Meet our Great Educators

Our team of educators are chosen from among the best and brightest R.ECE and ECA accredited practitioners who work hard to create an ideal learning environment for your child. They are sensitive, imaginative, curious, great listeners, supportive, open-minded and creative problem-solvers. Our educators’ experience in early learning, coupled with their commitment to our families, has helped to build our amazing culture.

We often exceed the Ministry of Education requirements for educator-child ratios, providing the attention the children need while developing strong social-emotional-learning skills. We achieve this through the support of our in-house Atelierista (Artist-in-Residence) and  Pedagogista (Educational Lead), who support the program and deepen the learning. We also have dedicated float staff to ensure that your child has a familiar face, when their regular educators are absent. As well, we have an Executive Director and Onsite Supervisors to oversee all facets of our centre.

This team gets to know your child and helps extend their learning, while providing resources and professional development to the educators. This team effort is a key differentiator within our program.

Happy Baby Playing With Toy Blocks
Mother and Her Son in Nature
Children Playing With Animal Toys
Little Boy Playing With Magnifier in Atelier Kids Childcare Centre

The role of our educators

We plan starting points for the children to explore and provide open-ended resources for their journey of exploration. We keep your child safe during the day and facilitate your child’s learning. We are there to help the children to slow down the process so that the little moments can be appreciated. Children are encouraged to try different solutions to solve problems, and not simply to settle on one path.

Our educators are lifelong learners

Ongoing learning is fundamental to providing quality childcare. We nurture this quality by building in design time weekly to collaborate with peers and to write up observations. We also give our educators the time for formal professional development—just like our children, we too need to keep learning.

Joshua and His Ball

Imagine you’re in the backyard with your son. He loses his ball under the deck. What do you do? As adults, we often rush to solve the problem.

The Reggio-inspired way

OBSERVATION: Our Educator stands back and observes, recognizing this as a teachable moment. Rather than solving Joshua’s problem, she deliberately allows him time and space to explore different solutions.  She takes a few photos, makes some notes and asks open-ended questions to help guide Joshua to a solution.

PROBLEM-SOLVING: Left to his own devices, Joshua tries to retrieve his ball first by reaching under the deck with his arm. It is too short. Then he uses a stick to try to reach his ball. Again it is too short. Next, he decides to engage his friends and together they devise a way to retrieve the ball with a longer stick.

DOCUMENTATION & ONGOING LEARNING: Joshua’s teacher documents this learning by displaying the photographs in the classroom at eye level so Joshua and his friends can be reminded of the challenge and their success. This is consistent with the pedagogy supported by the Ministry of Education’s “How Does Learning Happen?”.

Boy Catching ball

Our Leadership

Bernadette Testani - Head of School

Bernadette Testani - Head of School

Bernadette Testani, an innovative entrepreneur and passionate advocate for quality early education in Bloor West Village.

Having founded three award-winning daycares, Atelier Kids, Green Apple Kids & Windermere Kids, Bernadette’s journey in childcare led her to explore cutting-edge approaches to learning and development. Inspired by the Reggio philosophy, she has taken a bold step in pioneering the first Reggio-inspired child care centre in the west end, with plans to expand this transformative approach across Ontario.


Driven by her own experience as a parent and a professional executive, Bernadette recognized the need for a higher standard of service-centered childcare. She believes that children should be viewed as capable, confident, and curious young learners, and through Atelier Kids, she’s dedicated to providing an environment where their imaginations can soar.

As a respected expert in early childhood learning, Bernadette has extensively studied the Reggio approach with renowned educators both locally and abroad. Atelier Kids is a reflection of her unwavering commitment to fostering a community where every child’s potential is nurtured with care and dedication.

We understand that you, as parents, may have reservations about the best support for your child’s early years, unsure of what the future holds. However, we firmly believe that the Reggio-inspired approach is a 2.0 way of preparing young minds for the ever-evolving world, ensuring they become lifelong learners, confident problem solvers, and well-equipped for whatever the future brings.

With the advent of AI and rapid technological advancements, embracing a progressive and holistic approach like Reggio becomes even more critical. At Atelier Kids, we are ready to embark on this exciting journey with you, nurturing your child’s potential, creativity, and curiosity.

