Year: 2010–2011 – Province: Québec
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
McGill Childcare Centre
3491 Peel Street
Montreal, QC H3A 1W7
Type of Setting: Childcare centre for children ages 4 to 17 months
The Baby Whisperer, Alma Crane-Hennessey has a lifetime of experience and a loving aura that still burns brightly. Usually the first caregiver outside the immediate family, Mrs. Crane-Hennessey is blessed with an innate ability to make both parents and children feel secure and loved from the moment they meet her.
Philosophy of Care
With a calm and nurturing demeanour, Mrs. Crane-Hennessey creates a welcome and warm environment for the young children in her care. She narrates a gentle commentary throughout the day making sure the children know what's coming. She delights the children with bubbles and is in turn delighted by someone learning to crawl, taking a step or holding a spoon.
Support of Child Development
- Mrs. Crane-Hennessey believes in gradual integration and invites parents to drop in at any time. It is not uncommon for parents to come in and feed their children throughout the day or for a mother to come in on her day off to read to the children in French.
- Mrs. Crane-Hennessey has created a baby-utopia in her infant room. With soft surfaces, pillows and fairy lights in the windows, peace, calm and warmth abound. She places unbreakable mirrors and photos of the children with their families just at the right height for children to enjoy.
Involvement with Parents, Families and the Community
- Mrs. Crane-Hennessey celebrates the cultural diversity of her group by coordinating potluck lunches and Friday morning coffee socials, where baked goods from around the world tantalize palettes and spark conversations.
- Friday morning socials have developed into focused discussions about topics ranging from how to navigate the Quebec school system, to information about eligibility criteria for English instruction in public schools. Mrs. Crane-Hennessey has also invited a local children's author to read her book and speak about the publishing process. Jazz musicians and nutritionists can also be added to the list.
"Alma supported my role and became my ally. She never usurped my place but was always ready to impart some of her wisdom when I struggled at times with the conflicting demands of the work world and motherhood."
"The children absolutely adore her and I have observed many occasions where children run to her for hugs and kisses, or just to be close to her. This shows how secure they feel in her presence."
Professor, Early Childhood Education Department
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