Archive for the ‘daycare’ Category

What’s Next?

A year ago, I was excited, but nervous about starting my BEd program. Would I be able to do it? Will I get to spend any time with my family? What kind of affect will that have on my kids and on our relationship? Will it all be worth it? But, I thought once I go through the program, it’ll be smooth sailing.

Now that I’m done, I realize that the hard part isn’t going back to school…it’s the part after…where I have to find work.

I heard from people everywhere, teachers and non-teachers alike, how hard it is to become a full-time teacher in the school system here. I knew that coming in, but my response has always been “I know…but I’m willing to put in the time to get there”, and that’s still true.

But, the problem is, I can only put in the time IF I get into the system…and that can’t happen without becoming a supply teacher first. And THAT can’t happen until the board(s) OPEN the supply list to take applications. As of yet, that hasn’t happened.

So, now I feel stuck. I have been looking into both part-time and full-time jobs, both related and unrelated to teaching. Through this, I’ve discovered that I can’t afford to work part-time because of daycare costs. So, that’s off the table. On the other hand, a full-time job would mean not being able to apply for the supply list if and when it opens…which is what I NEED to do in order to get on my way to teaching in the classroom, which is what I WANT.

So, now what, then? I’ve decided to keep myself available in case the supply list opens. DH and I when over everything on the weekend and came up with a sustainable, though not ideal, plan for the fall. E will be in senior kindergarten, and we’ll put him in before school care. C will continue to go to daycare 2x per week (like now). That gives me 2 days a week to volunteer in local schools so I can get into the classrooms more. Then, if and when the list opens up, and I apply, and they offer me a spot, I can start supplying at least 2x per week to begin with until we can bump C’s daycare enrolment up (because that’s a huge ball of wax to deal with too).

Nothing is easy these days. Sometimes I dream about having no other responsibilities but my own needs, and how much easier this all would be.

PS: randomly, why can’t I see all my category options for my blog posts in WordPress? It only lets me scroll down to “D”. 😛

Daycare Transition

Last Friday was the final day at Evan’s old daycare, Cantara. After months of the unknown, followed by more months of counting down, the daycare and associated teen pregnancy centre is now closed for good.
It was a bit sad in the last few weeks, with another child leaving every few days. By the end, there were only a handful of kids left and four staff members. It was incredibly tough to say goodbye. Evan was very close with some of the other children and staff, and they will all be missed dearly.
Today is Evan’s first full day at his new daycare. He visited every morning last week, and he did progressively better each day. So, hopefully he does okay today and continues to get used to the new routines, kids, staff, toys, and everything else.
We really like the philosophy of the new daycare – it’s very much child-led, inquiry-based learning. Each child has their own portfolio which outlines what they’re learning and are interested in. There is also a lot of room for parents to get involved, either directly (going into the class) or indirectly (adding stories/photos/etc. to the portfolio, taking part in family events, etc.). 
We hope that it will be a good fit for our family. Though we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for Cantara.

The End is Near

This is the last week for many of the ladies who work at Evan’s daycare. From now until the end of the summer, there will be three teachers, the director, and the chef.
It’s a sad time. Evan’s favorite teacher is leaving. He loves her, and she loves him just as much. There were times when she was the only one that could hold him, and they still snuggle together every morning. She was such an important person in his life – not just for cuddles, but for everything he has learned in the last year. Things we will be forever thankful for but will never have enough words or gifts to express that. Hopefully we can manage to stay in touch. She will be having her own little bundle in just a few weeks, and she’ll be an amazing mom.
We will be bring in cupcakes tomorrow and giving each leaving teacher a card with a photo of Evan in it, but I wish we could do more (like keep the daycare itself open). Inspired by Kim at The Money Pit, I am including a poem in each card:

The Hand Holder
A Tribute to Childcare Providers
There is no job more important than yours,
no job anywhere else in the land.
Your are the keepers of the future:
you hold the smallest of hands.
Into your care you are trusted
to nurture and care for the young,
and for all of your everyday heroics,
your talents and skills go unsung.
You wipe tears from the eyes of the injured.
You rock babies brand new in your arms.
You encourage the shy and unsure child.
You make sure they are safe from all harm.
You foster the bonds of friendships,
letting no child go away mad.
You respect and you honor their emotions.
You give hugs to each child when they’re sad.
You have more impact than does a professor,
a child’s mind is molded by four;
so whatever you lay on the table
is whatever that child will explore.
Give each child the tools for adventure,
let them be artists and writers and more;
let them fly in the wind and dance on the stars
and build castles of sand on the shore.
It is true that you don’t make much money
and you don’t get a whole lot of praise,
but when one small child says, “I love you,”
you’re reminded of how this job pays.
~ By Dori Rossmann
Executive Director, Kids Town USA

With this downsizing at the daycare and subsequent dwindling numbers throughout the summer, going on a couple long(ish) plane rides to visit both sets of grandparents in July, mommy going away on business for a few days in August, and finally starting at a new place in September, the next couple of months will bring big changes for Evan.

Daycare Update

You may remember me writing about our daycare, and the associated centre for teen mothers, closing. After the announcement, there was enough of an outcry from the community that the Salvation Army slightly re-thought their stance.

