On January 13, 2011, Sylvia Leal, Chief Executive Officer of PLASP Child Care Services, passed away at the age of 63.
Sylvia spent her life implementing her strong vision for what child care should be – a warm, caring environment where children are respected, valued, and understood. Her passion and vision for high quality child care and early childhood education was implemented throughout PLASP programs and centres, as well as shared with many community groups.
Sylvia is greatly missed and remembered for the legacy she has left at PLASP and the changes she has influenced in the care for children in our communities. Each year, PLASP presents a staff member with an award named after Sylvia, which focuses on continuous professional learning and growth.
A tribute to Sylvia, sharing her story, is available for download below. The tribute is a PDF file. You will need a PDF reader in order to view or print it. Download a free PDF reader here.
Tribute to Sylvia
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Highlights of Sylvia's successes
1978: Sylvia accepted the position of Program Coordinator at PLASP, overseeing 10 staff, with 6 school age programs, in 5 schools, providing services to 200 children.
1980: PLASP was incorporated as a not-for-profit, charitable organization and Sylvia was appointed to the position of Executive Director.
1982: PLASP grew to 74 staff, with programs offered in 31 different schools, providing services to more than 1,500 children.
1987: Sylvia was recognized with Credit Valley Hospital’s Dr. Robert Bates Award for her outstanding contribution to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of children.
1988: PLASP opened the first 2 early learning and child care centres and over the next five years, opened 15 more.
1990: PLASP worked with the Ministry of Community and Social Services to develop a set of protocols to license its School Age Programs.
1999: Sylvia was recognized by the Association of Early Childhood Educators’ Ontario (AECEO), Peel Branch, as the Week of the Child Award Recipient.
1978-2011: Sylvia’s astute business management grew PLASP from a grass roots organization to a strong business with a $28 million budget.
The Peel District School Board honoured Sylvia's commitment to establishing non-profit, high-quality child care for Peel families by dedicating a bench in her memory at Floradale Public School, which was one of the first schools to operate a PLASP After School program.