Sunday, May 19, 2024

Daycare celebrates two decades

by Guillaume Laflamme
Apr, 12, 2024
The Bambinos Universe daycare in Shawville welcomed children, parents and educators to raise their glasses, filled with age-appropriate libations, in celebration of the daycare’s 20th anniversary on Friday afternoon.
The event featured entertainment for the children from Echo the clown, as well as salads, sandwiches, and drinks for everyone, with juice for the kids and wine for the adults.
The early childhood education centre is one of two under the Bambinos Universe name, both provincially funded CPE daycares. The second daycare, located in Luskville, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this October.
Mona Donnelly, general manager for both locations, has been working at Bambinos Universe for nearly 25 years, originally as an educator at the Luskville location. She explained that working at the daycare has been a busy but positive experience.
“It keeps you young,” said Donnelly. “And we have great parents, we have fantastic children. I have an amazing staff, you know, so it’s a very positive experience.”
When Donnelly first started working as an educator, she never thought she would work there for so long, but now, she doesn’t see herself working anywhere else. “It’s a very rewarding job,” she said
Donnelly has seen the daycare grow over the last 20 years, and attributes a lot of the daycare’s success to its ability to stay open to new, fun and adventurous ideas, including more natural activities such as crafts with recyclable materials, and outdoor science.
One of their more recent programs, Alex, short for ‘à l’extérieur’, aims to get children outside for the majority of the time they are at the centre.
April Dubeau has enrolled all three of her children at the daycare over the past six years and sits on its board of directors.
She believes the program offered at the centre provided an important stepping stone for her children by teaching them skills to help them be independent before heading off to elementary school.
“On top of them learning to be a little bit more independent here, there’s also a whole program for them to learn to write their letters and their colours and their shapes and everything. I just feel like it’s just a different approach to it.”
According to Donnelly, the biggest challenge for the centre has been keeping its programming for four-year-olds. She explained that since the Quebec government has opened a school program for children of the same age, it has been difficult to fill the program.
Donnelly hopes to have her spots at the Shawville centre increased from 36 to 38 to maximise her educator-to-child ratio. The Bambinos Early Childhood Center had a 109 name waiting list as of Friday.


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