Profiles of Excellence: CEFA Early Learning

A commitment to incredible education, top-notch care, and excellence on every front has been the hallmark of CEFA Early Learning centres since the first one opened its doors in West Vancouver more than two decades ago.

Vivian Young has seen the difference that level of commitment makes in the lives of children, from both sides: first as a parent whose children attended the program, and now as the owner of two CEFA locations in New Westminster.

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CEFA is an all-day early learning private school for children ages 1 to 5, with a curriculum that offers reading, writing, mathematics, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), as well as visual arts, dance, music, drama, yoga, cultural immersion, and more, with a focus on helping prepare for kindergarten readiness.

Young was the parent of three young children – two of whom were already in a CEFA school – when she made the decision to leave her position with an environmental consulting firm to have more time to focus on her young family. She began volunteering at the school, leading her to a deep appreciation of everything that CEFA stood for.

“I fell in love with the program and what it was offering,” she said. “All three of my children are quite unique with their own strengths and perseverance, including one with a learning disability. I felt strongly that CEFA supported us and promoted comfort and confidence. All three graduated from the CEFA program and my husband and I couldn’t be happier, more grateful or more proud of their efforts and successes in school and in sports.”

With her oldest about to graduate from Grade 12 and the youngest set to begin high school, she’s seen the long term impact that their early education experiences had on them. Now, she’s thrilled to offer that same experience for students at her two local programs.

She says the Royal City has been an incredible place for CEFA, with enthusiasm and support not just from local families but from the city itself.

“It’s amazing being a part of a vibrant and friendly community and working with the City of New Westminster,” she said. Their first location opened on Carnarvon Street in 2008 and they celebrated their second location in the Uptown area in Royal City Shopping Centre in May of 2019. She gives credit to her team of teachers and the families for the success they’ve had here.

“My staff are amazing, caring and dedicated. One of our teachers, who was with our school from 2009 until she retired in 2018, was a recipient of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education which we are extremely proud of,” she said. “Our schools are like a second home and we truly work as extended family to each other and to our families. We operate with mutual respect and consideration.”

Young says she is excited about the future as more and more parents hear about the program. “CEFA’s core purpose is to inspire children to learn and be knowledgeable, seek self betterment and contribute as individuals,” she said. “Whether you are a child, parent, teacher or adult in your community, our core purpose helps guide any efforts.”

The foundations that made the first CEFA such a success continue today, she says, as that original commitment to excellence continues.

“Excellence is putting forth your best with the sincerest intentions,” she said.

For more information about the Profiles of Excellence and the services they provide, please click here.

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