New North Van daycare serves corporate clients
Parents walking into the North Shore’s newest daycare will notice a huge brightly coloured space filled with dolls, building blocks, books, cribs and strollers.
Construction crews are painting the walls yellow, green and blue — the national child care centre’s signature colours — and installing pint-sized furniture before the grand opening next month.
When full, 95 kids up to age 12 will be looked after at Kids & Company, located in the same building as Indigo on Marine Drive in North Vancouver.
“Our children’s self esteem is high because they can be with a friend, and grow up together here,” Denise Kelly, the company’s director of operations for B.C., tells The Outlook on a tour of the centre.
Each room is designed for infants, toddlers, preschoolers or elementary school kids, so the centre can accommodate children until they begin high school.
The daycare serves corporate clients from North Shore businesses, including ICBC, WorksafeBC, Rogers, Shaw and local banks. The companies pay the daycare a fee in exchange for a guaranteed child care spot within six months, a desperately needed service in a community where parents can wait up to two years for a space to open up.
Kelly says 10 per cent of the spaces are put aside for North Shore community members who are not corporate clients, but the spots are filling up fast.
“When parents come to visit they say ‘holy moly’ because it’s very nice in here, and they can tell their children are having a good time,” says Sherry Shirritt, the daycare’s Western regional director, as she joins the tour.
The daycare, which sits in the old location of Taylor’s Crossing restaurant, is one of four locations in B.C. and 26 throughout Canada.
North Van’s Kids & Company is quickly beginning to take shape.
As the tour turns upstairs, a big pile of cardboard is being taken out for recycling after brand-new toys and furniture are unwrapped and placed in play areas. An outside area is waiting for a new playground, but construction has yet to start.
The daycare provides food for all its children, a big plus for busy parents, says Kelly. Lunches including fruit kabobs with yogurt and fruit puree, fish with dill sauce and homemade soups are aimed to stop kids from becoming picky eaters.
So, what is the fee? “It costs money to get the very best,” says Shirritt, adding that dolllar-for-dollar, Kids & Company is a good price, especially since it includes food and has longer hours than many other daycares. Shirritt says the exact price is based on each situation and parents can call the company for more information. The average fee is around $50 a day.
To learn more, visit kidsandcompany.ca.