depth of the Kootenay Kids Society resources. After learning more about the organization, I knew I wanted to help in any way I could. Outside of my primary role as a parent, I have 15 years’ experience leading marketing and communications at a range of companies from tech start ups and travel giants to ecommerce enterprises and global apparel brands. .

Maggie Keczan – Vice Chair

I am the vice chair of the Kootenay Kids board. The Kootenays are a special place to raise a family, and the vibrant, caring community is truly unique. I am a parent whose family has been positively impacted by programming offered through the Kootenay Kids Society. My background in marketing and communications will support the work of this amazing board and organization. I am passionate about community connections and excited to contribute.  I currently work as the Director of Communications & Public Engagement for Selkirk College. Personally, I resonate with the idea of respectful and wholistic learning and guiding children in love, care and respect. I am honoured to serve as vice-chair of the Kootenay Kids board.

Kate Miers – Director

I spent a year living in Nelson and acting as Finance Manager for the co-op a decade ago, and  knew that I always wanted to come back. I made that happen this summer, with my family in tow. I have many years of experience in senior financial roles, monitoring the financial health of projects and businesses and asking questions to understand risks and drive discussions. As a mum of a 2.5 year old, I am a frequent user of family-oriented programming, and want to contribute to keeping Kootenay Kids viable and available to families.

John Bowden – Director

With two young boys in the Early Care and Learning Centre, I am often envious of how lucky they are to spend so much time there! We feel very fortunate that they are surrounded by such a caring, animated, and understanding team. I believe that my experience as an Executive Director of a non profit educational organization, teaching at Selkirk College, and sitting on previous boards will help me contribute to Kootenay Kids. Although my part-time job as driver of our family “bus bike” may be the best gig in town, I’m looking forward to stretching some other muscles and giving back to our amazing community by joining the Board.

Sky-Lea Farr – Director

I‘m one of the few people I know who actually likes the smell tomato greens leave on my fingers. Most people use gloves, but not me, no way! I am Salish from Lytton, British decent from Northumberland and German Mennonite. We got pushed around a bit, but my ancestors settled in Chihuahua, Mexico. My grandma was the first in her large family to learn any other language than German. I am a mom and starting a community, child-centred café in Nelson. I joined the KKS board in November 2021 and am excited to see where this leads. I have benefitted from many of the programs, the daycare and lots of resources offered by KKS over the past 6 years. and I am happy to be able give back. My background is in childcare. I have worn many different hats and am thrilled to be putting on the business owner hat from now on.

 

Jennifer Howton – Treasurer

I am a fairly new mom who moved to the Kootenays while pregnant which was exciting but also a lot to process! Many of the Kootenay Kids programs helped me embrace these big changes happening in my life and I am so grateful to be able to serve on the board now. I come to the position with experience in business administration, consulting and communications with an MBA from UBC Sauder. I currently work as the communications lead on the Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy team at TELUS when I am not chasing my little one or my two fur babies around. I am looking forward to supporting Kootenay Kids and the amazing community it serves through this position.

Erin Rouse – Director

Bio to follow​

Alison Salo – Director

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.

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.