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Pat Frouws

SFU Childcare director Pat Frouws celebrates her upcoming graduation with Lizy Lin (on her lap) Anthony Li (left) and Clara Beckwith-Jamieson.

Degree is child’s play for daycare director

October 8, 2009

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As executive director of SFU Childcare, Pat Frouws is surrounded daily by some of the youngest minds on campus.

"Our new curriculum model encourages us to see these young minds as capable, curious problem solvers," says Frouws, who for the past few years has spent her time away from the office in the classroom—as a student—and will be among SFU graduates this fall.

"Learning together with young children provides the thrill and wonder of shared discoveries," she says. "Teachers become observers and researchers along with the children."

Shortly after arriving at the centre five years ago, Frouws volunteered at convocation, pinning gowns. "That’s where I learned about the Bachelor of General Studies degree, and it got me thinking that going back to school might be doable," says Frouws, 54, who decided to hit the books and sharpen her business skills.

At the same time, she saw an opportunity to promote lifelong learning and professional development among her team.

"When I enrolled in the SFU Liberal and Business Studies general studies degree program I found the coursework provided the space and tremendous depth to consider and wrestle with ideas and issues that related directly to leading a large childcare organization such as SFU Childcare," she says.

"The program has stimulated and energized my work, hopefully to the benefit not only of myself but for the whole of SFU Childcare."

The director of a non-profit childcare centre for seven years before coming to SFU, Frouws oversees more than 50 employees who serve 265 children and families primarily from the SFU community.

Frouws is working on her creative side by taking beginner drawing classes and is considering working towards a master’s degree in early childhood education.

SFU Childcare has more than 13 programs for infants to 12 year-olds, including one in UniverCity. The centre is planning 50 more spaces in a new facility at UniverCity in the next few years.

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