About Us

A federation in it's most basic form is an organization formed from separate groups to join together under one central body. 

The SFEL has grown from just a few early learning and chidcare organizations in its beginnings to nearly 50 organizations in 2021.  The need for a united voice and member support has continued to grow and so in 2022 the SFEL Strategic Plan was updated.  The plan is ambitious and full of hope for the future of early learning and child care in Saskatchewan.  By broadening our membership to include the early learning and child care professionals throughout the province we amplify our mission, vision and values.

Our Mission: Uniting early learning professionals through advocacy and innovation

Our Vision: SFEL is the “A”dvocate for early learning professionals in Saskatchewan.

Our Values: Advocacy, Communication, Education, Partnership, Transparency

Learn more about our strategic plan

Our History

2022 - The Saskatoon Federation of Early Learning rebrands as the Saskatchewan Federation of Early Learning.

As the SFEL was fielding inquiries from across the province and representing more than just the Saskatoon members and so the SFEL rebranded to reflect that change.  

2019 - The SFEL Advocacy Committee was formed

Our advocacy committee developed from a need to voice the concerns from our members with government and to ensure common goals stayed at the forefront.  

2011 - The Saskatoon Daycare Directors Association rebrands as the Saskatoon Federation of Early Learning

1980 - The Saskatoon Daycare Directors Association was formed

Our Current Executive

2022/23 Saskatchewan Federation of Early Learning Executive
Traci Thomson
Traci has held many different positions in Early Learning Sector for the last 28 years. She is currently the Director at Royal West Early Learning Centre which is part of the Saskatoon Student Child Care Services. We serve community and teen parent families. She enjoys getting to form long lasting relationships with families and watching the children grow, learn and have fun! Traci is excited to see the changes and growth in our sector and is anticipating more exciting changes to come. Traci is married and has 2 children of her own and 2 dogs.
Tobi Torresan
Tobi has worked in the early learning and childcare field for 27 years. She currently is the Executive Director of the Vanscoy Early Learning Centers servicing the communities of Vanscoy, Delisle and Asquith.

She has enjoyed seeing the different areas of childcare over the years, working first as a child development coordinator, Mental Health Services, Home Daycare provider, Preschool teacher, Director and now Executive Director. She hopes to see the day where there is fully publicly funded Early Learning for all children.

Fun fact about Tobi: I have a husband, two grown up boys and a dog, we love to boat, fish and hang at the beach.
Anita Burkell
Past Chairperson
Anita joined the early learning and childcare field in 2008 as the Director of an Teen Parent Support Center in Saskatoon. She is currently the Director of Early Learning with CFS Saskatoon. During her 14 years in the field she has been able to rely on her background as Social Worker and Early Childhood Educator to influence her approach with children and their families. Recently through her involvement as the Chair of the SFEL and membership with the Saskatchewan Leadership Caucus she has been working to continually improve the field for educators and families. She is excited for the progression towards a national childcare system that values educators and is accessible to all families. Fun Fact: Anita loves to travel and has been to 15 countries so far.
Lisa Leibel
Lisa has been employed as the Executive Director of Preston Early Learning for the last 27 years & have worked in the early learning field for 32 years. In her words "It has been a very exciting & rewarding journey to be involved in the Early Learning & Child Care profession"

Lisa has been involved with SFEL as a past Chairperson, Secretary, & currently act as Treasurer. During her career, she have also been involved with the Saskatchewan Early Learning & Care Collaborative , the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, and currently serves as a Board Member for the Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association and is an active member of Saskatchewan Child Care Now.

The Early Learning field has experienced many changes in the past 30 years but none have been as significant as those announced and implemented in the last year. Lisa's hope for the immediate future is that Early Childhood Educators will receive the compensation & recognition they deserve in investing in our children of the future! Fun fact: Lisa loves to travel and is originally hails from PEI!
Lorie Nickason
Lorie has worked in the ECE field with Campus Daycare in Saskatoon since 2000. She does what she does because she loves seeing children happy and thriving! Her hope for early learning and childcare in Saskatchewan is that one day, Early Childhood Educators and early years education is viewed with the same level of importance that is placed on the public school systems. Fun Fact: Lorie loves camping!
Lindsey Robinet
Member at Large
Lindsey began working within the early years field in 2009 as a centre director with BGC Saskatoon.  In 2017 when BGC Saskatoon was awarded one of the Joint Use School Childcare Centre  Lindsey became the organizations Director of Early Learning Programs. She now oversees operations at both of the organizations centres and mangages the human resource needs of BGC Saskatoon.

Lindsey has been a member of the SFEL since 2011 and has been on the SFEL Advocacy committee since 2019. She has served on many national, provincial and local committees to advocate for the early learning and childcare sector.  Lindsey hopes that she can continue to be a part of a nationwide momentum shift that ensures childcare is seen as a right, not a privilige, and that educators are valued in all respects as professionals.  Fun Fact:  Lindsey enjoys colour coding almost anything and is a curling fanatic!
April Berg
Member at Large
April has worked in the early learning and childcare sector for over 20 years. Her current role is as Director of Eastview Centre for Early Learning Co-operative Ltd in Saskatoon. The thing April loves most about her time in the sector is how no two days are ever the same and how she continues to learn, grow, and face new challenges even after so many years. April dreams of the day when Early Childhood Educators will be recognized and valued across the country for all they do to support children and families. Fun fact about April, when she is not working, she can be found watching curling, enjoying time with family at the lake or competing in dog agility.
Leanne May
Member at Large
Since 2016, Leanne has been the Director of Childcare Services with Saskatoon Open Door Society overseeing two multicultural licensed childcare centers and the Multicultural HIPPY program. (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters)
She has worked in many areas within the field since becoming a certified Early Childhood Educator III 1992 (Saskpolytech):

- Center based care
- Center management
- Home based care
- ELCC Program Consultant with Ministry of Education
- SODS Program Director

Leanne’s hope for the future is that Saskatchewan’s Early Childhood Educators are recognized as professionals and there is equality for them all within the province regardless of where they are working.
A fun fact about Leanne:
Favorite pastime is fishing.
An avid Concert participant.
Loves to paint with Acrylics.
Tammy Desrosiers
Member at Large
Tammy has been working in the field for close to twenty years. She is currently working as the Director of Warman Childcare Centre which is a 46 spot licensed facility. She started in the field as an Early Childhood Educator and became a Director in 2007. Tammy has enjoyed seeing all the changes in the field and looking forward for this opportunity to a part of an organization that supports its membership and advocates for the sector. When Tammy is not at work she enjoys camping with her four children and husband.

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