Business Woman Child Care

Cherie Donato

Chief Executive Officer/Founder 

Cherie is the CEO and founder of Koala T Care Daycare.

She began her dream of becoming an entrepreneur by attending Fanshawe College where she obtained her Early Childhood Education Diploma. She opened her first centre in 2007 and continues to oversee Koala T Care Daycare Hagersville as the licensee/supervisor for that site.

Cherie and her management team have begun the process for opening another centre in Ilderton Ontario with an anticipated opening date of August 28th, 2021.

 As a respected businesswoman Cherie has contributed her child development knowledge, dedication, and passion for teaching. Cherie has been a strong influence as she has over twenty-five years in the childcare industry, including her knowledge as a part time professor of Early Childhood Education at Fanshawe College.

Cherie has a close connection with local colleges, and a close and positive relationship with both ECE departments at Mohawk and Fanshawe College. Cherie was also a placement facilitator, and understands the importance of hands-on learning for ECE students. She welcomes ECE students to do their placement practicum and work alongside her lead ECE’s in various programs

Cherie sits on a Focus Group Committee at Fanshawe College to develop the current ECE program curriculum, and she regularly attends the Fanshawe graduation ceremony where she sponsors an award yearly on behalf of her business. This award acknowledges the hard work and dedication of a newly graduated Early Childhood Education student.

She has been an active member of the ECE Banquet committee for over 10 years, where she helps create, design and implement a large celebration in honor of all those who work in the Education field. She is actively involved within the community as she is a proud resident of Haldimand-Norfolk. She actively participates in town meetings and has been asked on several occasions to participate on local focus groups where she gives her insight into small business needs within the community as well as what would best suit families. She is a strong advocate for children and is very passionate about raising the quality of childcare within the community. She does not hesitate to donate her time to help with various events including memorial baseball tournaments, local festivals and parades, child minding events, and Denver's Wish List. She also proudly sponsors teams within the Haldimand Youth Soccer and Ilderton and District Soccer Club.

Cherie is an award-winning innovator and educator, winning the Innovation Award, Community Access Award. Her professionalism is not only recognized by the childcare community, but she has also been recognized for many awards over the years, including Business of the Year. Most recently, she has been nominated for the RBC Woman Entrepreneur Award 2020, and 2021 for her passion and dedication to her business as well as her advocacy for childcare.

Brandi Montague

Program Coordinator

Brandi achieved her Master of Education with a Teaching, Learning and Development specialization from Brock University. She also completed her BA in Psychology with a Minor in Family and Child Studies from the University of Guelph. Her extensive schooling and over 12 years of experience in the childcare field has earned her the role of Program Coordinator at Koala T Care Daycare.

In her role as Program Coordinator Brandi remains current in all the newest Pedagogical Teaching Methods/Approaches and provides in house training to all the new educators, as well as mentoring/coaching to our existing educators. Brandi participates in staff compliance monitoring and performance reviews after which she also coordinates Professional Development workshops/courses and provides valuable resources relevant to the success of each staff.

Amongst many of Brandi’s other duties, she creates and implements the Centre policies & procedures and makes sure these comply with the Ministry of Educations regulations As part of the management team Brandi also partakes in the interview and hiring process giving feedback and recommendations. Brandi also coordinates and works collectively with the Lead Educators in each program to design and setup stimulating and enriched environments in the classrooms. She is the manager of ordering classroom supplies, toys and equipment making sure that the items promote development for children in a variety of areas of development, enhancing the overall high-quality program.

Brandi enjoys photography, documentation, and continuous learning. Brandi is passionate about positive work culture, and quality care and education.

Program Coordinator Child Care
Financial Manager Child Care

Lisa McCleary

Financial Manager

Lisa received her Office Administration Diploma from Mohawk College, and has over 20 years of work experience related to office administration, payroll, data entry and finances. Lisa works closely with our CEO to oversee the financial cashflow of the business, in addition to preparing financial forecasts, financial reports, monitoring daily account activity, and provides feedback to upper management regarding the current budget.

Lisa has been with the company for over 6 years and is very familiar with the funding guidelines and application processes to assist the CEO in planning for financial assistant program such as fee subsidies for families, wage subsidies for employees, and grants that allow for the purchasing of new toys and equipment for each site.

She is the direct contact for invoicing for all families, and for accounts receivable and payables for both the Hagersville and Ilderton locations.

Lisa is also a member of our Joint Health and Safety Team at our Hagersville location.

Janelle Montague

I.T Technician/Office Administrator

Janelle is our skilled office administrator and information technology specialist. She uses her ten years of childcare experience to adapt our technology and software to be efficient and effective for childcare specific requirements. Janelle maintains excellent communication with current and prospective families.

She is highly knowledgeable and experienced in the information technology field, providing support to the Ilderton and Hagersville centers.

In her role at Koala T. Care Daycare, Janelle develops our website and curates our social media content and marketing. Janelle is also a professionally certified sfx artist and uses her education in this field to support the planning and implementation of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematic programming at our centers.

Janelle has an intermediate level fluency in American Sign Language and Japanese which aids in our ability to provide inclusive and language rich programs. Janelle considers herself a lifelong learner and is currently completing her BA in linguistics at McMaster University during her career at Koala T Care Daycare.

Information Technology Technician and Office Administrative Woman
Sanitation and Maintenance Manager Woman

Joanne Carey

Sanitation and Maintenance Manager

Joanne has worked for Koala T Care Daycare since its founding in 2007. With several years of Janitorial and cleaning experience in childcare, residential and industrial divisions, Joanne advanced to Manager and now oversees all sanitation and maintenance of Koala T Care Daycare in Hagersville. She is responsible for ensuring the centre cleanliness protocols are being adhered to, as well as making sure the centre has adequate amounts of supplies, including PPE equipment and cleaning supplies needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Joanne does daily regular maintenance checks to ensure that the building is in good repair and safe for all the staff and children. She does small repairs and recommends appropriate trades contractors to the CEO when required.

Joanne is also a member of our Joint Health and Safety team.



Business Woman Image

Cherie Donato

Hagersville Location Supervisor 

As the centre supervisor Cherie oversees the everyday operations and regulations required by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. She is a role model and mentor to all her staff, offering professional guidance and sharing her wealth of knowledge. With her years of experience, she shares her ideas when it comes to programming, the learning environment, child development and behaviour guidance, among others. She is always happy to assist staff when asked to help improve their program, or when looking for strategies to support the children, staff and families. As mentor, she is open for questions and offers constructive feedback in a professional manner.

With the new requirements for the College of Early Childhood Educators, she has designed and facilitates worker bee nights to assist staff in completing their CPL requirements and is always eager to attend workshops alongside her staff. Cherie also runs in her own PD opportunities for educators within the community including a Mud Kitchen Workshop.

Cherie is in contact daily with members of the community, parents, and other professionals, promoting the centre and working with parents. When speaking with parents, she is an advocate for the children, listening to the parent’s questions and concerns while always following best practices and focusing on what is best for the child. She is very approachable, and always gives her time to meet with parents and staff with any questions regarding the centre, the children, or any other concerns.