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Patricia Furman - Robertson Early Enrichment Program

Year: 2017 – Province: Manitoba

Transcript—Patricia Furman Video

[Patricia Furman speaks to camera, with the Parliament buildings as a backdrop behind her]

[Photos of Patricia and her students are displayed on screen throughout her interview]

[Upbeat music plays softly in the background]

My name is Pat Furman, and I'm the Executive Director to Robertson Early Enrichment Program.

[Text on screen: Patricia Furman, Manitoba]

I wanted to become an early childhood educator because I have always had a love for children, ever since I could remember. Often directors say that we kind of stumble upon this field. I don't think many of us grow up and think we're going to be a director of a child care program one day. But I think it's the love of learning and the love for children that really inspires us and lead us down this path.

My presentation was about the Reggio Emelia philosophy and how we incorporate some of those core principles into our daily work with our children, families, and fellow educators. We've incorporated many different types of best practices into both of my sites. I think building on that sense of community has been something very important. My original site is located in a school, so building those partnerships within the school, the community at large, the other administrative staff has always been something that's very important. My new site is located in Specialized Services for Children and Youth, otherwise known as SSCY, where I co-locate with 14 other organizations which all in some capacity work with children with additional support needs.

[Video footage of Pat receiving her award from Justin Trudeau is intercut]

I was just so honoured to be nominated. I wish my team could all be here. I have 40 educators between both my sites.

If I had one piece of advice for aspiring educator, it would be to follow your passion. Do what you love to do, and try to make a career out of it.

Student 1: Congratulations, Pat, for your award.

Student 2: Good job.

[Canada wordmark]

[Music ends]

Certificate of Excellence Recipient

Patricia Furman

Robertson Early Enrichment Program
1155 Notre Dame Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3G1

Telephone: 204-258-6800

Type of setting: Child care setting, children aged 12 weeks to 12 years

Patricia Furman has dedicated her career to working with children with special needs. Love and passion fuel her drive to build innovative and inclusive programs that benefit the child, their families and their peers.

Philosophy of care

With an extensive background working with children with special needs, Furman fosters a strong inclusion philosophy throughout her programming. She works cooperatively with families and the community to "learn and grow together".

Support of child development

  • Works and consults with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists to help develop curriculum for each individual child to build cognitive, language and motor skills.
  • Has obtained close to $100,000 in grants from various funders that have been used for inclusion supports, art and literacy, nutritional food programs and projects like the Reading and Creating with Illustrators Project.

Involvement with parents, families and the community

  • Developed the Reading and Creating with Illustrators Project that partnered students with illustrators to study books, included field trips to the art gallery, fringe festival and library. Students participated in Claymation and puppet-making workshops, and had their work displayed at an art show.
  • Furman's business proposal was selected to co-locate her childcare centre to a new specialized facility that enables organizations to work together and includes a child rehabilitation centre, a family services department and a child development clinic, among others.

Rave reviews

Pat is very involved in our community. She encourages parents' participation and plays a part in organizing meetings where parents, children and educators come together as a family."


"Pat has a very real love and passion for what she does. (…) She strives to reach out and work in community areas that have challenges and build connections with children and families."

Nominator and former colleague
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