About Us

Children are the most amazing people. They’re full of energy, full of questions, and full of wonder. At Fort Erie Co-operative Preschool, we give them a place to use that energy, to find answers to their questions, and to explore the wonders of the world around them.

Our preschool and kindergarten programs are designed specifically for little people—to start them on the path to a life-long love of learning. You’re not sending your child to daycare; you’re enrolling them in a preschool where they’ll build relationships, express their individuality, embrace independence, and love to learn.

Fort Erie Co-operative Preschool is licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Education, which governs our entire operation so your child receives an exceptional early learning experience. We work closely with agencies such as Speech Services Niagara, the Region of Niagara’s Child Services Department, and the Niagara Regional Health Department to ensure the individual needs of every child come first.

The school is also a member of the Early Childhood Community Development Center (ECCDC), which provides valuable resources and excellent continuous learning courses for staff to improve their skills and build on their qualifications.

Meet Our Teachers

Lindsay Ostermann

Managing Director | Supervisor

Along with her love of children and commitment to learning, Lindsay holds both an Early Childhood Education Diploma from Niagara College and a Child & Youth Worker Diploma from Niagara College.

Lindsay is constantly looking for new ways to engage the children in her care. She finds creative ways to incorporate learning into every fun activity!

Prior to joining the preschool in 2018, Lindsay was an Early Childhood Educator with the Niagara Catholic District School Board, and spent several years working with adolescents with behavioral and emotional challenges. She is a member in good standing of the Ontario College of Registered Early Childhood Educators.

Kayla Edwards

Program Co-ordinator | Preschool Teacher

Kayla’s love of teaching and her enthusiasm for different cultures has led her on many adventures around the world. She earned her International Teaching Certification in 2009 and followed that up with a diploma in Addiction and Community Services from Everest College.

For the next 10 years, she taught abroad in China, Vietnam and Hong Kong, as well as volunteered for international organizations benefitting women and children. Kayla graduated from Niagara College’s Early Childhood Education program in 2023 and continues to grow her skills through training and workshops.

In addition to the work she does at Fort Erie Co-operative Preschool, she’s the Founder and Head Teacher for Learning Adventures and Beyond, a learning-based vocational camp for international students.

Cara Filipowicz

Kindergarten Teacher

Watching the children in her care grow and progress is what Cara considers to be the most rewarding part of her job. She helps her students build their confidence by pointing out all the amazing things they’ve learned and can do.

Cara joined the preschool in 2021 after working as a designated early childhood educator with the District School Board of Niagara. She’s training in the “The Hanen Program: Learning Language and Loving It,” which focuses on promoting the best possible language, social, and literacy skills in young children.

When she’s not at the head of the class, Cara spends her time outdoors: She loves camping in the summer and skating in the winter.

Sharon Ho

Preschool Teacher

Originally from Taiwan, Sharon received her Early Childhood Education certificate in Australia in 2015. Over the last eight years, Sharon has worked in preschools abroad and in Canada, and especially enjoys teaching the 2- to 4-year age group. She loves crafts and music, and she shares those passions with her students.

Bianca Mueller

Preschool Teacher

Bianca graduated in 2000 from Brock University’s 4-year Concurrent Program with a Bachelor of Education/Bachelor of Arts degree (specializing in primary-junior education), which she quickly put to work as an occasional teacher with the District School Board of Niagara. She also taught Grade 1 at Stamford Green Day Nursery School in Niagara Falls. Bianca joined the Fort Erie Co-operative Preschool in 2013 after her youngest child graduated from the preschool. She is a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers.

Tasha Eden

Preschool Teacher

Tasha holds a Youth Work Advance diploma from Mohawk College and an Early Childhood Education diploma from Niagara College, where she graduated with a Niagara Scholar Distinction.

Before joining the preschool in 2022, Tasha worked with the YMCA of Niagara as a Child and Youth Program Co-ordinator.

Outside the classroom, Tasha loves to escape to her “second home” in northern Ontario, where she spends most of her time on the water & trail riding on her ATV.

