What got us to Laugh & Learn Sparwood Today…
At age 14 I took my babysitter’s course and started babysitting casually for families in and around Fernie. I later got my first “real” job at the Daycare at Fernie Alpine Resort, still babysitting when I wasn’t working, or skiing. I met many local, and out of town families through the Daycare when they wanted to enjoy après post ski. This was the beginning of “Laugh & Learn Babysitting” when I decided to order some business cards to hand out.
After graduating high school, I took a gap year to take on some pre req courses for nursing online, and found a family that hired me as a full-time babysitter for the school year, as mom was a school teacher.
This family had two children under the age of three, and I fell in love with the day-to-day activities! Going to the library, strong start, kinder gym, and visiting the parks. This is where I became intrigued by seeing how young children make sense of the world around them, watching them learn and grow through play, interacting with nature, and socializing with others. The lead teacher at strong start mentioned how she started her Early Childhood Educator Certificate through an online school called Pacific Rim out of Victoria. I went home, did some research, and enrolled that night!
The school year finished, so I was done babysitting for the family. I started off slowly with my Early Childhood Education courses and took a job at a Daycare in Fernie. I ran the 3-5-year-old classroom and took interest in a group play-based curriculum, and always strived to enrich the program. Guided by my well experienced co-teacher, I learned to empower children, let them make their own decisions, and let them develop independence. I also learned ways I could encourage self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-confidence through play.
After 2.5 years working at the daycare, I needed a change. I wanted to expand my knowledge through other programs and Childcare Educators, so I took on a Job at a full day PreK in Fernie. This is where I learned the structure of implementing science, math, and incorporating the alphabet creatively in other ways than just singing the ABC’s. I loved the faster paced programming planned activities such as swimming, gymnastics, music and field trips, as well as direct “how to hold a pencil properly” techniques, or cutting skills.
During this time, I was presented with an opportunity- an old co-worker ran a forest school program on her property, separate from her house, and offered me to “take it over” with my own programming, but her existing families.
I jumped right in and created Live Laugh Learn Daycare in 2019! I tailored my hours to parents needs at that time, more specifically for teachers because I enjoyed weekends & school closures off. I met so many families and created a program to teach the fundamentals to set every child up for success!
After my Husband and I moved to Sparwood, I realized there are no after school aged programs for the Sparwood Community, and how difficult that must be for local families working until 5pm or later. I also found there isn’t a Pre-Kindergarten program that’s a full day to help children adjust easily once they start Kindie.
And so, I began to plan, and the perfect space came available to create Laugh & Learn Sparwood…which brought us here today.