Just last Friday, the Salvation Army announced that the centre and daycare will close on August 31st unless $1.5 million can be raised by May 31st. It seems like an impossible feat, but the centre is going to do its best. They are in talks with Justin Bieber’s mother, who actually stayed at the centre while she was pregnant with Justin. But, I don’t think we can depend on her for the full $1.5M.

We will be making a donation, but we’re unsure how much right now. The fact that The Salvation Army will still be involved puts us off a bit, but it seems like that’s the only way the centre will stay open in the near future. Of course, we are also have a vested interest in keeping the daycare open, but we also are strong supporters of the centre for the teenage mothers as there is nothing else like it within a 200 km radius.

You can read more about the centre here. They also have a Facebook group. If this is something that you would like to support, the donation page can be found here. Donations are made in-trust, so refunds will be made if the goal is not reached. If anyone has any ideas on who to contact for help or donations, or if you have any fundraising tips, please let me know.

Closing

We got word on Wednesday that the centre our daycare is a part of will be shutting its doors. The centre is to help young women who are dealing with teen pregnancy and motherhood. It gives them a place to live, learn how to be mothers, and still go to school. Many of them are there by court order, so leaving means their children will be taken away.

All of the teen mothers have their children attend the associated daycare, but the daycare also has a lot of “community” families (like us). The daycare itself has been doing very well financially, but because the centre shares one budget and the other programs do not bring in any money, they (The Salvation Army) are shutting the whole thing down after being open for 57 years.

Obviously, this is devastating to the teen mothers. Where will they go? What will they do? Will they have to give up their babies? I can’t even think about it without tearing up.

More selfishly, we, the other parents, and the staff are heartbroken that the daycare is closing. We – and more importantly, Evan – love this daycare, and the staff is amazing. After touring a number of daycares, this one was our favorite for Evan by far. We don’t want to have to start looking for another daycare, because we know there isn’t one that’s a better fit for us.

From what I’ve heard the past couple of days, the other families feel the same way. It sounds like people really want to figure out a way to keep the daycare going somehow, or to at least keep our “family” of staff, kids, and family members together.

We don’t have a lot of details at this point – a closing date hasn’t been chosen, we don’t know what they plan to do with the building, etc.. The staff is having another meeting with the “higher ups” next week to find out more. I have suggested that all the staff and parents meet after that to chat with each other about what to do next (even if it’s just sharing individual plans).

I wish were millionaires so we could just fund the opening of a new daycare. This just plain sucks.

Daycare Art

One of the cutest things about daycare is the little art projects they do. Here are a few of our favorites so far:

Fig. 1: Marble art. They put a bunch of marbles in paint, and the kids pick them out and rub/roll/etc. them on the paper.

Fig. 2: A butterfly made from Evan’s hand and foot prints.

Fig. 3: What Thanksgiving would be complete without a hand-turkey?

They also have little parties at the centre. In August, they had a Teddy Bear Picnic, where all the kids brought their favorite teddy bear to daycare. In the afternoon, they all went outside and had a picnic with their teddy bears. How cute is that?
Fig. 4: Evan’s first certificate.

This month, they had a Thanksgiving dinner last Friday, and they’ll be having a Halloween party on the 31st – I’m sure the photos from that day will be awesome.

Have I mentioned how much we love this daycare? It was really tough for the first week or so (on me), but we are so happy that we went this route. Evan absolutely adores it, and really likes the staff and the other kids. They do all sorts of fun things – art, parties, and the older kids go on field trips a couple times per month. Their menu is way better than anything I eat during the week (seriously – it’s a bit sad). All the older kids apparently just love Evan – he gets kisses when he arrives in the morning, and they play with him during outdoor time. So sweet 🙂

"Fun"draising

Apparently, fundraising for school activities begins before your child is 1 these days. Yes, this week, we received a catelogue for Tupperware in order to sell to our family and friends.

Luckily, they have said (numerous times) that we are by no means obligated to do any fundraising, but it has still given us a glimpse into our future: where we will not only obligated, but required to fundraise, volunteer our time, or have to cut a cheque to cover the difference between some pre-defined minimum amount and what we actually can sell.

In elementary school, I remember being sent home with catelogues for various fundraising opportunities. There were book sales, Christmas decorations/wrapping paper, and bake sales. In high school, it got slightly more serious with Entertainment books (very large coupon books that were $40 each), and having to staff Bingo’s.

My parents didn’t buy into the idea where they had to hit up their family, friends, and co-workers to raise money for a program or school. They would typically buy a couple of items, and that was that (DH’s family was the same). I sure the heck didn’t have the personality to do it either. I didn’t mind the Bingo model though, since we were merely working as staff for a service that was already being offered. We weren’t putting people out by doing it. I think DH and I will have a similar mentality toward these types of things.

As for the Tupperware fundraiser: apparently the daycare only receives 10-40% of the sale, depending on the items. So, we’re just going to make a straight-up donation. They get 100% of the cash and we don’t have solicit our family and friends. I figure it’s a win-win.

What kind of fundraising did you do in school? What did your parents do about it?

If you’re a parent, how often does this happen, anyway? What do you do?

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