Join us in shaping a bright and limitless future for your child. Together, we can prepare them to thrive in the amazing unknown that lies ahead. Your investment in their early years will lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning and success


Joan C. Bowman - Atelierista | Artist in Residence

Joan C. Bowman - Atelierista | Artist in Residence

Joan is a Toronto-based artist, graphic designer, and entrepreneur. Her family of four calls the Beach neighbourhood ”home”, but Toronto Island is a close second. It is here that she was introduced to the Reggio philosophy as her children attend school where Reggio-inspired learning and an emphasis on outdoor education is prevalent. Immediately intrigued and captivated by Reggio-inspired learning, Joan began researching and studying it both locally and abroad, visiting its namesake community in Italy this past spring.


Her love for the arts earned her a scholarship to University where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Art. This intense art and design program focused on mastering problem-solving philosophies, the theoretical approach to art and design and its practical applications, as developed and taught by the faculty and esteemed alumnae of the historically recognized Cranbrook Academy of Art. After graduating with academic honours she was introduced to the television industry where she spent 15 years and garnered 3 Emmy Awards and 15 Emmy Nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for Excellence in Graphic Design, Set Design, and Art Direction. Inspired by a Guggenheim project, Joan developed her entrepreneurial venture of  SquidMonkey Fine Art & Design School for Children. Her focus was building an informed foundation and keen awareness of fine art within children; to first understand and appreciate the art and artist motivations throughout history and consequently discover the beauty of artistic exploration.  The demonstrated joy and confidence that grew amongst the young learners was beauty to behold, within itself! Currently the owner of her own boutique design firm in Toronto, jcBowmanDESIGN,  Joan develops marketing and design solutions with a specialized focus on the arts and dance communities of Toronto.  Even her large corporate clients know she brings a personalized attention to detail, a passion for the art of design, and a caring and compassionate communication style, regardless of the enormity of a project. In addition, she pursues her passion of seeing life’s, “little moments of beauty” through her greeting card line, honeylamb: a designer line of correspondence as she hopes that, even in our digital world, people will begin handwriting more notes to each other. Joan is extremely excited to work with Atelier Kids as the Atelierista/Artist-in-Residence to explore the path of learning and discovery together through the arts.
Alison Randall - Pedagogista - Educational Leader

Alison Randall - Pedagogista - Educational Leader

Alison Randall is a passionate learner of languages, arts, cultures, and philosophies whose experiences have led her to become a child-centered educator with a worldview. She has made High Park her home after the recent joys of living in Belgium, the Czech Republic and Dubai, UAE while raising her family of four along with her husband in their travels. While living abroad, Alison learned further about both Reggio and other early childhood pedagogies (Montessori, Creative Arts and Languages Curriculum, IB) which make her role as Pedagogista at Atelier Kids such a perfectly unique relationship for continued growth together.


Believing that an integral component to education is community, Alison established Greenfield Community Parents, the parent organization for a school of 1,200 students in Dubai, and worked with The Giraffe Project to facilitate school access and experience for Nairobi slum students from JK to University.
Alison’s official teaching career began at the Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS), OISE, the University of Toronto where she completed her M.A. in Child Studies and Education (2000). A laboratory school, JICS introduced Alison to the world of Reggio and the vast possibilities inherent in listening authentically to children, their questions about the world around them, their willingness to learn through experience, and the joy of learning alongside them. She graduated (Honours, Leighton McCarthy award for outstanding contribution to the life of the school) with specialties in both Primary Education and Special Education, going on to further specialize in Primary Education, Reading and Mathematics. Alison has taught at both the TDSB and at JICS, both as a classroom teacher and an occasional teacher.
She is involved as a core team member of High Park’s, It Takes a Village, a neighbourhood sponsorship of several Syrian families, as an active member of the Rotary service club of Parkdale-High Park-Humber, and at Annette Street Public School on School Council. 
As our Pedagogista, Alison is looking forward to sharing her worldview of children and education with our Atelier Kids families and she’s eager to extend her dedication to the local community that inspires her.