2021 Canadian Business Awards

Canadian Business Awards 2021 9 CSU Daycare and Nursery provides a safe and engaging learning environment to promote the development of children on all levels, whilst providing student families of Concordia University with an affordable yet high-quality day-care service that fits around them and their schedules. The non-profit organisation is a welcoming centre that parents can rely on to encourage happy, healthy development for their little ones. Located in the heart of Sir George Williams Campus of Concordia University, Montreal, CSU Daycare and Nursery provides a safe centre for the children of CU students which promotes global development through a fun, educative approach. Following an educational program based on the standards of the Ministry of Family’s ‘Acceuillir La Petite Enfance’ initiative, the centre’s curriculum is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach; an education philosophy born in Italy that focuses on learning through play. The centre’s educators organise interactive, play-based activities shaped by a policy of non-exclusion that touches on emotional, social, motor, cognitive and other areas of development, as well as encouraging creativity and autonomy in every child. By integrating periods of free play into the daily routine, the centre allows the children to explore the world around them, make their own decisions, and most importantly, have fun. Outdoor education also forms a key part of the centre’s curriculum, due to the importance of the natural world in children’s development. The centre has therefore integrated the Loose Parts initiative into its program, a concept that is gaining popularity in childhood development for its celebration of infinite play possibilities. Children often prefer to play with simple materials like boxes, rocks, water and more, instead of their more sophisticated toys. Loose Parts encourages this, recognising that this type of play is crucial to creativity and natural curiosity. In addition, the centre encourages bilingual development through its multicultural programmes in the nursery and as part of the wider community, giving children an appreciation for the many languages, cultures and traditions that exist in Montreal. The centre exposes the children to many different languages as well as French and English, so that once they leave the centre and begin their school years, they do so fully bilingual and with a respect for the cultures of their own community and others around the world. Most importantly, each child is made to feel valued as an individual, treated as an equal with respect and care, and supported as they gain confidence in a lively and fun environment. The educators work closely with parents to ensure Higher Education Daycare Service of the Year 2021 Jan21198 that the children experience continuity in their development and feel as happy at the centre as they do at home. As a non-profit organisation, the centre is able to provide the students of Concordia University with affordable, flexible day-care services that work around their schedule, allowing them to focus on the pursuit of their academic studies, reassured in the knowledge that their children are in safe, caring hands. As an integral part of the university community, the centre not only appreciates the changeable nature of students’ schedules and requirements, but is also able to benefit from resources to develop its offering for students as well as their children. For instance, the centre has recently opened a breastfeeding room for mothers on campus, and going forward, the hope to open another center on the Concordia’s Loyola campus, in addition to developing a relaxation and workout room for their educators to decompress during the day. After all, the centre’s talented, bilingual educators play a vital role in the development and care of the children and as such, their wellbeing is valued just as highly as that of the children and students. Typically, the day-care centre prioritises undergraduate CU students in registration, but with more parents working from home due to the pandemic, the centre has been able to this year open up registration to the wider community, strengthening its ties with the families of the downtown neighbourhood. During this challenging time, the work of early childhood educators has become more valued than ever and the centre’s hard work has been acknowledged by government officials and parents alike. Consequently, the latter group recently ran a fundraiser to provide a cash bonus and thoughtful card of appreciation for the educators, that was joyously and gratefully received by the whole team. With its additional recognition at the Canadian Business Awards as the Higher Education Daycare Service of the Year 2021, CSU Daycare and Nursery is continuing to honour its commitment of unparalleled care and support to the children and students of Concordia University. Company: CSU Daycare and Nursery / Garderie et Pouponnière CSU Contact: Samantha Culbert (Daycare assistant director) / Angela Meo (Daycare director) / Robert Henri (General manager CSU) Website: www.csudaycarenursery.com