Finding safe, reliable and high-quality childcare is a challenge many working parents must face.
Locating childcare centres that are also progressive and innovative in their approach to education can be even more difficult. Luckily, for young families in Halifax, there are places like A Tiny Lab for Early Learning.
A Tiny Lab was launched by early childhood educator and mom, Jillian Farris. Her centre is located in the north end of Halifax and serves children aged 18 months to 5 years.
“We are a play-based, emergent childcare centre,” says Jillian. “Children spend their days here making choices, exploring, discovering and creating. We provide a developmentally appropriate program that fosters the ideas and experiences of the children enrolled here.”
At A Tiny Lab, teachers work very close with each child, providing the support and stimulation that children need to foster their sense of wonder and curiosity.
The centre follows eco-friendly practices for optimal air quality and energy efficiency. It also uses reclaimed materials as much as possible. Lastly, A Tiny Lab serves a 100% vegetarian diet to promote variety in foods and help instill healthy eating habits from early on.
“We source our food locally and organically as much as possible,” adds Jillian.
Launching is an accomplishment in itself, but Jillian has hit many milestones that would many any entrepreneurs proud.
“I am most proud of my team of ECE’s (early childhood educators) that we have working here and the environment they provide for the children and families here every day,” she said.
“They are committed to a thoughtful, respectful, supportive and challenging environment for children that support their growth and development and respect them for their individual strength development.”
Setting up a daycare usually involves a lot of paperwork and comes with many obstacles due to government regulations. Despite all of this, Jillian was able to pull through.
“We are hoping for a modest expansion within the next few years, to meet some of the demand that exists within this neighborhood for high-quality childcare,” she said. “This would include opening up two additional classrooms and exploring the possibility of afterschool care for older children.”
A Tiny Lab has been a great success since launching. It now has clients on a two and a half year waiting list, which means the word is continuously spreading.
When launching, Jillian turned to Futurpreneur Canada to access funding. This organization prides itself in fueling young entrepreneurs as they look towards launching their businesses.
For aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own business, Jillian offers this advice: “Stay positive and committed to your vision, whatever that may be. Surround yourself with good people that can support and inspire you and that you know you can rely on for advice.”
Written by: Sara Pivato, Social Media & Content Coordinator, Futurpreneur Canada