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 Sundowners Day Care & Resource Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in 1987 and is governed by the Ministry of Education, Early Years Division and licensed under the Child Care & Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA).

Sundowners is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors made up of Public and Catholic School Board representatives and community members. An Executive Director, Coordinators, Administration, Supervisors, Registered Early Childhood Educators and Cooks make up the organization as a whole.  Sundowners is a non-profit, registered charity that was incorporated in 1987 and is governed by the Ministry of Education, Early Years Division and licensed under the Child Care & Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA).

All Early Childhood Educators are registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario and must remain in “good standing”. In order to confirm an ECE is registered and in good standing – reference can be found by following the link:  All staff are encouraged to participate in regular and on-going professional development and training.

Sundowners school based early learning and child care programs are designed to serve the needs of children 18 months to 12 years old. All of our programs are located in schools because we strongly believe this model of care is one of the best options for families today.  This model of care is also the model of choice by the Ministry of Education through the Schools First Policy. Sundowners provides services in partnership with the Greater Essex County District School Board, the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, the City of Windsor and the local area office of the Ministry of Education.  We welcome all children who may benefit from our programs.


Sundowners opened its doors to families in Windsor-Essex in April, 1987. We are celebrating our 30th Anniversary and wanted to share our story with you.  After thirty years Sundowners has really taken advantage of the vast amount of opportunities and challenges made available to the organization.

The child care field in Ontario has gone through many changes over the past several years but one thing never changes and that is our enthusiasm to offer the best, high quality early years and child care programs for families in Windsor and Essex County.

Sundowners Board of Directors and administrators, credits the dedicated professional Registered Early Childhood Educators, and all of our staff for our success. This very dedicated and professional group of staff makes every day special for all the children and families that have passed through our doors since 1987.

On behalf of administration we want to thank all the past and current Sundowners Board of Directors for their support over the years. Without their support Sundowners could not have survived some of the challenges and many changes we have faced in the child care field.  The Board of Directors continues to show its support through their guidance, leadership, dedication and many hours of volunteerism.  They have been an integral part of Sundowners growth and overall success of our organization.

Sundowners would also like to thank all of the past families and all of the current families for their continued support and commitment and use of Sundowners early years and child care services throughout the Windsor-Essex County community.

The future, while somewhat unfamiliar will provide Sundowners with a new sense of purpose and a renewed commitment to leading the child care sector forward. We will continue to provide support to our staff and families and to develop strategies for continuous improvement and growth.


2017 marks the 30th Anniversary of Sundowners Day Care & Resource Centre Inc.

Special Events and Special Guests

  In 2002 Sundowners was awarded the BIZ X Magazine “OSCAR” Award for Dynamic Day Care. Accepting on Sundowners behalf was Neil J. MacPhee, President of the Board of Directors.

pM. Savage, J. Devine, Neil J. MacPhee, M. Robinet, M. Warsh, L. Hills K. Ridsdale, S. Perry

Over the years Sundowners has played host to some very special guests.

In 2004, the Minister of Children and Youth Services, the Honourable Marie Bountrogianni, MPP visited Sundowners at General Brock to make an announcement regarding changes and funding for child care. The Best Start Plan and new funding initiative commitment to improving accessibility and quality for child care across the province.


The Honourable, Marie Bountrogianni, Minister of Children & Youth Services, Neil J. MacPhee, Chairperson, Board of Directors, and Jo-Anne Kilpatrick, Executive Director, Sundowners

In 2006, Leah Hills, Executive Director had an opportunity to meet and speak directly to the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty. The conversation and discussion was concerning the need for more child care funding and subsidies across the province.


The Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty

 In 2011, Jim Grieve, the Assistant Deputy Minister, Early Learning Division made a visit to Sundowners, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Centre. Deputy Minister Grieve was touring the province and our community to see all the full-day kindergarten programs being offered in schools and to communicate the future plans for the modernization of child care.

In 2017, Indira Naidoo- Harris, the minister responsible for the early years and child care made a visit to Sundowners, Talbot Trail. The Minister spent time in the pre-school room and can be seen interacting with the children.  The Minister was in town gathering information for the new child care policy framework and held a full day and evening consultation with child care providers, school boards, parents and other community stakeholders.

Picture - Minister Nidoo-Harris- January 24, 2017-Talbot Trail                      Talbot Trail - January 25, 2017                      img140

Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister responsible for Early Years and Child Care visits- Sundowners Talbot Trail, January 15, 2017







 The Neil J. MacPhee Award of Excellence

The Neil J. MacPhee Award of Excellence was established by the Board of Directors in March 2010 in honour of Sundowners first and longest standing Board of Directors President, Neil J. MacPhee. Neil, one of Sundowners founding members was President from April 1, 1987 to 2011.  Neil remained an “Honorary Director” until his passing in November 1, 2016.

Sundowners will present this award to an employee each year that has had an exceptional impact in the field of early childhood education. It is not necessary to be an ECE but could be any employee who is involved in the daily care and education of children and families either directly or indirectly.  The employee is involved in providing an environment for children to develop to their potential through development and promotion of child related activities; as well as through her/his contribution to better the quality of early learning and care.  This person is committed to ongoing growth of the profession and provides leadership to others in the field.

A committee of early childhood education and care practitioners (managers, supervisors, front-line staff) will be established each year and on a rotating basis. The committee will be responsible to review all of the nomination packages received.  The committee will make their best selection based on the submitted package.

Mr. Neil J. MacPhee


Neil was the driving force and quiet leader of Sundowners for so many years.  As President of the Board, he led the organization through some tremendous growth and turbulent years.  His strong dedication to families and their children should be greatly appreciated by the Windsor-Essex community.  As a lawyer, Neil even put up with all the educators who have made up the Board over the past years and that was no easy task.  A Board meeting was never started on time because Neil had a story to tell or he could be heard saying, “That reminds me of a story” or “You might have heard me tell you this before…”.  Neil will be missed for his years of dedication, wit, and kindness.  Neil was truly a gentle man.

Past Recipients of the N. J. MacPhee Award:

2010                     Nancy Oldridge

2011                     Jennifer Ferguson

2012                     Tracey Cofell

2013                     Kathy Gauthier

2014                     Kristi Jones

2015                     Nancy Lariviere

2016                     Chantelle Austin

2017                     Mandy Renaud

2017                     Crystal Labbee

2017                     Mary-Kay Savage


Sundowners’ First Executive Director– Jo-Anne Kilpatrick 1987-2005

CHALMERS UNITED CHURCH- “Where is all began”



First Elected Offices of Sundowners Board of Directors- April 1987:

Neil J. MacPhee, Lawyer (April 1987-2011) longest sitting Board Member. President of the Board of Directors remained the President of the Board until 2011.  Mr. MacPhee was also named an Honorary Director until his passing on November 1, 2016

1987                Rev. William Bardwell   Community Representative

1987                Jim Carter                    Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board

1987                Tim Coughlin              Principal, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

1987                Betty Leeder               Community Representative, Financial Advisor

1987                Susan Lee                    Community Representative, Accounting Firm

1987                Phil McLeod               Parent/Community Representative, Advertising Firm

1987                S.Nickerson-Graham  Community Representative, Education Researcher

1989                Sandy Johnson            Parent/Teacher, Greater Essex County District School Board

1989                S. Moniatowicz           Community Representative, Accounting Firm

1990                Steve Snider                Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board

1990                Stephen Freeman        Principal, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

1990                Cheryl Legault            Teacher, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

1990                Elaine Poirier               Principal, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

1992                Deborah Morden         Community Representative, Accounting Firm

1995                Rod Peturson              Superintendent, Greater Essex County District School Board

1995                Mitch Habas                Parent, Community Representative

1996                Elizabeth Pagliaroli     Principal, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

1998                Heather Liffiton          Superintendent, Greater Essex County District School Board

2000                Jim McMahon             Principal, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

2001                Jim Askin                    Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board

2001                Christina Baumann     Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board

2003                Harriet Stone               Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board

2005                Denice Shuker             Lawyer, Community Represenative

2005                Karen Drago               Principal, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

2009                Susan Moroz               Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board

2009                Lisa Boudreau             Principal, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

2012                Anne Adamson           Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board


Current Board of Directors

2010               Stephen Freeman        President of the Board of Directors

2001               Christina Baumann     Community Representative

2011                Rick Tolmie                  Community Representative

2011                Laura Bates                   Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board

2011                Cathy Nelson                Community Representative

2016                Lee Ann Poisson          Principal, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

2016                Sandy Minato               Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board

2017                Angela Miloyevich        Principal, Greater Essex County District School Board