Our Team

Meet the Discovery Professional Learning Team

Want to meet the team behind our inspiring early childhood learning opportunities? 

With more than 40 years of experience in the industry, Discovery Professional Learning’s team is passionate about providing learning experiences that help build a thriving and fulfilled workforce that, ultimately, delivers high-quality child are.

Meet the inspiring faces behind our success.


Karen Eilersen 

Karen Eilersen (RECE, Forest School Practitioner) is the founder and Director of Discovery Child Care Centre: one of Ontario’s very first licensed child care centres that is also a certified Forest and Nature school, founded in 1998. 

She has earned international acclaim for her work in green child care practices and is a pioneer in terms of advancing the Forest and Nature school concept here in Canada. Karen has facilitated College lectures, 100 person conferences, seminars and workshops. She is a passionate leader whose vision drives the work to connect as many children, families, and educators to Nature. 

She is both extremely quality-focused when it comes to child care and passionate about challenging the status quo. She is an exemplary role model and has been a key player in the Forest and Nature school movement in Canada. She continues to work in the Forest School Kindergarten program where the children visit a local forest 2 times per week.

Email Karen

(705) 733-2052


Jessica Holder

Jessica Holder (RECE, BSc, Forest School Practitioner) has been passionately committed to the field of Early Childhood Education for over a decade. She is the Pedagogical Leader at Discovery Child Care Centre where she works collaboratively with educators to reflect on their pedagogical choices and to grow the programs they co-construct with children and families. The values that drive her work are co-construction, intersectionality, democracy, emergence, and curiosity. 

She works alongside educators to think collaboratively about the contexts we provide young children. She holds a strong image of a competent and capable educator and believes educators deserve conditions  and contexts to think critically about what they know, their stories, and research. 

She strives to support professionals to stretch their thinking, reflect on their practice and consider the infinite possibilities to inspire their programs. She is passionate about supporting educators well-being and believes in creating contexts for educators to sense their value to children, society, and our future.

Email Jessica

(705) 733-2052


Conference Facilitators

We work closely with the educators at Discovery Child Care Centre as facilitators for our in person conferences. Their day-to-day experiences working directly with children in a Nature-Based Licensed child care and Forest School environment allows for their experience to inspire and empower educators who attend our in person offerings. 

Our daily experiences in licensed child care serve as the inspiration for all of our offerings and provide us the insight to continue to know the day-to-day realities, joys and challenges of early learning settings.

Professional Learning Blog

You’ve got curiosities…we’ve got stories! Check out the Discovery Professional Learning blog where we discuss some of the unique solutions you can implement to take your early child care center program to the next level.

Nature Based Learning - May 13, 2024
Transforming Your Practice: Embracing Nature-Based Education
Jessica Holder
Nature Based Learning - April 22, 2024
Nurturing Professional Friendships: A Catalyst for Growth and Learning
Jessica Holder, Cindy Green, Karen Eilersen
Licensed Child Care - April 17, 2024
Emotionally Supporting Educators
Jessica Holder