Daycare leadership goes to staff member

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Legacy Childcare in Slave Lake has hired a new executive director internally. Abigail ‘Abi’ Rayner has worked for the daycare for 12 years. She started as the executive director on July 8.

“So far so good,” she says. Her goal is “to continue to provide quality care for the children and families of our community.”

In 2001, Rayner moved to Slave Lake from a village in New Brunswick. The name of the village is Petitcodiac, pronounced like ‘petticoat-iak’.

She recently went back to New Brunswick for a vacation. The difference between the two provinces is that Alberta has mountains and “feels a lot bigger” and New Brunswick has the Atlantic Ocean.

“My parents moved for work,” she says, “and I moved with them.”

Rayner completed a two-year early childhood development course at Grande Prairie Regional College in 2007.

“I just really love children,” Rayner says. “They always have something fun to say, and it was fun to get to play…, when I was in a room every day.”

For much of her time at the daycare, Rayner worked with four and five-year-olds. The last two years she was the program coordinator.

“I’ve been here 12 years and I just wanted to make a difference,” she says. “I really care about what goes on here. I wanted to have some input. We’re all kind of a big family. It felt like the next logical step to apply for the job.”

There are pros and cons to moving into the office instead of being in the room with the kids.

“You miss the kids,” Rayner says. “I really just miss getting to see them learn and grow,” but being in the office gives her the opportunity to work with families not just individual kids and to see the bigger picture.

“I feel like this (Slave Lake) is a welcoming community,” Rayner says. “Everybody kind of helps each other out.”

The purpose of the daycare is “to help children learn and grow,” Rayner says.

Legacy Childcare is very busy, with all of the available spots taken. It has a big fundraiser coming up on August 24.

Colour Rush is a fun race which includes people throwing bright colour powder at runners. It begins and ends at Sinclair Sport Fields, which are the ball diamonds on the town side of Hwy. 88. There is also a fundraising barbecue after the race at the ball diamonds.

Registration can be done ahead of time online at or in person on the day.

Abi Rayner
The Legacy Daycare is a success story, with all available spots currently filled.

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