Daisies and Dragons Daycare mascott

History

Catharine Crerar purchased this home with the intention of setting up a home daycare. It is big, spacious, safe and homey. She has three children, the youngest, Chandra is 21 and works in the day care in the summer teaching French, American Sign Languale (ASL), dance, and singing, all of which she does very well. Caitlin is 30 and is a recent graduate of the Civil Law Programme at University of Ottawa. The oldest is Stan (36) who now works as an outlet and marketing manager for a large hotel in Toronto.

Our sign! Catharine completed a mixed B.A. in Sociology / Anthropology / Phsychology, a Masters in Political Science/Sociology, and most of her Ph. D in Political Science with emphasis on Third World Development. Catharine has extensively researched child care philosophies including Montessori, Regio and the works of Barbara Colorosa. She has drawn liberally from all these educational opportunities and developed a child care environment that includes the best aspects of each.

She spent as much time as possible with all her children when they were little and ran a small day care to allow her to stay home part of that time or worked outside the home as a research consultant with CIDA on a part-time basis. Her children have been in both the large, institutional day care environment and that of the home care situation. While she preferred the home care environment, especially as she was fortunate enough to find a very good provider, there were pros and cons with both types of child care. The institution was open almost every business day, but the competition levels between the children for toys and attention and noise levels were very high. On the other hand, the home environment was quieter, gentler, and more attentive but became problematic when the caregiver got ill.

She has overcome this latter problem by running her day care with a team of care-givers. The 'team' approach means that the day care can usually stay open even when some one is ill. There is frequently another teacher present if Catharine is suddenly called away by illness, by the needs of her own family, doctor's appointments, or simply has to go to the washroom. The stress levels for both Catharine and the teachers thereby are much reduced and the children's safety is never an issue. They are never left alone, not even for one minute!

After finding the right home, Catharine needed a team of very special people to make it all work, including Dianne Merritt, who started in Jan. 05, and had 23 years of experience running her own home day care. She provided day care to Catharine's children so the high quality of her work is well known. She has recently taken over the management of her own Preschool in the same building, but is always available for her sound advice.

The riding school parking lot!All our staff have been screened by the police and their resumes are available should they be required.

We believe that with this type of team effort, every child will find an adult that is their 'special friend' and that no care provider will suffer from the 'burn-out' experienced by many lone home day care providers. Additionally, the parents will not have to take time off if one of the child care team is ill because there will be a backup person on location.

Much of the food for the day-care will be cooked by Catharine and will be purchased directly from a local organic farmer (Jack Lytle), or from our local grocery stores.

It was this combination of a big homey house, an innovative approach to outdated child care options, a group of talented child care providers and uniquely skilled people willing to visit the children, an intellectual program geared to the abilities of each child, hugs and cuddles, and good food that made this new type of day care so appealing to Catharine.

Back to top