A new child care facility has opened at Parksville’s Knox United Church.
Elidah Jewer, owner, opened her latest facility, the Acorn Tree Early Childhood Centre, this September. The Acorn Tree Childhood Centre is licensed for 14 children, and still has availability for open seats. The program facilitates children from three to five years old, and operates from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The program offers three choices for enrolment: full-time from Monday through Friday, three-day attendance on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and two-day attendance for Tuesday and Thursday only. Jewer emphasized they do a thorough cleaning at the end of every day.
Jewer, who lives in Qualicum Beach, said the Acorn Tree program is nature and play-based, and that their curriculum will change with the seasons.
“We like to bring the outside indoors. Our learning curriculum is curiosity driven.”
An important component to the program is to create respectful relationships with the communities and with the families, said Jewer. They do not allow for technology in the classroom, which means no screen time for computers or television.
“It’s a very natural and wholesome return to childhood.”
Jewer previously had a children’s centre in Qualicum from 2006 to 2015, called the Little Star Children’s Centre. In 2015, Jewer moved to Italy with her family ‘to offer her own daughters a chance at adventure and experience a new culture’. While in Italy, she worked at a Reggio Emilia preschool as the English mother tongue preschool teacher. She also owns another child care centre called the Thinking Garden in Lantzville.