Hi everyone, I’m really excited to share our first provider profile with you! I’ve been following Ashley’s program on Instagram for awhile and have found her to be such an inspiration; I’m so glad she was willing to take the time to share a little more about her home daycare with us.

Introducing Ashley’s Home Daycare!

What made you decide to open a home child care program?

My passion for caring for children really began with my nephews. I just loved playing with them and loved witnessing and being apart of their raw joy and excitement. Once my daughter was born I became really interested in learning about different parenting and early childhood educational philosophies. I was also inspired by my sister, who had started her own home daycare. I did a lot of thinking and soul searching before my maternity leave with my daughter was up and decided I would take the plunge into providing a home away from home for a few other children. I ran my home daycare in Toronto for about a year before we decided to move to Spain for my husband’s career. We lived in Spain for 2 years and moved back to Canada a couple of months after my son was born. Once I was ready to start working again I knew I wanted to re-open my home daycare here in Kitchener.

What (if any) educational philosophies influenced your program?

I have read a fair amount about the Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf educational philosophies. While all three have some major differences, I find inspiration in all of them. I love the teaching of practical life skills, but I am also so drawn to the beauty of free play and allowing the child’s imagination and creativity to flourish by providing many open ended toys, loose parts, and the time and space to let them explore.

What’s your absolute favourite part of the job?

There are many perks to the job but I would have to say my absolute favourite is watching the children’s relationships grow with each other and myself. It is so so sweet to see two toddlers go and grab books and crawl up on the couch beside each other or look at each other with a silly face and just laugh and laugh and laugh. Or when someone gets hurt and another child quickly comes over to rub their back, it’s in those moments I know I chose the right profession and that these kids are learning so much love and empathy by growing together.

What would you say is the best part of your program?

The best part of my program is our walks through the nearby trail and our outside play. We like to spend a lot of time outdoors and have a lot of fun in our backyard. The children also really love the songs we sing every morning and even my youngest 15-month-old knows all the actions.

Where do you find inspiration for programming and activities?

I am totally addicted to Pinterest and Instagram for finding activities to set up for the kids, but I would say the biggest inspiration has to come from the kids themselves. As their play evolves I take cues from them and add more supplies or materials I know would interest them.

What’s the most popular item on your menu? Share a recipe! 🙂

A favourite snack are these pumpkin muffins. I like that they have some whole wheat flour instead of just white flour and they have some maple syrup so you don’t need as much sugar. What makes them even better is if you get the kids involved in making them. We use the mini muffin tray and bake for just 20 minutes.
Recipe URL: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/229965/october-oatmeal-pumpkin-muffins/?lnkid=usspnt

Best quote from the children you have heard to date:

One day one of my kids was playing with the toy birthday cake and she sang happy birthday once through with every child’s name and then she sang it again with “to all my friends” and I just thought it was really sweet that she wanted to include everyone and refers to them as all her friends.

Your favourite quote about child care, early learning, play, or children:

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” – Mr. Rogers

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions Ashley!

For more about Ashley’s Home Daycare be sure to check out her Facebook and Instagram 🙂

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ashleyshomedaycarekitchener/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashleyshomedaycare/