by Ruby Arsenault, Employment Coach/Facilitator with Tignish Employment Resources (ER) Centre
When the Tignish Health Centre found themselves with extra space in the facility, they decided to open and operate a new daycare centre to bring in revenue for the co-operative, while also helping meet the need for childcare in the community.
Yuill Learn & Grow Childcare Centre opened its doors officially on July 4, 2023 with 30 seats available for children up to five years old.
Once the previous tenants “Bob’s Pharmacy” relocated to the new larger addition of the building, Health Centre Manager Wendy Arsenault, Assistant Manager Michelle-Ellsworth Perry, and the board of directors began to discuss what services they could offer in that space.
Daycare sounded like an excellent idea, says Michelle. “We knew it would help some local parents and fellow staff members find care for their children. This beautiful new facility and services have been welcomed.”
The 30 seats are full, and there is a huge waiting list. “At the moment we are operating privately,” says Wendy, who has been employed at the health centre for over 20 years.
“Our future hopes and plans are to become designated by the province. Once we become designated, we will be government subsidized and will offer lower daily rates. With the future plans for $10 a day rates per child, many parents are looking forward to this next step in childcare funding. Then we will look to expand.
“One reason why we wanted to offer this service is to be able to give health care workers the option of accessing childcare if they came to work for us,” says Wendy. “We are in need of a family doctor and we welcome nurse practitioners. We thought available childcare would be an attractive incentive to come work with us and raise a family in the Town of Tignish.”
“The biggest challenge was finding and hiring a certified Director,” says Michelle. “This took some time. We were fortunate to find a wonderful Director and eight other staff members, including our Cook and the others, who are certified Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) or working towards their certifications. When we were hiring uncertified ECEs, we wanted staff who were willing to work towards certification while employed.
“We have an amazing team, and we are always seeking casuals and floaters to cover staff absences. We welcome resumés from those interested.”
“Yuill Learn & Grow Childcare Centre is named in honour of the late health centre’s medical office administrator, Lorna Yuill,” says Wendy. “Lorna played a huge role in our centre and in the community. She touched many lives and helped many people and we wanted to honour her by naming the childcare centre after her. She so loved children.”
ECEs at the centre work with children ages 0 to 5 years old. Duties include the following:
- Support and promote each child’s physical development, emotional well-being, growth, social development, communication skill development, cognitive skill development, ethical understanding and development, and creativity.
- Support ECEs in carrying out programs that promote the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of children.
- Develop a warm, caring, and responsive relationship with each child and with the group of children. Engage children in activities by telling stories, teaching songs, and preparing crafts. Provide effective behavior guidance.
- Use observations to assess children’s skills, abilities, interests, and needs.
- Create and maintain a sanitary environment that minimizes the risk of infection or food contamination.
- Create and maintain an environment that protects the health and safety of children and adults.
- Protect and promote children’s physical health and well-being.
- Establish and maintain a psychologically safe environment for each child and for the group of children.
- Recognize signs and symptoms of emotional or developmental delays or challenges, and prepare reports for parents, guardians, director, or supervisor.
- Establish and maintain an open, cooperative relationship with each child’s family, with others working in the child-care setting, and with other community service providers.
- Reflect on one’s own knowledge, attitudes, and skills and take appropriate action to develop professionally.
- Maintain daycare equipment and assist in housekeeping.
- Early Childhood Educator Level 1, 2, or 3 certificates or willingness to work towards certification while employed.
- First Aid and CPR
- Provide a criminal background check and a vulnerable sector check.
- Prior experience working with children is an asset, but the centre is willing to train other individuals.
- Oral communication
- Soft skills
- English speaking
“Applications for casual/relief work are welcome. We will create a list of interested applicants for the future if and when we expand the service.”