Brown Bear Day Care
The children in Brown Bear Day Care are recognized as crucial contributors to our future society. Their days are filled with endless opportunities for learning, growing and experiencing. The centre is dedicated to helping them develop a sense of joy and wonder in the world around them.
All activities at Brown Bear Day Care, be they teacher-directed or child-directed, indoor or outdoor, will present a constant opportunity for fine and gross motor development as well as social interaction with peers and teachers. Their intellect will be continually stimulated throughout the active part of their day through responsive, respectful adult-child interactions capitalizing on teachable moments. Additionally, all age/developmentally-appropriate toys, puzzles and books will be geared to sparking curiosity, thoughtfulness and interest in subjects and experiences to which they are exposed.
The centre operates out of a house that has been modified to adhere to Ministry requirements and is mindfully kept home-like in order to maintain a warm and homey atmosphere for children. It is our aim to create a second home for children in which they feel secure, comfortable and free to engage in our exciting activities and pursue their interests during the hours that they are away from their parents.
Brown Bear Day Care’s philosophy is enlightened yet simple. Our children are the reason that we as a society do most of what we do. Essentially, society strives for productivity, advancement, fairness and empathy. We do this, not only for ourselves but ultimately for the generations that will follow. These future generations begin with our children and these values need to be present in all areas of their lives. The development of a child’s physical, social, intellectual and emotional traits has a profound impact on the person that they are and the person they will become.
We recognize that young children are often very emotionally charged and require significant amounts of nurturing and emotional care. In order for them to remain secure within and trusting of their world, their emotional needs must be met as individuals. Once that is accomplished, their minds are free to open and learn which they do naturally when there are no competing concerns or stressors.
Brown Bear Day Care focuses a significant amount of energy to ensure positive emotional states for its children. Teachers gently guide children to strengthen their innate qualities of empathy, curiosity, generosity and acceptance of all peers. The teachers will capitalize on teachable moments involving these three important morals as well as other socially desirable qualities. Child developmental achievement will be supportively reinforced by teachers and shared with parents at the soonest opportunity.
Brown Bear Day Care believes that parents have the right to secure, stimulating and nurturing care for their children while they pursue employment or educational opportunities which sustain or improve their family’s way of life. Brown Bear Day Care understands that parents are their children’s first and most important teachers.
This is why the caregivers at the Brown Bear Day Care work closely and co-operatively with parents. The emphasis is on open communication between parents and Brown Bear teachers. Parents who are working on a specific issue or behaviour with their children at home can be confident that the teachers will be consistent with the children regarding their parents’ messages and will supplement their parents’ guidance during their time at Brown Bear Day Care. In our efforts to provide your children with a wide range of experiences and learning opportunities, parental input into our programming and practices is most welcome.
Brown Bear Day Care provides a healthy, nurturing environment for children which promotes the growth of the child’s individuality while concurrently fostering their role as a strong social being. Self-esteem and confidence are two important traits that children at the centre will have because Brown Bear Day Care, working in partnership with parents, guides its children to fulfill their potential while having fun.
Brown Bear Day Care employs Early Childhood Education (ECE) graduates (or graduates of Teacher’s college). This is because ECE diploma holders have chosen to dedicate their academic and professional career to the care and education of others. They are instructed in the art of child-caregiver communication, child activity planning and programming, child-behaviour management, child studies and effective communication with parents. They have also gained valuable experience in the field through the co-operative part of their academia. While experience in child care is a very valuable asset, we seek to combine this with the expertise gained through focused education. The ECE diploma holders employed by the centre are very carefully selected to ensure that they will be a great fit into our warm and caring environment. We would like to take a quick moment here to thank The City of Ottawa, as they would like to be recognized on our website for their allotment of Provincial Wage Enhancement Funds to our Educators.
About the Director and Supervisor
Long before I opened Brown Bear, I wanted to take an active role in making a positive difference in the lives of the people who will eventually shape our future. I’ve always had a natural propensity for child care, likely stemming from my British-nanny mother, and supplemented this natural drive through my later university studies.
Being ever-fascinated with the sciences, I completed my Life Science degree at Queen’s University. I had been putting myself through school by supplying in day care centers and discovered that I loved the work. While completing my first degree, I found myself deeply interested, and sought a second degree, in Psychology with a focus on Child, Developmental and Educational Psychologies, which I also obtained from Queen’s. Upon graduating from university, I worked as a nanny for two years, a Child and Youth Counsellor for three years, and then spent five years as a Child Protection Social Worker with the Children’s Aid Society.
Throughout this time, I never lost sight of the fact that I really wanted to create a child care environment for little ones which fosters their innate explorative, creative and non-judgmental spirits. I wanted to ensure that the children in my care would be treated with the respect which I feel those who will build our future deserve. I felt it imperative that their role as strong social beings be reinforced, while concurrently fostering their precious individuality. I was very particular about the environment in which I would operate my day care. It was important to me I that there was no institutionalized “flavour” to the centre’s milieu – to that end, I planned to operate out of a house-type building that would act as a second home to children.
Enter Brown Bear Day Care! When I had my little girl, I knew that I would have a difficult time reconciling my newly imparted emotional stature of motherhood with the less-than-positive childhood environments with which Child Protection Workers are often faced. This motivated me to start the leg-work for our day care, Brown Bear Day Care.
We opened in 2006 and within a year and a half, I had convinced Christina Smith, whose childcare philosophies and practices aligned so well with Brown Bear’s, to come and work with us. Christina graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at Algonquin College in 2004, and before joining Brown Bear in 2008, ran early learning and care programs for children from a few months old, to those heading off to kindergarten. She accumulated vast experience educating young children in centre-based programs, and then helped me direct our first centre on Main Street as it’s Supervisor, for almost a decade, before we amalgamated our three smaller centres into our one expanded centre on Carp Road. This is where she now helps me and our team of professional, experienced and highly motivated Educators keep our children happy and safe and perform amazing work with our little cubs on a daily basis. For me, Brown Bear is a dream realized. Very little is more wonderful than that, save the small, wonderful, important people for whom it was created!