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Childcare month is rocking it in Prince Rupert

More than 14 local childcare organizations participated in making rock gardens

A group of 14 Prince Rupert child care professionals are rocking out to Child Care Month in May by creating painted rock gardens to be placed in various locations around the city.

“We’ve been working hard to make it a community celebration,” Chantal Cornwall owner and operator of Kids Club Daycare, said.

Childcare workers and tots have been busy hand painting rocks and delivering them to places like the front of City Hall and Mariners Park. The gardens are highlighted by signage extolling the contributions of early childhood educators and providers.

“Take a hand, opens a mind, touches a heart,” is the slogan for the awareness campaign, Cornwall said.

Business has been especially challenging during COVID-19 for some child care operators to keep afloat, she said.

When the pandemic hit many operators went from having a healthy business one day to having no children the next. It was difficult on many levels, Cornwall said because of the attachment workers make to the little ones in their care.

Kristy Maier child care provider and facilitator for the Berry Patch early learning framework community of practice said, the group started in September and runs to June. It provides an opportunity for local child care providers to come together once a month to discuss the important and relevant topics to industry professionals in the city.

The rock garden project was one of the first initiatives started by the group back in Sept., Maier said.

“One of the big things as a provider that we wanted our children and our daycare families to have is community awareness and to be part of a community,” Maier said. “With the pandemic we are all locked in our homes … so we wanted the children to be part of the community. So, painting rocks and leaving them through the community in three gardens and through Hays Creek has helped to do this.”

 K-J Millar | Journalist 
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Placing rocks in just the right position is as artful as painting them for Porter Atchison and Josie Pottle in the Prince Rupert childcare rock garden project which brings community awareness to Childcare Month in May. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)