About Us

A fulfilled childhood lasts forever.

La ribambelle is a licensed child care service that welcomes families from all backgrounds, promising to offer a play based learning environment that also supports and instills the beautiful French culture within children from infancy to preschool age.

Our 9 centres, that span from London to Sarnia, Ontario, are individual areas of exploration, enhancement and development. Our team of educators nurture young minds with a francophone focus in a way that will allow your child to flourish socially, emotionally and academically.

From first languages to first impressions, we provide the best and have established ourselves in this community as exceptional leaders. La ribambelle is a non-profit organization and is even Southwestern Ontario’s only licensed child care agency designated under the French Language Services Act of Ontario.

As a parent, you are gifting your child with the opportunity to expand their mind and identify with a distinct language that reflects the community they will be raised in.

As a provider, we will naturally reinforce the French language by communicating and navigating the world with your child primarily in this tongue.

It has been said that there are two gifts in life that should be given to your children: one is roots and the other is wings.

We vow to support your child so that they are more than just clear about where they came from, but also, all the wonderful places they can go.

Here at la ribambelle, your children are in good hands and guided by great hearts.

Mission Statement

At la ribambelle, through our child care services and community programs, we place the learning child at the heart of our actions, our decisions and our strategies. We welcome families from all backgrounds and promise to support and instill the love of French language and culture.


La ribambelle offers a French learning environment where children flourish to their full potential as individuals, while providing a sense of belonging to the Francophone community for them and their family.

Guiding Principles

  • We demonstrate:

o inclusion

o integrity

o collaboration;

o open communication;

o shared responsibility and

o continuous development of our skills;

  • We recognize the importance, strength and potential of each individual;
  • We are sensitive and aware of the needs and realities of families;
  • We provide a healthy and highly professional workplace;
  • We share good practices and success stories;
  • We focus on targeted services, specialization and referrals.

Everyone has the right to be served, to live and to work in a healthy, safe and respectful environment.

Program statements (Curriculum)

How Does Learning Happen?

The document How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years is organized around FOUR FOUNDATIONAL CONDITIONS that are important for children to grow and flourish.  We demonstrate the four foundational conditions in our centre’s environment, in our interactions with children, in our posted documentations and in the children’s individual binders (portfolios).


Addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness.  It incorporates capacities such as self-care, sense of self, and self-regulation skills.


Refers to a sense of connectedness to others, an individual’s experiences of being valued, of forming relationships with others and making contributions as part of a group, a community, the natural world.


To be heard and to be seen as well as to listen may take many different forms.  Through their bodies, words, and use of materials, children develop capacities for increasingly complex communication.  Opportunities to explore materials support creativity, problem solving, and mathematical behaviours.  Language-rich environments support growing communication skills, which are foundational for literacy.


Suggests a state of being involved and focused.  When children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged.  Through this type of play and inquiry, they develop skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and innovating which are essential for learning and success in school and beyond.

The four foundations ensure optimal learning and development.  These foundations inform the goals for children and expectations for programs.


(ref: Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 Reg 137/5 point 46.1)

Our pedagogical and philosophical approaches are based on the document: How Does Learning Happen? from the Ministry of Education.  Our curriculum is emergent as it evolves around learning through play and focuses on the natural interests of the children. Our approach is carried through by our employees, students and volunteers.

We believe that children are eager to learn, competent, curious and capable of complex thinking. They are also creative, rich in potential, good collaborators and capable of communicating their ideas and needs. Children learn through their own explorations, discoveries, questionings, ideas and concepts that they test and put into practice.

Promoting the health, safety and well-being of the children

Our goal: We believe that children can blossom to their full potential if they evolve in an environment where their health, safety, nutrition and well-being are at the core of every decision made daily.

Our approach: We endeavour to answer the individual needs of each child based on his personality, interests, abilities, family situation and physical needs.  From the kitchen to the management of our programs and through ongoing training opportunities, we make sure that we stay up-to-date as much as possible by using resources available to us in order to guide us in our decision making process. This will ultimately maintain and improve the well-being of all children and provide them with everything they need to support their overall development.

