(PHOTO: From June 2017, following the Stittsville Childcare Centre’s 10th Annual BBQ and Raffle Fundraiser for Cancer Research held at our centre. Each year, for the past 10 years, our staff volunteer their time and offer a family oriented, fun event to raise funds for cancer research through donating all money raised to the Ottawa Hospital in honour of those parents we have lost to cancer as well as those in our community who continue the fight. Photo by John Curry, republished with permission)
(article submitted by the Stittsville Childcare Centre)
Stittsville Childcare Centre first opened its doors as a private childcare in September 2004. Initially licensed to provide care for children from babies up to six years of age, over the years the services expanded to incorporate a school age program as well.
Two best friends, sharing the same dream and a passion for children, began the journey together excited to offer Stittsville a unique childcare experience, one with a fundamental belief in the power of family and community. This belief has held true to this day. Each day when anyone enters our program our hope is that they feel immediately welcome and that this centre will grow to become an extension of their family and home.
As a centre we have weathered many storms financially throughout the changing face of daycare and the need to adapt to new regulations. Where we once had kindergarten children attending school for half days and attending our kinder programs for the other half, the school system began offering full day kindergarten. Where once schools within the public board operated only during school hours, they now house extended day programs. Both of these program provisions have dramatically changed the look of our before and after School program. It quickly became necessary to entertain other options and develop programs which would meet a need in our community in order to help keep our doors open, employ our staff, and make use of the childcare space which would otherwise sit vacant throughout the school day.
We began to offer part time care options unlike we had ever considered before. With greater flexibility, we were able to appeal to a new clientele, one which considered parents working shift work and families who may require care on a casual basis. We also introduced our Drop In program, Nursery Program, and Mommy and Me Playgroup to help broaden our program options. We re-modeled our physical space and eliminated our infant program due to the increase in maternity leaves to 12 months. To offset this program loss, we were able to have an exception on our license allowing us to welcome little ones who have reached 12 months of age and are walking, into our Toddler program.
The introduction of these programs has helped us through the years but we also realized that a permanent change of status to Not for Profit would be the only way we could continue to offer our programs to the community. The City of Ottawa had offered us a service contract for subsidized spaces which would soon be discontinued for any private centres. This was a devastating loss for us. Part of our philosophy involved including all families – of any income bracket, any background, any culture or those with special needs. We realized that our hope for the future would be dependent upon the change of status. With this goal in mind, we began our journey to transition from private to non profit in 2016 and on March 24th, 2017, our journey was complete.
We received our Not for Profit status and have been working diligently to transform the way we present ourselves to our community. We are now governed by a Board of Directors who were elected to their roles and are members of our community, parents of children attending our centre, and staff members.
As we continue to grow into our new role, we are excited to announce that we would love to hear from members within our community who may be interested in being considered for a role on our board. In particular, we are hoping that we may find individuals with not for profit experience, and possibly either an accounting or legal background to help round out our Board.