In our programs, the topic of finding childcare is among one of the most popular discussions. Where to begin the search? Home vs centre? How do I know if it’s the right fit? What types of questions do I ask? The search can be overwhelming and in Ottawa, not always easy. This summer we were fortunate to have Kids & Company in Kanata, act as our host venue for the 6 week, Mom and Baby program.
The centre is located in the booming area of Kanata South. Upon my arrival to tour their facility, I was immediately greeted by a team of incredibly friendly individuals. Their Director, Erin Savard, was welcoming, warm and professional while being extremely relatable as a mother.
The centre features floor to ceiling windows throughout each classroom, that offer natural light and creates a bright and cheerful environment. What struck me first was that even in the midst of their daily activities, the centre remained so clean, a feature that I know is incredibly important to moms and families.
Another aspect that struck me as unique, was that each staff member adorned navy blue scrubs with the Kids & Company logo displayed on their shirt. I had never before witnessed this in a daycare facility and loved that I could tell exactly who was an employee of the centre. I felt this feature not only added to their professionalism, but helped me feel at ease as I could clearly define who was a teacher, vs who was a parent picking up their child.
Kids & Company offers programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school aged children. Being a mom of an infant, I was eager to explore their baby room and sleeping quarters. At the time of my arrival, they were in the process of deep cleaning the cribs and mattresses and I was impressed at how thorough of a process this was; everything was deconstructed and sanitized. The babies were in the process of being served their lunch, which tickled my curiosity to inquire about their menu.
I was blown away not only by the KidCo menu, but their philosophy on nutrition. They have a full sized, professional kitchen on site where they cook all the food from scratch. Their menu is created by executive chef and Mother, Lisa Ruscica, who understands the importance of nutrition and goes above and beyond in creating an eclectic, child friendly menu with an understanding for allergies and intolerances. Never before had I considered dishes like “Chicken Pad Thai” or “fish tacos” to be served to children, but they do so in a way that inspires curiosity with food. A local mom who’s son attends day care at the centre explained that through his exposure to new foods at Kids & Company, he is no longer a picky eater and now has new favourites such as Buttered Chicken and Korean Bibimbap ( you can view the Kids & Company menu as well as featured recipes here.)
While continuing my tour we stopped in to the preschool room where I was able to observe the little ones in the middle of a craft that was designed to encourage sensory motor play. It was explained that the entire Kids & Company curriculum is centred around play based learning and that they feature different sensory building skills daily. Each activity serves a purpose has research behind it to support growth and development. Best of all, the kids seemed to LOVE what they were doing and each individual in these small class groups seemed to be getting ample focus and attention from their teachers.
At Mommy Connections we have worked with so many moms who have enrolled their children in one of the four Ottawa Kids & Company locations and each one has their own set of unique, positive reviews, from the centres ability to accommodate Nursing/ shift work schedules, to severe allergies, to their incredible Baby Signing program. After my initial tour, I felt confident that I would in fact enrol my own children in their program, but after having spent six weeks in the centre, I had zero doubts.