One year on, the Making Roots Montessori Centre in Windsor Park has been a resounding hit.
Making Roots was founded by Kristin Shipman-Adams and Megan Turner, who felt the need for a facility that provided quality child care with a learning component.
Montessori is an educational curriculum developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori back in 1897. The approach meets children where they are at and engages their natural propensity to soak in as much as they can. There is an emphasis put on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural, psychological, physical, and social development.
"The idea came from the love that myself and my business partner, Megan, had of the Montessori philosophy," Shipman-Adams, who lives in St. Norbert, said. "Education should be as individual as the child, and we are moms and it was hard to find child care and even harder to find it with exemplary care and education.
"We wanted to provide that, and we knew we couldn’t possibly be the only moms looking for that."
Making Roots is licensed by the province to have 32 children in their preschool program, which runs all 12 months of the year at their 660 Elizabeth Rd. location and offers a 6:1 child-to-caregiver ratio compared to the provincial 8:1. The facility also includes an attached green space which aims to foster a child’s natural movement as they explore their own environment and interests.
Shipman-Adams views Making Roots as a full child care service centre. Rather than just being traditional child care, Making Roots provides the educational component to go along with all-day child care, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"We are along the big commuter routes, so we tap into not only the area around us in Windsor Park, but many of the surrounding communities such as Sage Creek," she said.
Looking to the future, Making Roots is adding a new service to its repertoire this year.
"We are introducing our all-day kindergarten class for the upcoming year," said Shipman-Adams. "Traditionally, kindergartens are half-day programs, so parents often have to find child care for the part of the day their child isn’t there.
"What we’ve done here is that the children in the kindergarten program get the morning of the Montessori curriculum and then we have brought in a teacher, Reegan Kerchak, with her Bachelor of Education, who will provide the Manitoba curriculum in the afternoon."
The community has certainly taken to their idea since they opened last Sept. 16.
"They have been very supportive of it," said Shipman-Adams. "We are booking registrations now into 2015 and 2016. It’s been really nice getting to know people from the community. We are definitely a family-oriented centre.
"Given the demand that we have seen, we are looking at opening up a second location and are scouting locations for that currently."