maple tree kids

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Who we are and what we do!

My name is Sarah and I am a certified Level 3 (Supervisor) childcare professional with Childcare First Aid and full background checks. I have my Education degree as well as my BFA in Art and Design. I used to teach kindergarten (and other age groups) - I love children!
I have traveled, lived and taught around the world. I love to incorporate multicultural foods, music and other resources. After a time teaching in Alberta's north my husband and I relocated to Edmonton where I began working in the employment field with adults with severe disabilities. I loved it but couldn't bear to return to work when I had my first baby. I took the opportunity to return to my love of working with children. I opened my own day home and it was so much fun! Now I have two amazing daughters - an outgoing 8 year old and an inquisitive 6 year old. My husband, who has also undergone required background screening, works in the Environmental field.
We are participating in the urban hen project and are home to 5 plucky chickens who we all get to help care for (and clean up after ha ha).
Unlike most dayhomes, I usually offer licensed back-up care in my home, for any holidays or days off I take. My mother (who was also a teacher) lives nearby and loves to get to know our crew, to offer help when we need it!
We live in a lovely home we moved into in June 2015 where we have built a dedicated dayhome space. We also HUGE fully fenced back yard to play in. There's a maple tree we tap in the spring, lots of bikes and houses, art supplies, as well as a variety of objects for our creative minds to explore. We have oodles of toys in both our indoor and outdoor play areas! Besides the chickens, our family includes two small, friendly, slightly yappy dogs that love to have special visits with us, 10 beautiful indoor birds, and a new friend, a bearded dragon.

Our home is close to the library, parks and playgroups. We like to go on fun outings and local field trips regularly. I try to provide individual attention to every little person in my care, and plan activities around their interests.
I offer up to 2 healthy meals and 3 snacks daily including meat-free days, a variety of ethnic foods and some good old standbys like macaroni and cheese. Our meals and snacks are based on Canada's Food Guide and many items are cooked from scratch. We use many organic foods, especially the dirty dozen. The kids love to help unload our Organic Box or our Riverbend Gardens CSA when we are subscribed :)  It helps us to try new and unexpected fruits and vegetables.

The kindergarteners and I try to cook or bake together at least once a week- usually much more often. They often have a hand in assembling their own meals or measuring things out. We enjoy special treats like cupcakes and cookies and sundaes (that we usually make ourselves) on special occasions.

If your child has any special dietary needs that can’t be met by adapting our regular meals you may have to send their food. I do email parents a weekly menu (along with our weekly schedule) so you can let me know when your child might need an adaptation I might not have thought of!
We have some planned learning activities like learning circle for the children who want to participate and lots of developmentally appropriate learning activities including art, music, and physical activities. As a teacher, I know that children thrive on routine and that learning through both play and real life situations are equally important. We might plan our meals together, do the grocery shopping and cook together, or we might play in the rain and make mud pies.

We love listening to old records, singing off key, dancing like butterflies and playing drums like monkeys. We plan exciting field trips (I have insurance to drive the kids, as well as provide car/booster seats). Technology is part of our daily lives and as such the children might get a chance to play some educational games on an iPod/iPad or other device or watch a thematic TV show, but TV and device use very is limited. We also have daily quiet time after lunch, which might mean dozing for some or doing low-key activities for others. I leave lots of time for unstructured play where little people can explore their own interests and hang out with their friends!

I know how hectic drop off and pick up times can be, but communication is important! We can decide together what kind of communication works for us both. Besides the weekly schedule and meal plan I email you over the weekend, I like to let you know how our day was. Some parents want a quick email or text while others might prefer a journal or slip of paper. I will text or email photos of your little one when I can! I also occasionally print photos to send home, or publish online albums for sharing.

Priority in our home is Kindercare and Before/After School care to Holyrood Elementary school.