First Impressions: Kids’ Campus Child Care Centre, Whitby

The main entrance to the Kids Campus Whitby

The main entrance to the Kids Campus Whitby location which is part of West Lynde Public School

Right away I clicked with the supervisor. Warm, welcoming and so easy to talk to, I found myself feeling comfortable and able to open up to her from the moment we began talking. A great supervisor makes the difference when you’re looking for a centre, and here at Kids’ Campus Whitby I found a lot of signs that this was a caring and professional centre.

My guess is that the supervisor is experienced and has worked here for some time based on the few processes I noticed within this centre. Small but important touches like a colour-coded cleaning cloth system was one of the first of these that I noticed, and this system is visible to anyone within the classroom. The reason for this system is to maintain their high standard for health and safety. A cloth used to wipe a kitchen surface is never used to wipe a bathroom surface, and this colour coding system helps reinforce this. As a parent, I appreciate their efforts. It demonstrates transparency, effective management and safety.

Another touch I really liked was that the daily schedule for the children is adjusted for each season. The staff take into account the weather temperatures and the best times of day for sunshine to make sure the children get the best out of their time outdoors. Another reason for this adaptive approach is because Kids Campus Whitby is situated within West Lynde Public School. These adaptive schedules take into account busy periods in the day for the elementary students (like pick up after school) and times when the elementary students are on break, like in the summer.

  • Accepting infants and older.
  • The infant rate is $243 full time or $199 part time, weekly.
  • The toddler rate is $223 full time or $179 part time, weekly.
  • Parents are required to provide $100 upfront upon registration. $25 is a non-refundable administration fee and the remaining $75 is a deposit fee.
  • Centre is open from 6.15am to 6.30pm.
  • Located close to the 401 and Whitby GO Station.
  • All laundry is handled on site.
  • Follows an emergent curriculum approach to learning.

Find support and meet other local moms with large families

Two parents sit with their four children in a park

There is a group for almost everything and everyone online these days, the key is knowing where to look. The Durham Region Big Happy Families Facebook group is one of those hidden gems. This group was created for moms raising large families in Durham to provide support both online and in-person with meetups. This is a great resource for local information to answer any burning questions that apply to large size families – things like what vehicle to buy to fit the family, how to manage family schedules and more. There are no requirements set by the group for what’s considered a ‘large’ family, so if you feel you fit into this description, I encourage you to join and start meeting some other moms in the area just like you!

 

photo credit

Save on pre-loved baby items at the Brooklin Mom Sale

There is something for everyone at this weekend’s Brooklin Mom Sale. If you’re a mom that knows how to shop well, you’ll know that these type of Mom to Mom Sale events can be a great opportunity to save money on clothes and especially toys. For the mom who is looking for an inexpensive way to get out of the house with your little one, this event also has a play area provided by Discovery Toys Brooklin, and fresh coffee made on site. Honestly, what more could a mom need?

The flyer for the 2015 Brooklin Mom Sale

In my experience of attending Mom to Mom sales – the prices can be very, very good and many vendors at the Mom Tables are open to negotiating if that’s your kind of thing. Clothing and toys for babies under the age of four months are typically in the best condition and this is where you can really save. For anything past this age group, I’ve found it harder to find clothing that I like that is in great condition and a great price. It’s not impossible – but, it will require some organization to arrive early to get first pick at the good stuff. Regardless of age group, the toys sold at these sales can save you a ton of money. For babies under the age of 12 months, the toys aren’t likely to be damaged so the most you would have to do is clean whatever you buy (rather than repair). Plastic toys and equipment such as activity tables, Exersaucers, walkers and plastic blocks are the best items to look for because they can be cleaned easily.

The Brooklin Mom Sale begins this Saturday, January 24th, at 10am. The event will be held at Sinclair Secondary School (380 Taunton Road East, Whitby).

Cost: Admission is free.

 

photo credit

Get active in the New Year with mom and baby yoga

New Year can be a motivating time and I’m here to guide you to some of the best opportunities Durham has on offer! If you’re still looking to hit your stride in your mat leave, Mom and Baby Yoga can help you get there. It’s got the trifecta of benefits: feel-good exercise, a chance to make mommy friends and a reason to get out of the house.

The Mom and Baby Yoga Flyer for Moksha Yoga Brooklin

Sessions run weekly on Tuesdays at 9.45am for an hour in a series of eight sessions. If you’re feeling a little shy, signing up for a sessions like this can help you interact with the other moms as you will see each other so regularly. These sessions are best for babies up to the crawling stage, so chances are you’ll meet other moms in a similar stage as you.

There are still spaces left so it’s not too late to sign up! Registration can be completed online or in person at the Moksha Yoga Brooklin studio (31 Baldwin Street, Brooklin). Mom and Baby Yoga begins January 6th, 2015 and continues up until February 24th.

