About Early Learning Café

Welcome to Early Learning Café, the online meeting space for you as an early learning educator and care giver. In this place you will find inspiration and support on your professional learning journey. Whether you’re a seasoned early childhood educator, new to the captivating world of early learning, or an ECE student, you’ve found your place to connect, learn, and grow.

Early Learning Café offers courses and resources for individuals to explore. And it also offers opportunity for community, conversation and real, live interaction. Find out more by watching this video presentation from a recent virtual open house. 

Our Founders

Early Learning Café began with a dream shared by Susan Ramsay, Joe Ramsay, and Kathy Boelsma. The dream was to connect early learning professionals to global leaders in the field of Reggio-inspired pedagogy using video conferencing and online collaboration tools. In the fall of 2020, Kathy pulled back from her involvement at Early Learning Café, while Susan continues to create content and host learning opportunities and Joe builds our online spaces and provides technical support. With Susan’s extensive experience as an early literacy specialist, and work with young children and families, she weaves a rich tapestry of knowledge, experience, and passion into every course, resource, and conversation here.

Our Vision

Our vision at Early Learning Café is as simple as it is profound: to empower early learning and care educators with the tools, insights, and resources they need to be exceptional at what they do. We believe that every child is a world of wonder waiting to be discovered. Our goal is to inspire and equip those who nurture these young minds and bodies.

The Heart of Our Approach

What sets Early Learning Café apart is our unwavering commitment to grow our practice by listening to one another, and sharing our reflections about thoughtful provocations from leaders and thinkers in the field of early learning. Rather than promoting formulaic strategies, the offerings at Early Learning Café help us identify and articulate how our values and beliefs shape our practice. Our approach is rooted in the principles of:

Reggio Emilia Philosophy and Pedagogy: This renowned educational philosophy, originating from the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy, emphasizes the importance of a child’s natural curiosity and creativity. We wholeheartedly embrace these principles in our courses and resources.

Inquiry-Based Early Learning Pedagogy: We believe that learning should be an exploration, an adventure. Our courses are designed to encourage educators and caregivers to foster a sense of wonder in the children they nurture.

Kindergarten Program 2016, Ontario: Our offerings compliment the Kindergarten Program of Ontario, ensuring that our resources are a valuable addition to early learning curricula.

How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years: This foundational document guides our approach, ensuring that our content resonates with the pedagogical values of early childhood education in Ontario.

A Canadian Perspective: Early Learning Café takes pride in bringing a uniquely Canadian perspective to our offerings. We understand the specific needs, challenges, and opportunities within the Canadian early learning education context. Our courses are tailored to make a meaningful impact within the Canadian system, ensuring they are both relevant and effective.

Engagement and Interaction

We believe that learning thrives in a collaborative environment. That’s why each of our eLearning courses offers the opportunity for you to join in the conversation, ideally in the context of your workplace and among your colleagues. For those who are accessing e-courses outside outside of a work or school community, our comment sections are designed for lively discussions, and we encourage participants to respond to one another, sharing insights and experiences.

Diverse Voices and Inclusivity

At Early Learning Café, we’re not just inclusive; we celebrate diversity. Our content reflects and respects diverse perspectives, ensuring that everyone feels seen and heard. We, however, are always seeking to deepen our understanding of the ways in which we don’t clearly see the lived experiences of others.

Your Path to Excellence

Our website is designed to guide you on your journey to excellence, joy, and passion as an early learning educator or caregiver. We believe that this journey has several steps:

Access Free Resources and Blog Posts: Start by exploring our free resources and insightful articles. They are quick to read or view, grounded in children’s curiosity, and serve as inspirational prompts for your curriculum planning.

View Alternative Perspectives: Dive deeper by through videos and resources that offer alternative perspectives to traditional views of children. They provide innovative approaches and examples, offering a shift of perspective.

Join Our Online Community: Participate in our live online spaces to co-work with others, discuss eCourses, and exchanges ideas and resources. 

