The CSU Daycare and Nursery wins a 2021 Canadian Business Award
When the CSU Daycare and Nursery opened its doors in January 2019, the centre’s goal was to offer high-quality daycare services to the Concordia community.
Just over two years later, the centre is receiving recognition for its efforts after being named the Higher Education Daycare Service of the Year by the 2021 Canadian Business Awards.
“Winning this award is a big accomplishment for the whole team,” says Angela Meo, director of the CSU Daycare and Nursery. “We are very proud because this confirms what we all have been working toward.”
In their annual write-up, Corporate Vision, the group behind the Canadian Business Awards, points to the CSU Daycare and Nursery’s safe and engaging learning environment, as well as its affordable yet high-quality service, as two of the main reasons why it was selected for this year’s honour.
Meo notes that much of the daycare’s success comes from its approach to supporting each child’s individual development within a group setting.
“We learn from what works and also from our challenges. Everyone is continually learning here,” she says.
A day in the life
Mornings at the daycare start with circle time, which is an interactive part of the day when educators and the children sing songs, tell stories or have discussions. From there, the group takes part in a guided activity or two.
“Outdoor time is extremely important at the centre, so we always make time for it,” Meo explains. “If we cannot go outside because of weather restrictions, we try to bring nature inside or plan physical activities.”
The daycare’s educators also introduce free play moments throughout the day. During this time, the children can learn about the world around them while their educators make observations on the evolution of each child’s play, interests and interactions.
After lunch and nap or rest time, the children finish the day by winding down. They may complete an activity they started in the morning, participate in more free play or go back outside before heading home.
“There are also two snack times per day, lunch and moments dedicated to hygiene, which includes hand washing, toilet time and diaper changes,” Meo says.
Excelling under challenging circumstances
Meo notes that because the centre’s commitment to quality childcare always included proper hygiene practices, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic meant her staff had only to elaborate on existing habits.
This, along with consistently maintaining the children’s routines, helped the daycare not only adjust but thrive during a difficult and strange time.
“Keeping the staff motivated by ensuring that they had their one day off per week to rest physically and emotionally also helped with morale,” Meo says. “And even though they have been working remotely, the Concordia Student Union is always there for us in any way we may need them.”
Samantha Culbert, interim assistant director at the CSU Daycare and Nursery, joined the daycare in March 2020, just as the majority of Concordia students, faculty and staff left campus as a result of the pandemic. Despite this, she says, she has really enjoyed her time at the centre because each day brings new learning opportunities, challenges and moments of joy and laughter.
Most of all, it’s the moments she spends with the children that she holds dear.
“Spending quality time with the children during fun thematic days is my favorite part of the job,” Culbert explains. “There’s nothing like dressing up for Halloween, having outdoor picnics, planning Easter egg hunts, taking part in bubble parties or sporting PJ’s for pyjama day!”
The CSU Daycare and Nursery currently has places available in its multi-age group for children aged two-and-a-half to four years. For more information, please contact Samantha Culbert by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.