Our Staff

Our professional staff is committed to providing high quality childcare to our children.

Elif Sonmezocak

Executive Director

My name is Elif, and I have been with Hawthorne Daycare since 1993. I started my professional early childhood educator (ECE) career after graduating / completing my training etc.

Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened. Dr. Suess

I started my professional career as an Early Childhood Educator with Hawthorne on Essex Daycare in September 1993. I have worked with preschool, Kindergarten and School Age children up until 2005 at which point, I became the centre’s Executive Director

Having a child of my own, I discovered very quickly the struggles families face in finding quality affordable childcare.

I also understand how important it is to families that qualified, nurturing, and engaging, Registered Early Childhood Educators and Early Childhood Assistants are provide quality care for their child. Where every child feels they belong, have their well being checked, are engaged in the program and activities, and can express their thoughts and feelings.

Each day I get to witness the pure and genuine joy children display when they have discovered something new, their pride when they develop a new skill or the empathy, they show a peer. I get to give hugs when feelings are hurt or just because.

My goal is to provide the best support and guidance to the RECE’s, ECA’s as well as our Kitchen team so that they can be their best. We are a family and Hawthorne on Essex Daycare is a home away from home.


Hannah Singh

RECE and Assistant Supervisor.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

It’s been 24 years since I have been a part of this daycare family. 

1997- I did my first placement as a George Brown Student and I never looked back.  Hawthorne on Essex Daycare paved the way for me as I began my journey as an Early Childhood Educator.

I worked mainly as a school age teacher for about 17 years and my genuine love for planning, guiding, supporting and helping to enrich little minds daily, grew in these years.

It’s an amazing thing to watch children grow into exceptional, individual little human beings and this fills me with so much pride as an ECE.

My growth in work and experiences building relationships with the children, families and staff has helped me transitioned into becoming the Assistant Supervisor for about 5 years now.   As my journey continues with hope for a positive difference in each day.

Hawthorne at a glance.
0 +
0 +

Hawthorne Daycare’s professional staff

Toddler Teachers

Amanda Baglieri


You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

My name is Amanda and I've been at Hawthorne on Essex since 2019. I am currently working as an ECE in the toddler room.

Palma Buccini


Everyday may not be good.... But there is something good in everyday

I've been working at Hawthorne-On-Essex Daycare for over 20yrs. I've been a Jr. Preschool teacher for many years. Which brings me so much joy, laughter and learning experiences working with these clever and fun little minds.

Maricel Manabat

Early Childhood Assistant

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence

I’m Maricel Manabat, Early Childhood Assistant, working at Hawthorne on Essex daycare since 2017 and currently working at Toddlers group.

Annemarie Lonergan


Let all that you do be done in Love

Registered ECE educating tiny humans (junior preschoolers) since 2014!
Junior Preschool Teachers

Tracy Pereira


Play is often talked about as it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning

I’m Tracy Pereira, working at Hawthorne on daycare since 2013.

Maria DaCosta


Everything happens for a reason

I’m Maria DaCosta, working at Hawthorne on daycare since 1991.
Senior Preschool Teachers

Mary Santoli


Life is always better at the beach.

I’m Mary Santoli. I’ve been an RECE for many years and have been a staff at the daycare for almost 33 years. I am currently in the senior preschool room!

Catherine Burke


Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

My name is Catherine Burke and I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator. I began working for Hawthorne-On-Essex Daycare in January 1990 and am currently teaching in the Senior Preschool class.
Kindergarten Teachers

Esther Kim


A well educated mind will always have more questions than answers

I am Esther working at Hawthorne on Essex daycare as a RECE since 2013. I had experiences with all the age group. Currently I am a kindergarten teacher.

Natalie Nicolas


Everything happens for a reason

My name is Natalie Nicolas - I began working with children in childcare in 2016. I pursued my education and I have been a Registered Early Childhood Educator since 2019. In June of 2021, I joined the team at Hawthorne on Essex Daycare. I am currently working as a screener as well as with the junior school age children.



Everything happens for a reason



Kindergarten Teacher

School Age Teachers

Chantelle Paulite


Never get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life

I'm a Registered ECE. I've been working at Hawthorne on Essex Daycare since 2013, and I'm currently working in the junior school-age room.

Daniela Spadafora


All mistakes are lessons to be learned and challenges to overcome

My name is Daniela, I’ve been apart of the Hawthorne family since 2017 and I have the pleasure of working with kindergartens. I have worked with children for many years and it brings me joy to watch children grow, learn and experience new challenges that will help build their confidence and knowledge through play.

Canetra Baker


A bird sitting in a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch but on its wings

Jerome Knight


School Age Teacher

Kitchen & Float Staff

Mary Romeo

Head Cook

Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. -John Lennon

Angelica Alexander Felix

Assistant Cook and Screener/Runner

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Celina Breault

Float Staff

For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.

My name is Celina Breault and I am a registered Early Childhood Educator. I have been working at Hawthorne on Essex Day Care since July 2021 following my graduation. I currently work as a full-time “float” staff, which means I work in different classrooms every day filling in for main classroom staff when they have time off. I feel so privileged to be in this role as I am able to work with and get to know all the children, parents, and staff across all classrooms. Every day is a new adventure!
Hawthorne Daycare’s

early childhood educators.

All our staff are fully trained early childhood educators (ECEs) or early childhood assistants.

All staff members hold a valid first-aid and emergency CPR certificate that is updated annually and each attends professional workshops on a regular basis.

Some of the loyal, positive-minded staff on our team have been with us for more than 20 years and treat our centre like a second home for themselves and the children.

We run an in-centre kitchen and provide fresh, health and mostly vegetarian lunches for our toddler, preschool, and kindergarten children. Our wholesome and often inventive meals are well received by kids and many parents are surprised how many new things their children will try at daycare. Our cook, Mary, develops our menu on a seasonal basis with a six-week rotation.


Contact us with your questions and comments
Contact Us


Hawthorne Daycare is running at full capacity today. Please complete our waiting list form, and we will contact you as soon as space becomes available in accordance with the Family Handbook.


The Hawthorne on Essex Family Handbook contains everything you need to know about our daycare and its policies and procedures.