Cost: $105 + hst (Approx $13 per class).

What to do with baby’s old clothes: Resale Store

What it is: A resale store is different to that of a consignment store in that they are able to offer cash (or store credit) outright for any clothes that they offer to take.

Racks of childrens clothes

How it works: You do not need to make an appointment to visit a store and have your clothes looked at. Staff will review your items on the spot and you can wander round the store while they review your items, or you can wait up front while they go through whatever you bring in. Buyers will then pick out the items and make an offer on these based on the style, condition and the current stock levels in-store. If you accept the offer you will receive either cash or store credit. As a general rule for all resale stores, clothes over five years old will not be accepted. Typically, clothing with any holes, fading or pilling will not be considered. Below are some of the child-specific resale stores in the Durham region:

Pros: This option is perfect for moms that don’t want the hassle of selling their old baby clothes themselves. You’ll be saving time as it only takes one interaction with a store (not multiple interactions with sellers like you would get with Kijiji or Facebook buy/sell groups) and you are compensated immediately. You do not need to make an appointment to have your clothes reviewed by a buyer, so you’ll be selling on your own schedule.

Cons: Stores will pick and choose what items they want to take based on the kind of brands you have, what’s in style, and what stock they currently need. You will most likely be out of luck if you want to offload summer items at the beginning of winter. Not all stores will take certain items like socks or cloth diapers, so you may need to visit a few resale stores to get rid of everything or offload your remaining stuff another way. To save the most amount of time when you visit a resale store, you will have to prepare your clothes for easy sorting in advance. This includes sorting clothes by brand or by age group.

Value Rating: 2 out of 3. Your potential for cash is very low than if you were to sell the items yourself or take them to a consignment store, but if you value the time saved managing the sales on your own, then this is the option for you.

Cost: There is no cost involved to bring your clothes to a clothing resale store.

 

pic via brendawritesablog.com

Drop-in family storytime at the Whitby Library (Rossland Branch)

Depending on the local library branch that you visit in Durham, drop-in storytime programs can get chaotic due to their popularity. Some babies do well in social and busy environments, but for those that prefer a more quiet and intimate group experience, a smaller location like the Whitby Library on Rossland Road may be a better fit.

The area where storytime at the Whitby library, Rossland Branch, takes place

Family Storytime is held in the back corner of this branch in the children’s book section, where parents and caregivers can sit with their little one on the mat to listen to stories read by one of the librarians. Librarians will read stories from the library collection and have parents and children interact by answering questions about illustrations. After a book is read, any children that are willing are encouraged to join in with singing songs or playing activities like rolling a ball to other members in the group.

Drop-in Family Storytime is held at the Whitby Library, Rossland Branch (701 Rossland Road East, Whitby) on Fridays from 10.30-11am. This program will continue weekly from now until Friday, December 12th. Registration is not required. Children and babies of all ages are welcome.

Cost: Free.

 

To find out more, visit the Whitby Library event page for details.

Helpful tips for attending your first mommy meetup

Mom walks on a footpath with a child in the stroller

To help ease any worries you may have before joining your first meetup, here are some tips that I’ve learned along the way:

  • Find out where the group is meeting in the location that’s listed. e.g. If the meetup is at a playground, where in the playground will all the moms be?
  • Check out the profiles of the other moms that have RSVP’d to the event that you’re attending. Usually moms will include information here about the age of their babies and what they are looking to get out of the group. This is a nice icebreaker for when you arrive and you’re looking for a way to start a conversation.
  • Bring supplies. Having sunscreen or wipes on hand when another mom has been in need has helped me start conversations when I was feeling shy.
  • Take along a carrier or lightweight stroller. Unless you’re part of a mommy stroller group, having lightweight equipment to navigate a new space will help you to focus on spending time with other moms rather than worrying that your stroller is blocking someone’s way.
  • Check in first with the person who organized the event when you arrive. Let them know you’re there and that it’s your first meetup. Meetup organizers are usually passionate about helping other moms get out of the house and will be more than happy to introduce you to others within the group.
  • Give it a chance. Some weeks I went to meetups and I was zombie tired (barely functioning or talking) and other weeks I was buzzing from having such a good day with baby. The same goes for all the other moms there. Give them a chance before you decide if a certain meetup isn’t for you.
  • Lower your expectations. If you expect to come out of one meetup event with a playdate partner you may be disappointed. Focus on using this as an opportunity to get out of the house and be proud when you do it! It’s not easy to get out of the house like we used to when we have baby in tow.

Now that you’ve got an idea of how to get started and what to expect, you’re ready to take the plunge!

 

pic via pgeveryday.com