Supporting positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents and staff

Our Goal:  To experience positive daily interactions in French with the children and in both languages with the parents to become better acquainted with the needs of each child and their family. Such exchanges will cultivate authentic, caring relationships and connections which will contribute to validating the child’s self-esteem and sense of belonging.

Our Approach:  We include relevant points of reference in the environment where each child can identify himself personally and socially. This can be achieved by the presence of multicultural objects and individual photos of the child and his family. With the help of the child’s information sheet, completed by parents each year, we are introduced to the individuality of the child. This allows us to exchange relevant information with parents on a continued basis, therefore supporting the child’s needs and preferences. By working together, we can better maintain the interests and needs of the child, all while building stronger community-oriented ties.

Encouraging positive social interactions between children and self-regulation

Our goal: To help children learn to manage their emotions, which can sometimes be strong, by following the example set by the educators. The educators play a crucial role in the self-regulating process by reducing elements of stress and by helping children to identify their feelings. They also assist children in identifying strategies to help return to a calm state through a variety of activities that reflect the children’s interests.

Our approach: The learning of self-regulation begins by reducing the stressors in the child’s life that could create excessive levels of visual, auditory and physical stimulation. Children are naturally drawn to play in areas where they feel good. It is important to demonstrate empathy, to comfort and to encourage children to find what they need as well as to identify their emotions. Visual cues are offered to demonstrate and describe different emotions in order to help children with this. This learning process will also help children to recognise the impact of their choices on others and to develop socially acceptable habits. We focus on children’s needs instead of the behaviour.

Fostering exploration, play and inquiry based learning

Our goal: To allow children to test their theories and ideas, to explore concepts and to give meaning to their abilities by giving long periods of free play.  All spheres of developments are stimulated during the process.

Our approach: We offer children, on a daily basis, a wide variety of objects in a stimulating environment where they can explore freely with endless possibilities, all while offering challenges that children can achieve.  Our interactions with the children and the use of open-ended questions such as: “What are you building?” and “What are you looking at?” will foster deeper exploration of the ideas expressed by the children.

Offering experiences initiated by children and supported by adults

Our goal: To offer a schedule that allows for periods of free play that give children time to engage in deep explorations, to think critically, to question and to test ideas and concepts, all while supporting them in their individual quests, with other children as well as with their families.

Our approach:  The schedule allows children to explore their ideas and concepts, to question and reflect, as well as to problem solve by giving them the time needed to do so. Children have the option of leaving in the classroom what they are working on and to come back to it later or the next day, if desired.  By sharing daily observations between educators and with families, the environment is set up to support what children are interested in at the time.  A variety of books, toys, objects, etc. are made available so that children can deepen their explorations. The overall development of each child in taken into consideration by the educators who demonstrate a natural and sincere interest towards the children.

Creating indoor and outdoor environments and planned positive learning experiences

Our Goal:  To provide an indoor and outdoor environment, on a daily basis, that is conducive to offering children opportunities to develop in a way that is inclusive and that acts as a third teacher. It must offer a wide array of experiences and interactive play that stimulate children’s curiosity, promotes investigation and creativity, and that offers challenges which correspond to each individual child’s abilities. These spaces encourage the exploration of the world around them. Furthermore, it must include periods of rest and calmness that will allow children to reflect.

Our Approach: The preparation of the environment is based on daily observations collected by the educators.  A scheduled weekly planning period is offered to them in order to share and to document their observations.  Together, they prepare the environment so as to offer periods of learning throughout the daily routine which will stimulate learning opportunities, exploration, creativity and social skills.  Periods of quiet time will allow interchange, questioning and reflection between the educators and the children.

Engaging parents and ongoing communication

Our Goal:  To create trustworthy relationships and open communication with parents, who are essential contributors and who possess unique knowledge and key strengths.

Our Approach:  To exchange information with parents, on a continued basis, whether formally or informally through documentations, surveys and special events.  Parent requests are addressed within 24 hours of the next working day. We endeavour to plan along with children and their parents, to invite families to contribute in the documentation process and to invite them to share their interpretation of events.

Involving community partners

Our Goal:  To maintain a solid relationship with external partners such as colleges and early years support services to better support children’s needs, as well as their families and educators in collaboration with our Educational and Family Support Advisor.

