First Impressions, a series about my experiences touring through day cares in our region is back for 2016! In my most recent tour, I visited Apple Tree Academy in Brooklin.
The location for this facility is perfect for parents who take Winchester Road (Hwy 7) to get to work. The centre is located right on Winchester Road, making dropping in to this centre before and after work very, very convenient. You can spot the building from the main road but the entrance is tucked away at the back of the commercial complex. There is plenty of parking available, making drop off and pick ups faster because you won’t have to fight for precious car spaces with other parents.
This is the second daycare I’ve found in the Whitby/Brooklin area that’s located so close to a coffee shop (the other is Helping Hands Whitby). Which, I’m beginning to think is not just a handy coincidence but potentially a great tandem business idea for all other centres with lots of tired parent traffic!
Most centres I visit are a blend of old and new, but this one is so new that you’ll wonder if you’ve walked into a kids dentistry instead. My mind kept wandering as I admired the fresh paint on the walls and colour-coordinated furniture. I spent too much time trying to work out how long this centre has been in operation. On my tour I visited all the rooms in the centre, and was introduced to all the staff along the way who responded with warm smiles. Staff interaction will always vary on any tour, and I don’t always expect everyone to be bright and perky when I meet them. Staff are, after all, working with a large group of kids all day! What I do look for is how staff interact with each other, and in the moments when staff do talk with me, I am looking to see that they do so with confidence and willingly.
Once your child is in someone else’s care, you can expect awkward conversations about accidents, misbehaviour or maybe even developmental issues, so confident communication from childcare staff is something I value highly. At Apple Tree Academy, I was pleased to find that all staff greeted me without being prompted, made eye contact when talking with me and answered my questions with honesty, particularly when asked about transitioning children into care.
Apple Tree Academy is unique in Durham in that they offer three free days dedicated to transitioning your child once you register. These days are intended to slowly introduce your child to their new routine. Day one involves staying at the centre for one hour, day two increases this time to 2.5 hours, and the duration of day three will be longer based on how your child adapts.
- Apple Tree Academy is open 7am-6pm, Monday to Friday.
- This centre accepts children as young as 10 months old, provided they are able to walk and eat the food on the menu.
- The full time rate for senior infants (10 months-1.5years) is $1125 per month. If you are looking for part time care this centre also offers care for half days for all five week days for $720 per month.
- There are four rate options available for Toddlers (aged 1.5-2.5 years). For full time care, five days a week, the monthly rate is $900. If you prefer half day care, five days a week, you will pay $578 per month. Parents looking for full time care on alternating days will pay $620 per month for Mon + Wed + Fri, or $429 per month for full time care on Tue + Thu.
- Onsite laundry is not available for blankets.
- This centre follows the emergent curriculum.