This week, we interviewed Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Home Daycare in Kitchener, Ontario!
We've been especially looking forward to posting this article since our recent posts have involved larger establishments in the child care industry, (i.e. agencies, schools etc.) We felt the need for a contrast to cover more bases of parenthood and child care, so we decided to reach out Elizabeth all the way in Canada to give our readers more of an understanding of how home daycares operate.
Why Ontario, you might ask? This might come as a surprise to some people, but 80% of childcare in Ontario is provided by private home daycares! Which is why we asked Elizabeth about her business, her personal methods and her opinions on child care.
Elizabeth's Home Daycare was established in August 2007. She offers a loving home environment that encourages a variety of social opportunities. They participate in morning play groups and local community group programs. According to Elizabeth, what separates her daycare from other home daycares is her methods; "Our programming combines the benefits of both a daycare center and a home daycare. In the mornings we attend community playgroups and programs and come home to a home cooked lunch and naps in a cozy environment.".
So we got curious and decided to look into it a little more by taking a look at her website... and it ended up amazing us how many activities she had with her kids! From 'Exotic Animal Show' all the way to 'Space Exploration' and tons of other good stuff in between. If we were in the area, we'd definitely be sold! It was apparent that Elizabeth doesn't only focus on giving her kiddies an enjoyable time while at her daycare, but it also showed us that she was dedicated to giving them great learning experiences and values that could use for the rest of their lives.
We then proceeded to ask about her proudest moments in educating. Her answer definitely supplemented our assumptions! In her own words, she described; "Watching the children develop confidence. The simplest things will make a child proud, such as cleaning up with the other children when we sing the tidy up song or bringing me their shoes to get ready for outside time. When they actively participate in the day, they really blossom." Which to us, was very admirable!
Unsurprisingly, Elizabeth's daycare is fully booked almost every time we visit her site. She even has a waitlist, believe it or not. If that's not an indicator of good service, then we don't know what is! With that said, you can safely assume that she already has a lot on her plate; yet we still asked her if she had any goals for the year, (assuming she still had some room for them!) and It always came back to her kids, whom she refers to as her 'little friends'; "My goals for this year are to continue to build on my programming and keep our numbers low to maximize the impact I can have on the little friends in my care."
With so much dedication she's shown to her job, we got interested on how she started her daycare business to get to the roots of all her experience and how her establishment came to be. As it turns out, Elizabeth decided to go into business in 2007 with humble beginnings. "In 2007 I was finishing my first maternity leave. I was debating going back to my office job but was unsure. After talking to some friends who had their own home daycare, and so I decided to start my own. I added one friend at a time and realized that I love my home daycare and so it has grown to what it is today."
And with roughly 8 years of experience under her belt, we only wanted to pick her brain even more! Since we were constantly asking her about how she took care of the children in her daycare, we wanted to switch things up and asked her about what she considers the biggest mistakes and misconceptions parents make about the daycare industry. In her own words,"[Most parents forget] the important role that a daycare provider has in both the child and the family life. When parents view me as part of the team in raising their child and keep me in the loop as to new development or character changes or even mild illness or discontent helps tremendously and the child benefits the most."
To add to that, we also asked her for her tips on parenting. To which she told us, "Eat dinner sitting down with your child even when they are little. This is the best time of day to get their true account of the day. Since they started school and I only got 'it was okay' to my questions of how their day was, I decided to ask my children 3 questions each night. Their response really surprised me. They love it - even when I forget or haven't gotten there yet they prompt the questions themselves! 'What was the best part of your day?', 'What was the worst part of your day?','What did you do to make someone feel special?'" - Which, in our opinion, is just golden advice, that's universally applicable every parent!
If you would like more information on Elizabeth's Home Daycare, including their activity list and meal plans, visit her website at www.freewebs.com/kitchenerhomedaycare/, call them at (519) 804-4778 visit their Facebook Page or email Elizabeth at [email protected]