Our Approach:   To provide support for the child, parents and the educator by means of the services offered by our Educational and Family Support Advisor, whose role is to be knowledgeable about suitable services offered in French or English that can provide developmental support for the particular needs of certain children. With the help of our Advisor, the educators and parents endeavor to collaborate together so as to implement the strategies that have been proposed by our specialized community partners, all while considering the child’s welfare.

Professional development

Our Goal:  To offer (3) three mandatory professional development training days per year, as well as workshops according to the needs of the staff, so as to support them in their professional learning on a continued basis with respects to the best practice policies, our pedagogical and philosophical approach and to keep them informed on the expectations of the Ministry of Education and the College of ECE.

Our Approach:  An annual survey is sent to our employees so that they may voice their opinions and needs.  Monthly meetings with the supervisors as well as with the centers’ personnel allow for an interchange of ideas to implement the best practices, reminders of respecting the policy rules and also to identify any needs for training as well as to inform them of opportunities for additional training offered in the community.

Documenting and evaluating the impact of the strategies set out on children and families

The goals and approaches of our statements are in constant development.  When sending out our parent survey, we will question their level of satisfaction pertaining to our statements. Furthermore, through reflection during staff meetings and professional development training days, we will question ourselves on the coherence of our present approaches with the children and parents with respects to the goals we have set for ourselves.


(a) Corporal punishment of the child;

(b) To physically restrain a child, by immobilizing the child in a high chair, car seat, stroller or any other device in order to discipline the child or to replace the task or supervising the child unless it is to prevent the child from hurting himself, hurting others and is used as a last resort and only until all risks of injury is no longer imminent;

(c) Locking the exits of the child care centre or home child care premises for the purpose of confining the child or to use a locked or lockable room or structure to confine the child if he or she has been separated from other children.

(d) Deliberate use of harsh or degrading measures on the child that would humiliate the child or undermine his or her self-respect;

(e) Depriving the child of basic needs including food, shelter, clothing or bedding;

(f) To use corporal punishment by forcing the child to eat or to drink against his will;

(g) To force a child to do something. (ex: If a child refuses to eat or to play).  We invite and encourage a child to participate instead.  We let the child eat what he wants while trying to introduce him to new foods.

(h) To show favoritism of a child over another;

(i) To yell, scream or use threatening gestures towards the child

(j) To force a child to say sorry.  A better practice would be to simply explain to the child the consequences of his actions and to encourage him or her to find their own solution on how to resolve the situation.

Our Team

Leeora Avrahami, Chair

Sarah Recinos, Co-Chair

Tania Hemraj Bhanji, Treasurer

Maria Waddell, Administrator

Natalie Normand, Administrator

Chris Vaillant, Administrator

Julie Marion, Administrator

Elyse Therrien, Administrator

Nicole Blanchette, Executive Director

Nicole has been with la ribambelle since 2007 and has a daughter who once attended la ribambelle.  She is passionate about her French culture and language.  She strongly believes in the importance of early childhood years and is an advocate for French language services. Nicole previously worked at Radio-Canada in Montréal for over 15 years.


Family Support team

La ribambelle receives annual funding to give the Francophone community of London and Sarnia workshops for parents and children from 0 to 6 years old. With the help of these funds, we created a family support team more than 10 years ago. This team is led by our Associate Director. Within this team we have, among other things, the opportunity to have an Education and Family Support Advisor, whose role is to support the families and can answer your questions about the development of your child, put you in touch with different professionals or organizations as well as to share several information resources as needed. Her role in child care is also to support London and Sarnia educators in their work when it comes to, for example, issues of class dynamics, behavior and all aspects of children’s development. So you may see it in one of our programs on occasion.

We would like to thank the Ministry of Education for funding our programs in London and Sarnia through the City of London and Lambton County.

Camille Beaulieu, Associate Director


Mayerly Portilla, Human Resources Manager


Anne Eriksson, Regional Coordinator


Irina Leteanu, Quality Control Coordinator


Kelsey Sim Foster, Child and Family Program Coordinator


Caterina Culum, Child and Family Program Educator



Meet our administration team!