I didn’t venture too far from my usual stomping grounds for this week’s tour. This week, I visited Helping Hands Whitby, one location out of a chain of seven day care centres throughout Durham.
At first I wasn’t sure about the location. I liked that the centre could be found at the corner of a major intersection (Anderson and Taunton) which is perfect for commuting parents. Situated within a shopping plaza, this centre is tucked away quietly in the corner, away from the majority of the traffic that passes in through here. A bonus is the Starbucks which is conveniently, only steps away. Perfect for those mornings that you’ll more than likely need a caffeine boost.
I originally thought the facility design was one of the downsides to choosing this location, but that was only until I toured inside. The front door is secured with an intercom and pin code entry, with the centre Director’s office window looking out at the front entrance. Any concerns that I had about the location disappeared and I could focus on the energy and warmth from the staff inside.
Take a look at the dozens of cards that line the walls when you first walk in and you’ll read the many handwritten messages from parents who adore this centre. Transparency and communication are important here, not just for prospective parents reading messages like these on the wall, but also in the day to day program for all the children that attend.
Each room at Helping Hands Whitby is equipped with an iPad that allows staff to communicate with parents through messages, photos and daily reports about their child, using a private and secure program. This is a huge advantage for parents that go here. Most centres I visit use a paper-based reporting method which has its downfalls. It can take longer for staff to write paper reports, filing can be messy and it becomes difficult to review past information for both staff and parents. This classroom tool at Helping Hands Whitby makes adding your name to the waitlist well in advance worth it. If you’re planning on heading back to work after mat leave, you’ll be grateful for the convenience of email messages throughout the day, as well as photos from staff. The warmth of the staff, convenient location and communication tools make this centre a must-see for North Whitby parents.
- Centre is open from 6.30am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.
- Accepting children as young as six weeks old.
- The full time rate for infants is $255 per week, part time not available.
- The full time rate for toddlers is $205 per week, or $46 per day for part time.
- $325 is required upon registration. $25 of this is the registration fee, and the remaining $300 is held as a deposit that is applied to your last week of payment.
- All rates include lunch and snacks twice a day.
- Bedding must be taken home each week, laundry not available on site.