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Family child care programs host open house – prize offered to participating families

  • Written by June Still
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Children of all ages enjoy parachute play at one of the local child care programs. Courtesy photo.
Bring the kids, let’s have some fun! Six local family child care providers are hosting a collaborative open house. Each of the six homes will be open from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 24th. Families can tour each of the homes and meet the child care providers. The children will participate in an activity at each home.

"This is a way for home child care providers in the Duvall and Carnation areas to expose more options to parents for child care," said organizer Shelly Burtis of Cherry Valley Kid’s Kastle. "There are many good quality child care programs in the valley," she continued. "My program offers a Monday-Friday child care, a preschool program, and computer education for kids ages 2 and up." The program also takes advantage of watching several kinds of wildlife near her property.

Little Sweet Peas Home Daycare owner, Laura Whitehead, offers a homey learning environment. "I provide a safe, loving environment for children so their parents can feel secure while they are at work."

Laura’s children love the field trips they take to the afternoon movies at the North Bend Theatre. "We also had fun this summer at Remlinger Farms," she said. "The children loved the farm animals, the rides, and the picnic lunch they helped pack." The children at Little Sweet Peas also do arts and crafts, read, play outside, and work on preschool concepts.

"It’s exciting to see infants who start in my program, grow up and become one of the ‘big kids’," said Irvina Mizell. As owner of Family Childcare & Preschool, Mizell stays in contact with most children even after they get too old for daycare. She recently served as mentor to a young man as he earned his Eagle Scout badge. "He started in my program when he was an infant," she said."We still stay in contact. Children who stay with the same provider for years become completely comfortable with their environment. That gives them the opportunity to be free to explore and learn, and become school ready. That’s one of the joys of family child care."

As small business owners, child care providers offer completely different programs that serve the needs of the diverse families they contract with. Providers who offer child care in their home must be licensed by the state, must have current CPR/first aid, and take regular continuing education classes.

Parents can find out more about each of the programs participating at duvallchildcare.com. The website includes a map to all the locations along with contact information for the participating programs.

"Each parent will be given a card when they visit a program on the 24th," said Burtis. "If they visit all six programs, their name will be entered in a drawing for a gift card to Starbucks."

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