First Impressions: Helping Hands Brooklin

Helping Hands Brooklin

A view of the Helping Hands Brooklin centre building and playground

 

Child care centre chains are fast becoming a thing in Durham, so this week I wanted to dedicate a little of this post to my thoughts on the change. After visiting Helping Hands Whitby last week, I was a little hesitant to make the trip to visit Helping Hands Brooklin for a tour because one – the dreary weather has me making excuses to stay inside, and two – because I really wondered how different another chain location can be when they are up the road from one other. I’ll dedicate another post to my thoughts on this chain centre trend (I’m realizing I have more to say on this than I first thought), and instead I’ll launch into a review of my tour of this location.

First things first – It felt different. Different enough that I’m glad I did a tour, which I will continue to encourage you to do while you have the time on your mat leave. Helping Hands Whitby is located on the ground level of a shopping plaza, whereas the Helping Hands Brooklin location takes up the top level of this commercial building. Finding the entrance here wasn’t as intuitive as I would have liked (take the elevator, not the stairs closest to the entrance like I did), – that said, the fact that this location really is tucked away can also be a benefit in terms of privacy for the staff and kids.

This centre is large and growing quickly. There are two rooms for toddlers and plans to add more as Brooklin continues to rapidly expand. The look of this centre is closer to a classroom than you’d expect from the outside looking in. Each room is also styled to be unique, with the staff adding their personal touch to the artwork that hangs around the room.

Fast facts:

  • 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 $258 per week. Part time care is 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.
  • Laundry is available on site.
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First Impressions: Helping Hands Whitby

The view of the Helping Hands Whitby centre entrance and playground from inside the shopping plaza

Helping Hands Whitby is located in the plaza at Taunton Road and Anderson Road in Whitby.

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.
Fast facts:
  • 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.

The Motherhood Scene’s Top Posts of 2014

Two moms stand next to each other with their babies in strollers

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed and that we are in 2015. Where does the time go? The top five posts of 2014, ranked by number of readers, show that there are a lot of you interested in attending meetups for moms:

If you are looking to start your year in the best possible way for both you and baby, sign up now for a meetup in your area. I can promise it will make the difference between enjoying mat leave and enduring it!

 

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