Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Kidz Kare Daycare Toronto Inc. (2021)
Kidz Kare Daycare Toronto Inc. alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Lucy, Melissa, Judy had to say about the school.
- 9:55 - What did you appreciate most about the school during your time there and from your perspective on how it's changed?
- 17:50 - What to the best of your knowledge, differentiates the school from other schools?
- 20:50 - if the school were represented as a single person, what would its personality be like in only three words?
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Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Lucy — current parent
Lucy has one son that attended Kidz Kare in 2014. She appreciated that the school community felt like a second family, and her son made lots of close friends that have lasted him beyond his preschool years. He felt comfortable, nurtured, and received lots of one-on-one attention during his time there.
- “I think as a parent we tend to listen to our intuition when it comes to who we think is going to be the right person with the right facility to look after our children. It's not just a staff that was an important, integral part of that. It was the hot meals that were being done, the people who actually care. … It's one of those things where you knew that you were doing the right things from the moment you stepped into [Kidz Kare]. I went to multiple places before I went into Kidz Kare, and the one thing I noticed as soon as I walked in, it did truly feel like a home. Everybody knew where everybody was. They knew who the kids were. They knew all their little idiosyncrasies. There was truly a community that was built. I have some friends still from that previous life that we still touch base with, and we play with them, and have play dates here in the city.”
- “There are long-term friendships that were built [at Kidz Kare] and [my son] is forever grateful for that because that was his first experience with any other kids socializing. Especially when all our family was in the Durham region, he had a little family in Toronto that he can call his own. ... To me, that was a big thing.”
- “Everybody who knows my son knows he loves to eat, and he'll eat anything in sight. Knowing that he was going to be nourished, not just from an educational perspective, but from a belly perspective [at Kidz Kare] so he could learn, was huge for me as well.”
- “What impressed me the most, because I have such a huge amount of awareness around this, is the mindset part of [learning] that [Kidz Kare] has. ... The world is changing, and our children need to be fully aware, from a mindset perspective, of how to handle themselves in the world. It's not just about getting your school and education and getting a job and going out there. It's about being able to look at yourself, and having the awareness to be able to function in the world that we have around us.”
- “We’ve had to pivot, we've had to make movements that we never thought we would have to do before [becasue of Covid]. Being self-aware, and having that internal peace are huge parts. When [Kidz Kare] had yoga, I thought, ‘that’s amazing,’ because I have [my son doing] meditations at night with me. … Those things are very big for me. I thought, ‘wow, [Kidz Kare] is really, truly moving with the future, and truly looking at kids from a big perspective, not just ‘let's get them through the door.’”
- “Being able to access [after school and evening childcare] services [at Kidz Kare] was a huge benefit to me. [No other school] offered that kind of service, nor do they offer things like date night, and evening nights out [for parents]. This is unusual because [daycare] looks after the kids during the day. … But by the same token, the parents need to be taken care of as well, because if they're not good, the kids aren't good. … [Kidz Kare] started thinking about looking after the parents because the parents need to have a break, too.”
- “[Three words to describe Kidz Kare would be] love, compassion, and respect.”
- “I don't know where I would have been without [Kidz Kare]. To be quite honest, they were the backbone of my family. ... They allowed me to do what I love, my passion, my work, but also provided a safe haven for my son, and challenged him. … I never second-guessed [Kidz Kare], or if I made the right decision. [Kidz Kare] always has been and always will be the right decision.”
Melissa — current parent
Melissa has two sons that attended Kidz Kare in 2014 and 2015. Both of them had some attachment issues because they were adopted by Melissa and her husband shortly before enrolling. She found that her sons quickly adapted to their day-to-day life at Kidz Kare and that they both felt safe and welcome there. She appreciated the small student-to-teacher ratio, which allowed both of her boys to connect with their peers on a personal level.
- “I knew that we needed to find a safe [school for our kids] that my husband and I would both be comfortable with. … Mostly because it was only the two of us in Toronto and we wanted to make sure that we have our little village for a child, and that's what we found from Kidz Kare. [Our son has] been thriving. It's been great. We had all the support that we needed from [Kidz Kare], even when we thought there was a speech impairment. … They were very welcoming. To this day, the kids remember their time there. So it really had an impression on us, but mostly on the kids.”
- “My husband wasn't with me, but actually, a friend of mine was with me to do the visit. ... It was just like a feeling I just felt at home [at Kidz Kare]. That's what we were looking for because it's the most precious thing that you're leaving in the hands of strangers when you think about it.”
- “One of the most important things that I love about [Kidz Kare] is the ratio. There are not too many kids. There's enough staff around, even more than usual, and the kids knew exactly who they were dealing with, and even us as parents.”