Regular Webinars and Live Meetups: Join our free online video call drop-ins and webinars with me, Susan, and special guests. Gain valuable insights and connect with like-minded individuals.

Explore Our Paid Offerings: When you’re ready, take one of our paid courses or sign up for a premium subscription. Our reggio-inspired courses provide a deep dive into various aspects of early learning.

Our Members

Early Learning Café is for those who’ve been fighting the good fight in early childhood education. Our website is dedicated to:

  • Early learning educators looking for inspirational and economical program planning support.
  • Educators who want to ground their practice in current research , and find congruency among their values, beliefs, and pedagogy.
  • Those who aspire to be great teachers, witnessing children flourish in their programs.
  • Individuals seeking guidance on fulfilling curriculum, administrative, and licensing requirements within an emergent, play-responsive pedagogy.

What makes Early Learning Café different?

What makes Early Learning Café truly exceptional? We’re delighted to share our unique selling points:

Partnership with Inspired to Learn (inspiredtolearn.ca): Early Learning Café is supported by our partner website, inspiredtolearn.ca (ITL). This partnership allows ELC users to provide parents with resources that align with the pedagogy and content of ELC, creating a consistent and nurturing learning environment both at school and at home.

Canadian and Ontario Lens: We bring a distinct Canadian and Ontario perspective to our offerings, ensuring that our content is not just relatable but effective within the Canadian context.

Susan Ramsay’s Expertise: Susan Ramsay’s background as an early literacy specialist and educator informs our work. She champions children’s agency, intelligence, and curiosity within a play-based emergent curriculum, which is at the core of our courses.

Internationally Recognized Partners: We collaborate with internationally recognized leaders and thinkers in the field of early learning to offer you courses of the highest caliber.

24/7 Interactive Online Spaces: Our platform, powered by GoBrunch, provides direct access to leaders and thinkers in early learning and other Early Learning Cafe members through online conversations, co-working rooms and eCourse wrap-up sessions.

Get Started Today

Embark on a journey of growth and transformation with Early Learning Café. We invite you to explore our resources, engage in discussions, and enroll in our courses. The future of early learning is bright, and you can be a part of it. Join us in shaping the present and the future, one child at a time.

Collaboration and Feedback

At Early Learning Café, we value collaboration and feedback. We’re always eager to hear from our community and welcome your suggestions for how we can serve you better. Together, we can make the world of early learning more exciting and enriching.

Join the Conversation

Thank you for visiting Early Learning Café. We look forward to having you as part of our community. Join us in celebrating the magic of early learning, and together, let’s nurture a brighter future for our children.

The Founders

Susan Ramsay

Susan Ramsay

Inspired to Learn

I have long been inspired by children — their sense of wonder, their ways of seeing the world, and their joy in every day moments.  Because of this inspiration, I pursued academic studies in sociology and early childhood education through Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College, and have embarked on a lifelong journey of learning. Experiences as a daycare provider, preschool director, special needs worker, family support worker, family literacy coordinator, early literacy specialist and RECE in kindergarten programs have taught me valuable lessons and shaped my view of children and of myself as an educator.

I value inclusion, democracy and justice for children, parents and communities. These values have found a home in Reggio-inspired philosophies — philosophies that continue to inspire me as I study Emergent Curriculum courses with the Ontario Reggio Association, and search out books and conversations that prompt me to think more deeply about early learning.

I love to learn and I learn best through reflection and conversation. I am please to continue offering Early Learning Café — a place where I can engage with each of you in conversations that truly matter. Use this page if you would like to book a phone call or video consultation with me.

Joe Ramsay

Joe Ramsay

Joe Ramsay and Associates Inc

I am one of those geeks who has been a computer user for 40+ years. Although my primary career was leadership in a large NFP organization, I always kept a hand in emerging technology. I bought my first work computer in 1984 and used it mostly for connecting to other professionals globally.

In the 90’s I pioneered an online network for organizations that also provided a distance learning platform for community colleges. All along, I have been Susan’s #1 fan supporting her passionate work nurturing the curiosity, creativity and dignity of children.