Kim Bond

Preschool Aid

Kim is a long-time child care provider who is also an active community volunteer. While raising her two sons, she stayed involved in their schools and served as a parent advocate on the Special Education Committee. She then spent 20 years providing in-home child care and volunteered with Meals on Wheels and at Gilmore Lodge, spending many hours with long-term care residents in the dementia ward.

In 2017, she began volunteering with Fort Erie Co-operative Preschool before accepting a regular support staff position.

Tara Sidey

Preschool Aid

Tara brings her love of the outdoors, nature, and animals to school with her every day. She demonstrates nurturing and kindness and teaches by example how to be encouraging and positive.

Tara is trained and certified with Quality Child Care Niagara as a reflective practitioner in developmental planning tools, speech and language emergent literacy, and environmental supports. Her dedication to professional development allows her to continuously learn new ways to help her students reach their developmental milestones.

Tara is a devoted mom to two athletic kids and spends much of her time outside of school travelling to sports events to cheer them on. She’s also an active volunteer at their school.


Cherie Hartless

Special Support Staff

Cherie is dedicated to facilitating a positive environment where all children can learn and grow. She holds an educational Assistant/Special Needs Support diploma and a graduate certificate in Autism and Behavioural Sciences from Niagara College.

Cherie previously worked as an interventionist at Bethesda Services, where she implemented applied behaviour analysis while providing therapy to children on the autism spectrum. She’s experienced in working with children with all capabilities and behavioural challenges.

Outside of her work with the preschool, Cherie is a mom of 2. In her spare time, she reads, enjoys music, and  volunteers in the community.

Kristine Sandel

Supply Teacher

Kristine is currently enrolled in Brock University’s Concurrent Education program with a focus on Primary/Junior education. 

Kristine has always had a love for children, which led her to work as a nanny and a tutor. She brings her passion for the classroom and teaching to the school and is rewarded by the fun she has with her students.

Cheryl Walters

Supply Teacher

Cheryl spent many years working in social services and education, and holds a graduate degree in Child Studies and a Master of Education, both from Brock University.

Most recently, she spent two years working with children in Guatemala, followed by a six-month experience working with Indigenous children at a private school in British Columbia.

Cheryl is a proud mom to three sons and an even prouder grandma to 6 grandchildren.

Our daughter has been attending the preschool program since September and she is so happy! She never attended daycare in the past so we were a little nervous about starting her, but the staff were truly wonderful at helping her through this big transition. The teachers are compassionate, patient, and supportive, the lessons and activities are engaging, they are huge on outdoor learning (which we love! They have the most beautiful playground/outdoor classroom!), and – most important – our daughter is having fun! She has learned and grown so much in such a short time – we love this preschool!!

- Nicole T.

FE Cooperative Preschool was recommended to us by several friends whose children attended the school. The teachers are all amazing, and we love that they incorporate learning into everything they do. Daily updates are given, and pictures sent so you can see what your child has been doing throughout the day. Snacks and a nutritious lunch are included in the daily tuition fee. The staff have made our child feel welcome and comfortable and they really go above and beyond to make sure the kids have fun while they are there. We would absolutely recommend this preschool to anyone looking for a part time or full time option in the Niagara area!

- Rebecca B.

Fort Erie’s Best Kept Secret

Did you know Fort Erie Co-operative Preschool has been a part of the community for nearly 40 years?

The preschool first opened its doors in the lower level of St. Paul’s Church in September 1984 with nine students and one teacher. At the time, the school system did not yet offer a junior kindergarten program, so the preschool provided a unique service to the community.

Not surprisingly, the preschool quickly became a popular alternative to daycare. It was perfect for families who were looking for a place for their children to socialize with other kids their age. Within just a few years, the school boasted a staff of three and a full enrollment (plus a waiting list!)

Since the introduction of kindergarten (now ELKP) to the school system, Fort Erie Co-operative Preschool has evolved to fit the needs of Fort Erie families. We now offer preschool programs that cater to children between the ages of 24 months and 6 years, and we’ve re-introduced kindergarten programs to give families an alternative to larger schools.

Each day is filled with opportunities for your child to learn and grow and (most importantly) have fun!