Kristin Shipman-Adams knows first-hand the frustrations of not being able to find quality care for her two young children.
"You can feel trapped, and forced to settle for child care you’re not 100% comfortable with," she says.
This frustration, along with her own love of working with children, led Shipman-Adams and her business partner, Megan Turner, down the path of starting their own preschool and child-care centre for children aged two to five.
Making Roots is the name of the child-care centre, which uses the Montessori curriculum and methodology.
"Children learn an incredible amount from birth to six-years-old. They have a natural curiosity and a natural desire to soak things in," Shipman-Adams said, while describing the Montessori experience.
Montessori, she explained, capitalizes on this natural desire to learn by meeting children where they’re at, and working with them from there.
Shipman-Adams and Turner are basing their daycare centre out of a renovated facility at 660 Elizabeth Rd. in Windsor Park. One of the highlights of the facility is an all-natural 1,300 sq.-ft. green space attached to the building.
The green space features hills, sand, stones and trees, and in the summer it will have enough room for children to experiment with growing plants.
A low staff-child ratio means kids will be able to take full advantage of the space. Making Roots is committed to a 6:1 child to staff ratio, instead of the provincial 8:1.
According to Shipman-Adams, this means "if a child wants to go play outside, they won’t have to wait for seven other kids to want to play outside, too."
"This is both of our dreams," she said. "If kids can’t be with their parents, they can grow with us."
The biggest challenge the two women have met so far in their new business, for which they received support from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, is in spreading word of the centre’s existence.
They can’t be part of the online provincial child care registry — well-known to be so backlogged that parents sign up for child care before their children are even conceived — until they’re actually in business as a child care facility.
This will happen soon, as Making Roots is opening its doors Sept. 16. They still have space available, and for more information, visit their website at www.makingroots.ca