Learning Through Play and Exploration

Muppets Co-operative Preschool

Our Mission

At Muppets Co-operative Preschool our mission is to foster learning through play and exploration and build confidence while encouraging collaboration with others. We advocate a strong sense of community through committed family involvement.

Teacher Bios

Supervisor / Teacher

Barbara Keenliside, RECE

Supervisor and Toddler Teacher "Mrs. K"

Barbara is an Early Childhood Educator with over 2 decades experience in child care settings working with children of various ages. Barbara has been part of Muppets family since 2012, taking on the Supervisor role in 2015. The energy, enthusiasm and creativity she brings into the classroom promotes a healthy learning environment. Barbara takes every opportunity to provide positive experiences for the children in the classroom in their day-to-day interactions.

Barbara has a passion for dance and shares it with others by teaching and inspiring children and older adults at various local dance studios. She has also been an instrumental part of creating an Early Dance Education program for the Performing Arts Educators of Canada.

Outside the classroom, Barbara enjoys reading, baking and spending time in nature.

Program Support Staff

Thijs Beijer

Program Support Staff "Mr. Beijer" (Mr. Bear)

My name is Thijs Beijer. I have been a stay at home Dad for the last 9 years. I have been lucky enough to have 2 boys go through the Muppets program. I loved my time volunteering and jumped at the chance to continue being involved.

Teacher / Friday Program

Sonja Koenen, RECE

Preschool Teacher "Ms. Sonja"

Sonja is a Registered Early Childhood Educator who has worked in various childcare centres for more than 25 years. Much of that time was spent in licensed childcare as an educator to infants, toddlers and preschoolers as well as acting Supervisor of an intergenerational childcare centre. She is so excited to be joining the Muppets Preschool Room and meeting all of the wonderful families!

Sonja appreciates the boundless opportunities in seeing the world through a child’s eyes. She believes that planned and spontaneous activities along with a warm and welcoming approach to learning gives children the guidance to reach their full potential in the journey towards developmental milestones.

In her free time, Sonja enjoys travelling, hiking with her dogs, spending time with family, friends and her children.

Assistant Teacher

Jessica Smith

Assistant Teacher (Ms. Jessica)

Jessica has been an active volunteer in the classroom and on the executive board at the local cooperative preschools where her two young children attended. As a teaching assistant at Muppets, she shares her love for working with young children in an enriching and community driven environment.

Muppets history

Our History

Muppets was founded by a group of parents who were looking for a co-operative preschool experience for their children in south east Burlington. Opening its doors in 1975 it was originally named Happy Tots and operated out of a church basement on New Street. In 1977 the name was changed to Muppets Co-operative Preschool.

Muppets relocated a few times between 1980 and 1987, making its final move in 1988 to its current home – Appleby United Church.

Preschool facility

Our Facility

Muppets occupies two bright and colourful classrooms on the second floor of Appleby United Church. There is a gym/auditorium on the main level which is used for physical activities and special events, such as our Christmas Open House, Mother’s Day Tea and Father’s Day Brunch.

Appleby United Church is located in a wonderful, quiet neighbourhood, close to parks and green space. The program benefits from this location by outings to the Breckon Park’s playground and the ‘Secret Forest’ off Wilson Street.

Muppets red bag

Muppets Red Bag

The Red Bag has long been a symbol of Muppets Preschool. Each child is given one on the first day of school in September. Each day, the children bring their Red Bags to school with their snack and a change of clothes. Each child has a labelled hook in the hallway where their Red Bag hangs during the school day. The Red Bag is returned at the end of the school year.