Patti Moore Human Services Integration Award

In recognition of an OMSSA member or delegate who has displayed extraordinary leadership and made an exceptional contribution to human services. More about this award...

2014 Recipient

Nancy Dickieson

Director, Children's Services
Regional Municipality of Waterloo 

Nancy Dickieson is a person who displays extraordinary leadership and has made an exceptional contribution to human services in a number of key areas. As the Director of Children’s Services, Community Services, Region of Waterloo, Nancy has been central to the success of a number initiatives and collaboratives focused on human services integration. Nancy has also been described by numerous community partners as a leader who “consistently puts the child and family at the centre of service system planning”. 

Nancy has been instrumental in the highly successful implementation of the Ministry of Education child care reforms wherein the Region of Waterloo and the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board have worked in unprecedented collaboration/integration. Waterloo Region has often been the example used by the Ministry of Education as the jurisdiction where the CMSM and School Boards are “getting it right”.

 Some of Nancy’s outstanding achievements include:

  •  In 2011, the Child Care Special Needs Resourcing Partnership realized that their goals of streamlined, equitable and consistent service were limited by their seven agency structure. They decided to change to a new three agency model to better support children, families and early learning and child care. As the Director of Children Services, Nancy provided passionate, supportive and collaborative leadership to the executive directors and management through the entire service integration process from the review and planning process, to the selection of the three agencies, and finally implementation of the new model.
  • Nancy has also worked collaboratively to help create the Children’s Planning Table in Waterloo Region.  She has championed the creation of an open and inclusive planning process that has enabled Children’s Planning Table members to work together towards the integration of services that support children and families.  Nancy’s passionate leadership has resulted in a truly engaged and inclusive membership that is highly committed to ensuring that the needs of children and families are met as seamlessly and effectively as possible.
  • Nancy was instrumental in the creation of an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Professional Resource Centre in partnership with Conestoga College. The collaboration with Conestoga College ensured that continuous professional learning opportunities for ECEs were integrated and available in our community which maximized resources and minimized duplication.

In 2001, Nancy had a vision for a curriculum approach where children are actively engaged in their own learning based on their strengths and interests and supported by the adults. After careful consideration, and with consultation from other leaders, it was decided that the HighScope approach best fit with the current values about how children learn. Throughout the process, Nancy’s skillful approach considered the abilities of the staff, respected the impacts of the change and showed patience and sensitivity.  Over the years, the Region of Waterloo Children’s Centres have been recognized internationally as a leading example of the HighScope curriculum approach in action and is the envy of many.