Daycare marks an important milestone
Many of us have missed important events and milestones during the pandemic. The 40th anniversary of the Centre de la Petite Enfance (CPE) Charles W. McDougall of the Royal Victoria Hospital in April 2021 is one of those events that had to be postponed.
The easing of restrictions has allowed the daycare to make up for the missed celebration – more than one year after the big day.
“Sadly, we weren’t able to celebrate our 40 years as we would have liked,” says Executive Director Tanya Kusiewicz. “I am very proud of this daycare and the staff, and am grateful for all the amazing families we have.”
Making up for lost time
McGill University Health Centre senior management, including President and Executive Director, Dr. Pierre Gfeller, and Associate President and Executive Director, Martine Alfonso, were treated to a tour of the facility on July 5th. They joined staff, board members, parents and, of course, the children to mark this important occasion.
“We thought it would be a nice idea to have them visit and see the centre that so many of their employees use,” says Tanya.
Daycare service in high demand
Eighty children attend the daycare and while the waiting list is very long, employees who use its service can’t say enough good things about it. “I feel so fortunate to have a spot in the hospital daycare, “says nurse Alexandra Létourneau. “The educators make all the difference with their extraordinary work teaching our children, stimulating them and giving them lots of love.”
Alexandra affectionately describes the daycare and its educators as a second family. Tanya wholeheartedly agrees. “We are more than co-workers. The daycare is an added benefit for the employees. To have their child so close to them while they are at work gives them peace of mind that their child is being cared for by qualified educators who care for and nurture them.” she says.
Positive learning environment
While the proximity to work and the warm and caring environment are greatly appreciated, so are the interactive learning programs. Nguyen Khanh Ngoc LE is Parent Board vice president and has two children at the daycare. "My kids are surrounded by loving and devoted staff. The centre offers so many activities like skating, Monkeynastix, Languemobile and so much more," she notes.
The burden of COVID-19
Early in the pandemic many daycares were closed, but CPE Charles W. McDougall was designated as an essential service for hospital workers and remained open. “The educators were thrown into a new reality and I am so proud of how resilient they were and how dedicated they were to their job,” says Tanya. “We came out stronger as a team. Parents who had to work were so grateful they had us there,” she says.
The daycare was founded in 1981 in the Women’s Pavilion at the old Royal Victoria Hospital. In 2016, the CPE moved to its new address at 5100, boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest. It provides full daycare services for children six months to five years of age.