Early childhood educators so very important


Advertise with us

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/10/2021 (593 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Prior to 1990, Loraine Purdy operated a small nursery school program out of her home. Then her children headed off to school and a neighbour asked if she wanted to work at a new nursery school opening at Dakota Community Centre.

Lorraine said “sure.” That was 31 years ago and she just retired this September.

For the first eight years, the nursery school at Dakota operated as a private entity but since 1998 it has been operated by the community centre and Lorraine was the director until her retirement.

Supplied photo Loraine Purdy recently retired as director of the nursery school at Dakota Community Centre after 31 years.

Each year, the program handled approximately 60 children aged three and four. Over 31 years, Loraine connected with a lot of kids, mostly from St. Vital.

Her line of work is important, as positive experiences at a young age can affect people throughout their lives.

A close friend of mine, Doris Prive West, taught in the early childhood education program at Red River College until she also retired recently and I always admired her dedication to her profession. She believes nursery schools and daycare centres aid in the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children.

I asked Loraine what she enjoyed most of her 31 years teaching nursery school. Not surprisingly she responded “the kids!”

“The kids were open and forgiving and a joy to be around. They were almost always happy and engaged,” she said.

Some were anxious the first time a parent left them at nursery school, but they quickly realized they were in a fun and safe place and enjoyed being with the other children.

Mrs. Purdy, as so many young people called her over the last three decades, taught children the alphabet, colours, shapes and much more but what she believed was most important was the social development they experienced through interacting with other kids.  

There must be a lot of people walking around St. Vital who have a connection to Loraine and the Dakota nursery school program. I remember vividly that, when my children were young, having a safe and positive place for them was so important.

The nursery school program continues at Dakota Community Centre. And Loraine is still connected with the community, volunteering at the Jonathan Toews Sportsplex to help people maximize their workouts by explaining the use of the equipment available. This entire complex is a jewel in the neighbourhood.

It takes a special person to connect with young people for over 30 years. I salute Loraine and Doris and all the other people who have chosen to be early childhood educators.

John Hindle is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at

John Hindle

John Hindle
Community Correspondent — St. Vital

John Hindle is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at

Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us

The Lance