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Eighth annual Child Care awards celebrate day care facilities in Wellington County

by Kelly Waterhouse

ARISS - The eighth annual Child Care awards of excellence were held at the Ariss Golf and Country Club on Nov. 10, hosted by the Guelph Wellington Quality Child Care Initiative and County of Wellington Child Care Services.

“It’s a great evening to appreciate the child care community and honour those who work in our field,” said Paola Hohenadel, Quality Child Care Initiative consultation coordinator. “They are all winners and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate their achievements alongside their colleagues.”

Guests included 23 of the 60 day care centres from Minto, Fergus, Guelph, Elora, Rockwood and Mount Forest, with support groups such as Trellis Mental Health and Development Services, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, the Ministry of Education and the Ontario Early Years Centres.

With 24 nominations in six categories, the judges included childcare professionals, educators and support workers.  Awards considered community and family partnerships, professional development and programs to promote a positive philosophy for staff and children.

Another category featured the work of private home day care facilities. Throughout the presentations, the emphasis on quality of care for the children and professional ethics of each facility were evident.

County councillor and social services committee chairman Gord Tosh acknowledged the role the facilities play in the community.

“It’s really good to see this group of people who dedicate themselves in caring for children,” he said. “County council really appreciates what they do and it’s great to have the opportunity to make them aware of how much we appreciate them.”

Winning two awards was First Steps Day Nursery in Guelph. It took home the Living Your Philosophy award and Partnerships with Community award for showing respect for children and families, and for creating good-fit partnerships throughout the surrounding community.

“It’s incredible,” said Tammy Hayes of First Steps Day Nursery. “We have never won an award yet and it’s nice to be recognized for our quality work.”

Cheryl Anderson, the training and professional development coordinator for Quality Child Care Initiative, believes the awards are important.

“It’s about recognizing the importance of child care in the early learning years and the staff who are there day to day with the children,” she said.



November 18, 2011


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