Meet our Team 2

Cherie Donato – Chief Executive Officer/Founder

Cherie is an entrepreneur, a graduate of the Early Childhood Education Program at Fanshawe College, and a mother of four children. With over twenty five years of experience, Cherie has been a strong influence in the childcare community and has shared her expertise in various educational environments, including private daycare, post-secondary education, and licensed daycare centers. As a respected businesswoman in her community, Cherie has contributed her child development knowledge, dedication, and passion for teaching. Cherie substitutes as a Professor of Early Childhood Education at Fanshawe College as well as a placement advisor. As the supervisor of the Hagersville center, Cherie shares her wealth of knowledge with her current staff and mentors other educators within her community. Cherie is an award-winning innovator and educator, winning the Innovation Award, and nominated for the annual RBC Women of Influence Award.

Brandi Montague – Program Coordinator

Brandi achieved her Masters of Education from Brock University and her BA in Psychology with a Minor in Family and Child Studies from the University of Guelph. As Program Director, Brandi executes our program statement while developing new resources and procedures to create high-quality programs. Using her twelve years of child care experience, Brandi provides staff with information and feedback to enhance their programs. In addition, Brandi remains up to date on new trends and data to develop policies and resources that maintain an excellent quality program at Koala T Care Daycare. 

Lisa McCleary – Financial Manager

Lisa received her Office Administration Diploma from Mohawk College. Lisa has successfully managed Koala T's finances with over twenty years of office administrative experience and five years specific to the childcare industry. In addition, she handles data entry related to enrollment and employment for both Ilderton and Hagersville. Lisa is also a member of our Joint Health and Safety team at our Hagersville location.

Janelle Montague – IT Technician/Office Administrator

As our office administrator, Janelle is the first contact for current and prospective families. She maintains consistent communication with families to address any questions or concerns they may have. Janelle is highly knowledgeable and experienced in the information technology field, providing support to the Ilderton and Hagersville centers. Janelle uses her ten years of childcare experience to adapt our technology and software to be efficient and effective for childcare specific requirements. Additionally, Janelle contributes her creativity to the company through web design and STEAM activities for summer camp. Janelle is completing her linguistics and specialized commerce degree at McMaster University during her career at Koala T Care Daycare.

Joanne Woods – Assistant Supervisor

Joanne graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at Conestoga College in 1998. She has over 22 years of experience as a registered early childhood educator, with years of experience in a supervisory role. Joanne has experience with several age groups and works with our program coordinator to enhance her programming in the classroom. Additionally, Joanne is the Assistant Supervisor at our Hagersville location, providing knowledge to staff members and students. 

Joanne Carey  Sanitation and Maintenance Manager

Joanne has worked for Koala T Care Daycare since its founding in 2007. With years of sanitation and maintenance experience in childcare, residential and industrial divisions, Joanne advanced to oversee all sanitation and maintenance staff and protocols. In addition, she is responsible for the training and mentorship of all janitorial and maintenance staff to guarantee the building's cleanliness and safety. Joanne is also a member of our Joint Health and Safety team.

Karen Wells RECE – Head Cook

Karen graduated from the Early Childhood Education Program at Confederation College in 1995. Before becoming our Head Cook at Koala T, Karen worked as a private nanny and cleaner for many years. With exceptional training and knowledge of food handling, food preparation, and time management skills, Karen can communicate her recipes and ideas to create nutritionally rich meals unique to Koala T.  Alongside the guidance of our Supervisor and the Health Unit's dietician, Karen has developed the daycare menu to serve meals that are both low in sugar and sodium as per the Canada Food Guide.