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Ines Tuzlukovic: Promoting inclusion, building community

Year: 2020 — Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Simon Fraser University Childcare Society
Group childcare centre, infant-toddler program for children ages 0 to 36 months
Burnaby, British Columbia

I was a keen observer of [Ines Tuzlukovic's] interactions with the children and have learned a tremendous amount about communicating with my infant/toddler from that. I am a better parent because of her role modelling and advice.


After immigrating to Canada, Ines Tuzlukovic began her early childhood education career in the Burnaby Family Life Young Parent Program, helping pregnant and parenting teenagers finish their high school education. Having worked with young parents facing multiple challenges, she still aims to support families in myriad ways: emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

Philosophy of care

Within and outside the childcare centre, Ines is a tireless advocate for inclusive practice, working to ensure that children of all abilities receive the interventions they need to thrive. With patience and good humour, she creates a joyful classroom where children feel secure.

Support of child development

  • Responds to children's unique needs: used German words to comfort a shy bilingual child; when another child acted out, Ines checked with parents to learn that the behaviour was related to parental travel; found last-minute meal options for a child with allergies.
  • Co-chairs centre's inclusive practice committee for teachers: provides information; creates tools to monitor children's developmental progress so that educators can better help children.
  • Spearheaded project to study children's connection to their community: observed children and took field notes; met weekly with colleagues to discuss observations; developed new curriculum that is still in use at the centre.
  • Created and runs a community of practice: facilitates discussions of the revised B.C. Early Learning Framework among early childhood educators.

Involvement with parents, families and the community

  • Fosters fellowship among families: sets up potluck meals for families; introduces families to others with similar interests; parents note that supportive relationships among families continue after children leave the centre.
  • Engages with new Canadians: helped grandparents unfamiliar with Canadian childcare understand their granddaughter's activities; encouraged them to participate with her; parent noted that grandparents' anxiety was greatly eased.
  • Launches neighbourhood projects: organizes the centre's annual garden party, during which families work together on a community project.
  • Serves as a consistent point of contact for each child in the provincial Supported Child Development Program, sitting in on every family meeting throughout the child's years at the centre.

Get in touch!

Simon Fraser University Childcare Society
8888 University Drive
Burnaby BC  V5E 3B6

Facebook: @sfuchildcare
Twitter: @sfuchildcare

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