Network Child Care Services (Network) is proud to deliver to your inbox, the Organization’s May Newsletter! Please enjoy a few moments to review the brief articles and noteworthy celebrations for all families, staff, and affiliated home child care providers. We truly hope you enjoy these quick highlights as we focus on one of Network’s Child Care Services’ Child Care Centres as well as other events of interest for the month of May!

Connecting with Network’s Bendale Acres Child Care Centre

Network’s Bendale Acres Child Care Centre is uniquely situated within the Bendale Acres Long Term Care Home in the Bendale neighborhood. This area of north Scarborough was officially named “Bendale” in 1881 following the settlement of early Scottish pioneers. It became a township of Scarborough during the 1950s as the movement to convert the hills and valleys of the area to residential housing commenced.

The Bendale Acres Child Care Centre was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and provides care for 49 children from infants to preschool age. One particularly amazing feature between the walls of the child care rooms is clear glass child-height windows, embedded into the walls themselves, offering views between all of the infant, toddler, and preschool rooms. Children are able to gaze into the future as infants are able to look into the toddler room to exchange smiles with the older age grouping.

In meeting with Jenny Chan, Bendale Acres Child Care Centre Supervisor, she describes the positive ongoing connection which has been forged with the senior residents of the Bendale Acres Long Term Care Home. Regular intergenerational programing allows for relationships to be cultivated between the children and the seniors sharing a number of activities including reading, music, and even a little dance! This group is also joined by a collection of fluffy friends (Otia, Olivia, and Sesame) who happily bunny hop within their enclosures to the delight of everyone.

The Centre also offers a bilingual (English/French) preschool setting as Bendale’s RECE, Julie, supports the learning of the French language thus continuing to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion remain at the forefront of all program delivery. Thank you and Merci for a lovely visit!

Mark Your Calendars – These Dates Are Noteworthy!

May 1

May 1st is International Workers’ Day or May Day!

This special day is celebrated by all workers around the world. As a companion to Labour Day, which is celebrated in September in Canada and the U.S., May Day is a spring event which captures the importance of how a group of workers are able to collaborate, to improve their working conditions. This special day also has marked the half-way point between spring and summer, bringing increased hope to those who long for warmer summer days.

May 3-6

May 3rd to 6th is Orthodox Easter!

Network Child Care Services would like to wish all staff, affiliated home child care providers, and families a very Happy Easter!

May 12

May 12th is Mother’s Day!

This special day has been celebrated since the early 1900’s, and simply encourages people to appreciate the mothers in their lives. We would not be on this planet without our mothers, who as women, have been largely responsible for the nurturing and caring of all of us.

May 15

May 15th is the International Day of Families!

Declared by the United Nations in 1993, this day recognizes the vital importance of families. “A family is a group of people who love and support each other and are connected by a strong bond.” While there are days which we may struggle with perhaps some members of our families, it is often that family bond which allows many to overcome differences and appreciate that unique relationship which has been formed over time.

May 20

May 20th is Victoria Day!

This uniquely Canadian holiday celebrates the life of the late British monarch, Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901. First Celebrated in Canada in 1845 on May 24th (Queen Victoria’s birthday), this day has become a federal statutory holiday since 1901. Fireworks in the evening usually accompany this special event! Network Child Care Services (Network) would like to wish all staff, affiliated home child care providers, and families a safe and happy Victoria Day. All of Network’s programs and services will be closed on this celebratory day.

May 20

May 20th is World Bee Day!

Since December 2017, World Bee Day has been celebrated to highlight the extreme importance of these pollinators. More recently, individuals have come to realize that without bees, many of the food products which we enjoy consuming would vanish from the planet. Besides, there would be no honey without bees!

Encouraging Young Children To Try New Foods!

As children grow from infants to toddlers to preschool, the introduction of new foods could sometimes present a myriad of responses. If decorating walls with the delightful colours of food is not a preferred home décor project, offering these foods challenges both parents and caregivers to really consider the best strategies.

One strategy to consider is offering the new food item in a visually pleasing manner. As they say, “we eat with our eyes” which suggests that if the presentation appears “unflavourable” it is less likely a child will want to attempt a taste. Shaping the new food into a familiar item using a cookie cutter or a silicone mold might also entice a tasting, as eating a uniquely shaped amount of spinach which looks like a dinosaur (i.e., a tyrannosaurus rex, brontosaurus) could just elevate the flavour.

Another strategy which could be considered might be the tried-and-true method of “masking” or “hiding” the new food item in a mixture of other familiar food items. Vegetables seem to continue to receive the highest rated food item which children are reluctant to eat largely due to their lack of flavour. Mixing vegetables with other tastier yet nutritious foods could allow for a gentler introduction to this food grouping, and thus achieving a greater degree of success when the vegetables are consumed.

Finally, it comes down to patience and perseverance as children’s tastes could seemingly change from one week to the next, but the response to their food eating habits is key. Children should never be forced or bribed to eat anything as this behaviour results in detrimental effects which could take a very long time to overcome. Continue to make mealtime an enjoyable activity for all children, and they will grow to model and appreciate your responses to new foods.