Ellen Jacobs has a career that has spanned over 30 years. During these 30 years, Ellen has contributed to the educational field in numerous ways. She has taught and coordinated in preschool programs. She has been a faculty member at Concordia University for over twenty years. During her tenure at Concordia she established the Observation Nursery Program and has been actively responsible for overseeing the program and ensuring that it maintains high standards. Ellen has a reputation amongst students as being a tough professor, but one who is there for her students and will always go the extra mile for them. Students also often mention Ellen’s sense of humour and how much they learn from her courses. Besides being an outstanding professor, Ellen has also contributed to the university by successfully bringing in funding to help do much needed research in the ECE field. Ellen has always had a passion for ensuring that educational programs should be of high quality. Among her many published works, Ellen helped to create the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS), an international measure for ECE programs which is still one of the few tools of its kind. Ellen has also worked as a program consultant for the Canadian Sesame Street, and for numerous preschools in Montreal. At the university Ellen was the chair of the Education department, the director of the Child Studies program, and an academic professor. In her  role as a professor, Ellen always made herself available to sit on numerous committees, oversee students and manage the Observation Nursery. She has supervised a substantial number of graduate students. Ellen has been a tireless advocate for children and educators alike, trying to ensure that educators are wellrained, furthering research in the ECE field and advocating for high quality childcare for all children. The list of Ellen’s accomplishments is lengthy. I have only highlighted a few of the highlights of Ellen’s career. To fully understand why Ellen Jacobs deserves this award one would have to meet her. Her love for children instantly becomes evident when one talks to Ellen about children. Her eyes light up and she begins to readily share her expertise. Ellen is still very comfortable around children. She often stops by the Observation Preschool and is quick to get down (almost!) to the children’s level and to listen with interest to any of the stories that many of the children want to share with her. Ellen Jacobs will be retiring from Concordia University next year. She truly does embody all the qualities that the CAYC looks for in the Friends of Children award. I am proud to know and work with Ellen. She is truly an outstanding contributor to our field.

Nominated by Fiona Rowlands