About Crown Preschool

Crown Preschool began in 1948 and has operated from St. Philip’s Church in the Dunbar area since 1965. At Crown we believe that play is a child’s natural response to life, and their most effective tool for learning. Through play, children have opportunities to explore, experiment and to learn about themselves and the world around them.

Parents, children and teachers at Crown Preschool all contribute to and participate in a rich and creative community of learning. A wide variety of activities and experiences support children’s healthy development in the physical, intellectual, social and emotional domains, building confidence, curiosity, and a positive disposition to learning.

Meet our Teachers

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Nina Monahan

My name is Nina, and I am the head teacher at Crown Preschool. I am a Dunbar native, having grown up in the neighbourhood, and I even attended Crown preschool, many years ago! After school in Vancouver I went on to study Psychology at the University of Victoria then headed overseas, living in Australia and then England, where I enrolled on a postgraduate course in Early Childhood Education and found my calling. In April 2023, I completed my M. Ed. in Early Childhood Education at the University of British Columbia and now instruct on the ECE Certificate program there alongside my preschool work.

I believe passionately in children's innate capacity and desire to learn about the world around them. I believe that our role as educators is to discover each child's unique way of being in the world, and then provide the tools, support and stimulation to maintain their belief in themselves as capable learners and valuable citizens.

I am inspired by a variety of approaches, from the Reggio Emilia concept of the "hundred languages of children" to the use of structured synthetic phonics in the British Early Years Curriculum. I aim to provide programming which respects young children's unique, natural, holistic ways of learning, while also building their capacity to be members of a community. I hope to support children to develop the social and emotional skills and a positive disposition towards learning that mean they can leave Crown Preschool ready to thrive in their educational journeys.

Above all, I believe that preschool should be a joyful and enriching experience for young children AND their families, and I am endlessly proud to be a part of our very special community at Crown Preschool.

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Dawn Campbell

My name is Dawn. I grew up near Jericho and went to Kitsilano Secondary, then went on to study theatre and circus arts before starting a family. After having my first two kids, I became very interested in forest preschools and would bus all the way with my youngsters to the only forest preschool operating at the time, in Lynn Canyon. It was then that I made a plan to open up my own forest preschool in East Van where I now resided, so just when life was getting really fun with 3 active boys, I decided to go back to school and get my Early Child Education Certificate. By the time I graduated and started up Songbird Forest School in Everett Crowley Park, my youngest son was the right age to join me in the class, and I had the great privilege of teaching with my child alongside me.

I am inspired by many progressive philosophies of parenting, such as RIE, Gordon Neufeld's attachment theories, and Last Child in the Woods. Within my ECE practice I am inspired by the ideas of Reggio Emilia, International Baccalaureate, Folk Song games, Vivian Gussin Paley, Stuart Shanker and Daniel Siegel.

I have a huge respect for children. I love letting kids find their own way even when it’s messy and there is frustration and failure. I live for that look of pride on a child’s face when they’ve tried and tried and then work through to an accomplishment independently - that look of pride is priceless!

I love to be silly. I love to sing even though I’m sometimes (often) out of key.

I guarantee to return your child back to you- tired, dirty, muddy and smiling.

Our Philosophy

At Parent Involvement Preschools, our children are encouraged and supported:

  • To pursue a love of learning;
  • To explore divergent thinking;
  • To ask questions and learn problem solving strategies;
  • To develop age appropriate literacy and numeracy skills;
  • To have opportunities for success, self confidence and independence;
  • To feel good about themselves and their community;
  • To explore creative self expression through language, art and movement;
  • To learn positive social and communication skills;
  • To be respectful, inclusive and inquisitive;
  • To master fine motor skills necessary for kindergarten;
  • To develop gross motor skills through active play; and
  • To nurture their whole selves. 

(CPPPBC Handbook)