Once upon a time
While pregnant with their first child, Alicia and Randall started discussing their plan for childcare and made a list of all the things that they wanted:
- Caregivers that they could trust to give the same love and attention that they would give their own child
- A place that offers developmental and educational programming, but also realized the importance of play, stimulating children’s curiosity, and fun
- A clean and bright facility that promoted fitness, nutrition, and environmental awareness
As a devoted special needs teacher, Alicia realized that she could not continue to work the long hours that her students required and raise a family in a way that she wanted. This in addition to a noticeable short fall in exceptional quality childcare gave birth to the idea of simply doing themselves. So Randall and Alicia decided to marry their two areas of expertise (teaching and business) to create Tot Spot Academy.
Tot Spot Academy started out of Randall and Alicia’s home in January 2013 as a dayhome with only one client. Within a year, it had quickly grown into a thriving business serving multiple families, hired 1 full time employee and had a 2.5 year waiting list. Even though Tot Spot would be considered a smashing success as a day home, it has one major problem: capacity. Due to extensive demand, Tot Spot Academy had reached a stage where growth was necessary and the next step was to transform the day home into a daycare capable of serving far more families.
After a lengthy search, the perfect location for Tot Spot Academy was found within St. Albert. Alicia and Randall took possession of a commercial space (9420 McKenney Ave) in June of 2016 and renovations took place over the summer transforming a former scrapbooking store into the daycare it is today. Construction and licensing were completed as the end of summer neared and Tot Spot Academy the daycare officially opened its doors September 12th, 2016.
Meet Our Team
Owner / Director
Prior to having her first child, Alicia was a full-time division one, special needs teacher with the Edmonton Public School board and is a Child Development Supervisor (formally called a level three care provider). She is specialized in language development and has extensive training in early literacy intervention and support. With experience in fine and gross motor development, she is knowledgeable in the social, emotional and physical developmental milestones of children. Having taught at Tevie Miller in the Speech and Language program at the School for the Deaf, experience has shown her that young children receive several developmental benefits from learning American Sign Language as a second language. In 2012, Alicia was nominated as an Edmonton YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Education category. Alicia has been operating Tot Spot Academy for the last five years.
Kaitlyn has been working with Tot Spot Academy for three years. She also volunteered weekly in Alicia’s Elementary class and later with the dayhome before coming on as a Full Time staff member. Kaitlyn has a passion for helping to raise healthy, happy children.
Owner / Director
Randall holds both BCom and PMP designations and currently works as a Project & Account manager for the local web development firm Yellow Pencil. He has over 14 years of business experience ranging from product management with Electronic Arts, marketing with Deloitte, and his current business advisory and project management role with Yellow Pencil.
He focuses his energy on the business side of Tot Spot Academy and the majority of his work is done behind the scene and after hours. However, you will occasionally find him covering a shift when necessary. He won’t admit that taking care of kids can be harder than an office job (even though it often is).
Stacey has a two year old son and being a part of the Tot Spot team as a child development assistant offers her the best of both worlds; being able to see her little guy through out the day and help raise others. She loves working with children, watching them grow, and knowing she had a part in teaching them.
Karla was born in Mexico, and moved to Canada four years ago. She graduated in Mexico with an Early Childhood education degree in 2010. This will be her first year teaching in Canada but the seventh in preschool. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She loves all the exploring, learning and fun you get to have with children around you. Karla is committed to create and maintain an environment where your child can grow and thrive while exploring the world around them.
Jenn has just recently moved to St. Albert from Nova Scotia. While there, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Acting followed by her Bachelor of Education for elementary. She then taught in an elementary school for 2 years in Nova Scotia. She has loved joining the Tot Spot family and it has made the transition from the east coast to west coast warm and welcoming. She enjoys working with children and seeing how they discover and learn things for the very first time.
Erica has just moved back to Alberta after 12 years of living in Ontario. While in Ontario she attended Tyndale University in Toronto where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theology with minors in Children’s Ministry and Psychology. She interned as a Children’s Pastor for a year after university, and after her contract was up she worked for GoodLife Fitness until December 2016. Erica is thrilled to be working with children again, as it has always been one of her biggest passions! One of the things she loves most about Tot Spot is the awesome community built between the teachers, children and their families!
Lynnette recently moved to St. Albert from New Brunswick, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Education degree from St. Thomas University in 2011. Lynnette successfully taught middle school for five years before making the switch to early childhood education as a Child Development Supervisor, so she could spend more time with her one-year-old son, Derek. Lynnette is passionate about education and literacy for all ages, and her favourite part is watching the aha! moments unfold, when a child learns something new – and, of course, the giggles and smiles that arise when learning is fun!
Ever since Michelle was little, she had a passion for working with children and helping them grow and learn to their best of abilities! She has mentored children for the past 3 years and working in childcare has always been something she has been interested in. To her, the best feeling is knowing you are able to make a difference in a child’s life and working Tot Spot Academy is giving her that opportunity.
Courtney has always been very passionate about working with kids and regularly volunteered to do so while in school. To her, Tot Spot Academy offers a place where she can follow her passion and become a meaningful part of both hers and a child’s day.
Outside of work, Courtney is either spending time with her Yorkie Maltese Simon, or at her favorite sushi restaurant ‘Sushi Park’. She also enjoys makeup artistry and poetry.