About Us

About Us

Our Story

BrightStart Children’s Academy has been providing full-service professional early learning and childcare for Greater Vancouver neighbourhoods since 2009.  We are a locally made solution to the childcare needs of Lower Mainland families which means we are not associated with any daycare "chains" or franchises.

BrightStart’s core value is to “nurture a child’s growth”.  We see growth in children being similar to a tender seedling; both requiring patience and nurturing to grow into their potential.

What does this mean?

To us, a nurturing environment means that hugs and a sense of acceptance and belonging are as much part of our daily routine as our Emergent Curriculum. We  believe that children who feel safe and cared for will develop the confidence, maturity and knowledge to meet life’s challenges and opportunities. Within this framework of a "nurturing environment", our teachers all work toward Kindergarten-Readiness .


Evelyn Tsai & Carol Wiens,  Co-founders & Directors

Evelyn and Carol met when their children were in the same Kindergarten class back in 1997. Their girls' playdates together made them become very close friends. Together, they opened the first BrightStart Children's Academy on July 2nd, 2009 in Port Coquitlam. Two year later in 2011, they opened their second location in Coquitlam. Their third location in Burnaby opened its doors on July 2014, and their fourth location in Surrey opened in July 2018. 

Evelyn has worn many hats within the early childhood field, from being a Childcare Facility Manager to ECE instructor and college program coordinator.   In addition to her ECE license, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree.  Evelyn has always had a soft heart for children and feels blessed to help families.

Carol has handled the administration and marketing of BrightStart for the last 10 years.  Her experience resides in small business operations, marketing and sales.  When her children were younger, Carol provided child care in her home.  In addition to a Bachelor of Commerce degree, she also worked as a medical laboratory technician in her younger days.  Carol counts it a privilege to impact families through the care that BrightStart provides.

Sadly, BrightStart Children's Academy lost Carol in June 2019 when she lost her battle to cancer. 

Front-line Team

Facility Managers, Principals & Administration

Nikki Rivera, B.A., ECE-A  Principal/ Facility Manager – Bainbridge Campus

Nikki has worked in corporate administration,  however her interest was sparked in continuing her career with children while working in management at Gymboree.  She sees that children aspire to be independent and she is delighted to part of a team that that works to that end.  Nikki’s calm demeanour is an asset to parents when problems arise. In addition to her ECE-Assistant license, Nikki has a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Alyssa Wiens, B.A., ECE-A  Principal/ Facility Manager – Riverwood Gate

Alyssa is a local here, having grown up in Port Coquitlam. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Business from Simon Fraser University (SFU). After working in Student Services Administration at both Douglas College and SFU, she is excited to apply those skills in a different educational setting and getting to know the families and children here at BrightStart. Alyssa enjoys traveling, drinking coffee, and going on hikes.

Lovely Dizon, BScPT, ECE  Principal/Facility Manager - Cloverdale Campus

Lovely has over ten years experience in the child care industry. Before assuming her role as Manager of the Cloverdale campus, Lovely was the lead teacher of the Preschool and Out of School Care Programs in the Bainbridge Campus. Lovely is committed to individualized instruction and group education, utilizing a variety of effective strategies and techniques to ensure that children of all developmental backgrounds are included. Lovely is very energetic and enjoys the outdoors. She loves to spend weekends hiking.

Vienna Crowley, B.A,  Administrative Assistant

Over the years, Vienna has contributed to all of our campuses in various capacities (classroom teacher and program support).   Her experience in the classroom, along with her Bachelor's degree and 3 minors in Early Learning, Curriculum & Instruction, and Learning and Developmental Disabilities from Simon Fraser University)  have allowed her to now support all of our campuses administratively.  She is always ready to find out about your day and has an excellent memory for names.