About Sunflower

The mission of the Sunflower Early Learning Society  (SELS) is to provide a safe, affordable, high quality early learning environment for the children in our community.


SELS offers a Preschool program, a Before and After School program, and seasonal Camps.


At Sunflower, we believe that when educators, parents, the community work as partners with the children and the environment, we see learning happen. We strive to build trusting relationships with each family where open communication is valued.

We are guided by Loris Mallaguzzi`s words: “Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.

Our goal is to offer a safe, calm and happy environment where children can grow intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially. We believe:

  • Every child is unique and complex.
  • Every child is beautiful inside and outside just for being a child.
  • Every child has an infinite number of questions.
  • Every child brings into the society their own world, as we all do: experiences, culture, feelings, hopes and dreams.
  • Every child is unpredictable, curious. He or she is willing to find out new things all the time.
  • Every child has the force to try and engage to discover.

Children are encouraged to work together, to negotiate, and to problem solve, promoting group membership and feelings of self-worth. Confidence and self-esteem grows as children will be treated with respect and valued as individuals. Teachers offer support and guidance, they present challenges to provoke natural curiosity and stimulate learning.

Inspired by the Reggio Approach to early learning we build our program and curriculum from the talk of the children, building upon the interests of the children, from the events and daily life of the family and community. We believe in education based on interrelationships. We believe in a network of communication that exists between the children,parents and teachers. These three protagonists work together to create the spirit of co-operation, collaboration, and co-construction of knowledge. They work together interacting toward a common purpose; the building of a culture which respects childhood as a time to explore, create and be joyful.


Before the building of the church, there was the old green school house on School Street and the Post Office and the store opposite that were operated by Mr Mcleod. They were the centers of social activities. Dances, Concerts, boxing and wrestling matches were held as well as Church services and Sunday school. This was also the terminus of the street railway, which started running in 1911 and was the only access to the District. The population was very sparse, Marine Drive was just a trail, half dozen houses on Capilano Road, a colony around the school, another at Lloyd Avenue with isolated houses scattered between. In April 1914, divinity student Arthur Douglas Pringle began holding religious services inside a little green schoolhouse in North Vancouver. His small congregation was the foundation for what would eventually become Capilano United Church, a North Shore institution that celebrated its 100-year anniversary in April 2014. Initiated by the women in the community the Christian Education Centre opened in 1961, and later became a licensed preschool under the name of Sunflower Preschool. Sunflower Preschool operated as a non- profit preschool under the umbrella of Capilano United Church since then. Over the years, the congregation got smaller and smaller and Capilano United Church faced a hard decision to disband the pastoral charge of the church, made on May the 4th 2014.and in June 2014 Capilano United Church closed its doors. So many years of community projects and so many memories brought the teachers and the parents together in hopes to keep the Preschool Program going. This is the moment when Sunflower Early Learning Society was created and incorporated in July 2014.