Flying Start child care in Bonavista has partnered with Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation and now uses a team approach in pursuit of the educational, healthy environment for children they both strive to create
Business owner Vanessa Short moved back to Bonavista from St. John’s where she worked with children with special needs for DayBreak non-profit.
Flying Start grew from her initiative to provide childcare in the town.
Starting as a traditional babysitter, Short quickly realized last year she could use her background to start a childcare centre with morning and afternoon sessions, each following an educational and structured approach.
She now has 30 children, ages three to five, enrolled in her centre. The program resumed September, after a summer hiatus.
“In my own head, I knew I could reach out. I could make a difference because the parents wanted the prep for KinderStart,” said Short.
“It’s a good feeling to know the kids want to be there (as well).”
Podiums for confidence
Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation came on board in the form of podiums. The vision for these podiums is for children to become comfortable with public speaking, and recognize early the importance of education. It also helps them become comfortable in professional and social settings.
The overall goal is an early start for children to encourage them to graduate high school.
Tip-A-Vista chair Eliza Swyers told The Packet that Flying Start’s initiative lines up with the foundation's vision.
“We’re strongly committed to children,” explained Swyers.
She equates public speaking with success in a child’s future.
“The earliest start we can get children to become leaders, to know how to become a leader, to know how to speak in public — it’s important.”
Now these Flying Start podiums, provided by Tip-A-Vista, represent a place for a child to be heard.
Growth for child care
Proponents say the Flying Start initiative is proof there is a need for government funded child care in the area.
Short says she’d love to lend her expertise in helping establish a registered, regulated provincial centre in the community.
Swyers said they’ve already looked into such a child care centre, possibly in the old elementary school next to the newly christened Dr. Hilda Tremblett Wellness Centre on Coster Street.
“The need is still there,” she said.
“We’re still working on trying to get that building as a childcare centre. And we’re not going to give up.”
Short said her intent was to provide affordable, educational care in Bonavista, and would be on board with her support for a licensed provincial day care centre.
“It would be a reality for affordable care to be in this area," she said, "and those parents and families who can’t afford to get out of the rut that they’re in —can.”
Swyers said the need is there, and the partnership is one more aspect of the community-minded goals they’re working toward achieving.
“It’s all about health, too. Education and health, physical activity and mental activity, and all in this same area to have access to what is needed.”