- “My kids were, instead of rushing in the morning to have breakfast at home … had their full breakfast at the daycare. It was natural … they just went straight to their classes. I think it's the safety aspect of [Kidz Kare] that was really important, and also how our kids felt—they loved it from the get-go.”
- “The nanny services and babysitting services at [Kidz Kare] were amazing. This is not something that we've seen [at other schools]/”
- “[Kidz Kare is] reliable because I know that I can count on them anytime, all the time.”
- “[What families would find most surprising about Kidz Kare] is that everybody knows your child, not only the teachers but everybody… even the little babies. ... They know them, but also, the kids are comfortable with them.”
- “[Kidz Kare] worked a lot with [my son through his attachment issues]. If he's doing fine today, I could say that it’s because of the approach that the teachers had in the school. [Kidz Kare] really helped him get where he is right now.”
- “[My son] is a very sensitive child. I remember when [Kidz Kare] had a little girl that came from France, and [the school] had asked that [my son] translate for her. … Sure enough, that little girl spoke English within a month, just from the interaction, and feeling comfortable. I see that now that [my sons] are in school, with my eldest being in Grade 3, the youngest in Grade 1, the foundation. Yes, there's us, but by having [Kidz Kare as] part of [my son’s] village, their foundation is strong, and they're comfortable and going along with their school journey because it's like their little society.”
- “From my perspective ... I don't know what we'd have done without [Kidz Kare]. I'm just so thankful.”
- “Parents, if you're in the situation where you're looking for a place for your children, [Kidz Kare] is the place.”
- “[Kidz Kare] is more than willing to support you at any step of the way, even when you need [extra] services for your child. … There are so many things that they can do. There are no regrets for myself, my husband, or my kids now that they're grown. They still remember their days at [Kidz Kare], and you can see how impactful it was.”
Judy — current parent
Judy has a daughter that she enrolled at Kidz Kare in 2021, and is pregnant with her second daughter, who she also plans to enrol there. She believes that the staff at Kidz Kare are patient and kind, which makes the children feel safe and happy. She feels that Kidz Kare has improved her daughter’s independence and ability to advocate for herself effectively, while also offering her support when needed. She values the community that it has created for her whole family, and is thankful that her daughter gets to learn and grow in Kidz Kare’s creative facilities every day.
- “I'm just really happy that [Kidz Kare] worked out, our daughter absolutely loves it. She doesn't even turn back to say ‘bye’ anymore, she's just out the door.”
- “We're very fortunate in that we live very close to [Kidz Kare], and that seems to be the case for a lot of the other parents as well. I've seen other parents, besides seeing them at drop-off, at the grocery store. We've seen them at the Harborfront Center. We've seen them at the park. I think [Kidz Kare’s] biggest impact for us is that we're able to see and meet these people in other settings.”
- “[My daughter is] not afraid to advocate for herself. I think when we initially started dropping her off at [Kidz Kare], she wasn't very socialized with other kids, or with other families, and being able to have that environment at Kidz Kare, where Mommy or Daddy weren’t watching over her … I think it's really done wonders for [my daughter’s] confidence. She's gotten a lot better at advocating for herself. She's gotten a lot better at doing things on her own, and she's actually gotten a lot better at independent play as well.”
- “I would imagine if Kidz Kare [were a person] they would be very patient. There are a lot of kids, a lot of different personalities, and a lot of headstrong tantrums. So the first thing that comes to my head is somebody that's very patient. I also think [they would be] somebody that's really fun, and really creative. ... I love the arts and crafts that get sent home to us. Some of them are the more traditional, [like] a painting, and then others are like, ‘Oh, it's cotton balls on a straw.’”
- “[Kidz Kare] works with what they've got. It's really about finding the joy in everything and making the best out of it. So yeah, for me, the three words [to describe Kidz Kare if it were a person] would be patient, very fun, and remarkably creative.”
- “[Kidz Kare] is a great place, and not just the location or the amount of space that these kids get, which is amazing in itself. It's really brightly lit and there are all sorts of things that the kids can play with. More than anything else, it's really the people at [Kidz Kare that make it great]. My daughter can pick out every single person who works there. Not only her teachers, but the cleaners, and the cook. Everyone knows her. It was her birthday last week, and she was singing Happy Birthday in the halls, and everyone was clapping for her … that's not something that we take for granted.”
- “Everyone that I've met, and everyone that I've talked to, love being [at Kidz Kare]. The kids are happy, the parents are happy, the staff are happy, and it is just an amazing place to send your child.”