Jillian Farris Director
Jillian has spent the last 15+ years working in the field of early childhood education. She holds an Honours Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Sheridan College and both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Child and Youth Studies from Mount Saint Vincent University. Graduate work on “Aboriginal Children’s Perceptions of their Urban Living Environments” and experiences living in Italy and Belgium helped shape her world view towards young children’s learning environments. She has worked with all age groups of children, in both large and small child care centres in Ontario and Halifax. Jillian's focus for A Tiny Lab is the provision of the highest quality program for the children and a supporting environment for families and staff.
Lizzy Babych, Chef + Classroom Support
Lizzy was born and raised in Kelowna, BC and has called Halifax home since 2010. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from UBC and, for nearly a decade, has worked in small, locally-minded kitchens, developing a passion for vegan/vegetarian cooking. Lizzy loves being creative and finds that children are incredibly imaginative and encouraging people! In addition to running our kitchen, Lizzy provides top-quality classroom and administration support.
Marlene Langalaan, Preschool Teacher
Marlene was born in Annapolis Valley and raised on her family’s dairy farm. She has a Bachelor of Child and Youth (Mount Saint Vincent University) and a diploma in Early Childhood Education (NSCC). As the early years in a child’s life are the most important in development, Marlene is passionate to work with young children where she can make a big impact in their lives.
Natalie Narvey, Toddler Teacher
As the oldest of 9, Natalie has always enjoyed caring for children. Natalie started her childcare career in Vancouver, BC, as a live in nanny for families with alternative lifestyles, and bring 17 years of childcare experience into the classroom. She is focused on community and communicating with families. Her favourite thing about working with children is their un-edited language (kids are hilarious!), as well as being able to bring nature and Indigenous culture to the classroom for the kids to experience. Outside the classroom, Natalie participates in and is committed to environmental and human rights activism, enjoying nature in all its glory, spending her time with her son and learning about Mi'kmaq culture and language.
Preschool Room Teacher
Julianne grew up in Herring Cove, Nova Scotia. She believes that education begins at day one and strongly feels that children of all backgrounds and abilities deserve the best possible start in life. Her experience working in early learning and her studies at NSCAD have combined to realize her passion for creative development in children. Her favourite part of working with children is watching their drawing progress from scribbles to faces and human figures as their motor skills improve and their interest in creative representation grows. Julianne loves designing process oriented, open-ended, and often messy, art activities.
Preschool Room Teacher
Jody grew up on her parent’s poultry farm in the small town of Aylesford located in the Annapolis valley. She has lived in Halifax since 2012, completing a degree in child and youth studies at MSVU as well as a diploma in child & youth care at NSCC. In her spare time Jody enjoys using artistic endeavours as a creative & therapeutic outlet as well as spending time outdoors. She incorporates some of these interests into her work with the preschoolers at A Tiny Lab. Jody is passionate about working with children and excited to have an opportunity to engage with them in meaningful ways.
Toddler Room Teacher
Sara was born in Halifax, and is currently finishing up her Degree of Child and Youth (Mount Saint Vincent University) and holds a diploma in Child and Youth Care (NSCC). Sara strives to build reciprocal relationships with the families at A Tiny Lab based on mutual trust, to support the continuity of children’s learning between home and the center. She believes young children have great capacity and potential to connect with others, and possess their own competent set of abilities and learning strategies. Sara is interested in serving as a scribe for the children through documenting their work and interactions, and making it available for them to revisit, reflect on and extend their learning.
Natasha was born and raised in Halifax Nova Scotia. She studied Human Services in 2009 and is currently completing her ECE level 1 at NSCC. Her favourite thing about working with children is that every day is a bit different. No day is quite the same, especially working between both the toddler room and the preschool room at A Tiny Lab. Outside the classroom, Natasha is interested in hair braiding, spend quality time with her family and helping to support local businesses.
Designer + Admin Support
Matt supports the Tiny Lab Team so they can focus on what matters most. He provides technical support and assists in issues of space maintenance, licensing, and administration. Matt is a licensed urban planner in Halifax. He is an advocate for child-friendly and inclusive cities and the right to independent mobility options for children.
Alumni + Volunteer
Sofie was born in Halifax and was one of the very first children to attend A Tiny Lab. She has spent many days in and around the centre, helping in the kitchen, in the office, and in the classroom.