Ruth Bancroft: Inclusion pioneer

Year: 2019 — Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Ruth Bancroft

Langara College Child Development Centre
Child care centre on college campus for children 18 months to 5 years
Vancouver, British Columbia

"She is practically magic in her style and ability in calming young children… [They] listen to her and bask in her unconditional positive regard. Similarly, adults also feel listened to and calmer after spending time in her presence. We think of her as a female 'Mr. Rogers.'"
— Nominator

Child care has truly been Ruth Bancroft's life. Starting in her mother's well-respected centre in Montréal, she has gone on to lead a thriving centre on a college campus, and has been a valued member of local, provincial and national education-focused organizations.

Philosophy of care

Inclusive practices are a mainstay of Ruth's philosophy, including for children with all types of special needs and for Indigenous teachers and culture in early childhood education. She is also a proponent for play-based learning, as having positive and lasting impacts on children.

Support of child development

  • Pioneered inclusion: has long reserved spaces for children with extra needs; encourages staff to get training to support children with serious medical needs; includes a peer in a child's one-on-one behaviour interventions to alleviate stigma and help develop relationships between the pair.
  • Expanded centre to include children 18 to 36 months, strongly encouraging staff to obtain additional training to have the theory behind the practice of working with this age group.
  • Capitalizes on staff strengths to provide diverse activities: educator with aptitude for teaching gross motor skills leads outdoor sports; another from an Indigenous background presents puppet plays based on stories from her tradition.
  • Developed 60 kits containing puppets and props to ease circle time for children whose first language is not English or who have special needs or attention issues.

Involvement with parents, families and the community

  • Builds strong relationships with families, accepting all without judgement or criticism: as a result, parents become open to receiving staff suggestions and pointers for supporting their child.
  • Opens centre to students from many fields to expose children to a wide range of activities and professions: they learn about hand washing and teeth brushing from public health students, physical motor skills from recreation students and reading from drama students.
  • Advocates for universal child care, with her centre being chosen to be part of provincial pilot project to reduce fees, providing significant financial relief to many families

Get in touch!

Langara College Child Development Centre
100 West 49th Avenue
Vancouver BC V5Y 2Z6


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