The goal of our centre is to create partnership with families in caring for their children. We promote the development of the whole child, with equal focus on emotional, social, physical, intellectual and language development throughout the preschool years. We believe that a secure, nurturing environment assists in creating respectful relationships, and encourages positive social interaction both between children and adults, and with peers.
We embrace philosophies such as Reggio Emilia, that support an image of the child as being both competent and able to create their own learning. While exploring the natural environment, taking appropriate risks that challenge existing abilities, and learning through play; every child has the opportunity to be responsible for their learning, in a way that brings powerful meaning to their experience. Independent play, individual time with adults, small group interactions and membership in the larger group occur naturally, as the teachers take on the role of being "co-creators" in the child's learning.
We honour the unique individuality of all children, and have a deep respect for diversity, welcoming those that require extra support, and have particular needs. Our qualified early childhood educators create a flexible program with a wide variety of stimulating, open-ended activities and materials. We actively explore our neighbourhood, and the beautiful environment that we are in, and go on frequent walks, field trips and visits!
Learning Through Play
The programs at Centennial Day Care follow a philosophy of “Learning Through Play”. Play is considered so vital a part of the learning and development of young children that the UN Commission on Human Right’s has included it as the right of every child. Play is the “work” of children. Through play children learn about themselves, the world around them, and their place in that world. They develop the use of their imagination, their ability to be flexible and problem solve, both with others and with materials. They learn how to cooperate with others in working towards common goals, and how to express their emotions and thoughts in creative and constructive ways.
Play also gives children the opportunities to develop muscle control, spacial awareness, sensory awareness, language skills, numeracy and abstract thinking abilities. All vital skills needed for children to later succeed in school. So the next time you see a child playing, stop and ask yourself, “What are they learning?” You may be surprised by the answer.
History of Centre
Centennial Day Care was the brainchild of a woman named Wilna Thomas. Born in Ogema, Saskatchewan in 1917, she moved to Victoria in 1974 after first serving as a missionary, a teacher in such places as India, Japan, Angola, Zambia and the Congo, and an army chaplain during the second world war and the Korean war. On arriving in Victoria she helped set up and teach in Camosun College's brand new Social Work program.
Wilna along with Nora Lutton, then director of the Early Childhood Education program at Camosun College, together worked to form the Camosun College Group Day Care Society in 1977 and began operating that society's first daycare program in that same year when they took over the existing operations of a provincial government run program (begun in 1966) located at 612 David Street in Victoria and called it Centennial Day Care Centre. Later, in 1990, the non-profit Centennial Day Care Society was formed and this society then took over the running of the Centennial Day care Centre's programs.
Since first opening our doors on September 6, 1977, our programs have always strived to keep true to Wilna's vision of providing early education and care that supports families and enhances children's emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development through an inclusive and caring environment. For nearly 30 years, from 1977 to 2006, the programs at Centennial were guided in this effort by the passion and tireless work of the centre's manager, Sukhvir Sidhu, who even after retirement remains active on its board of directors to this day.
After 37 years Centennial Day Care closed it's doors at David St on October 31st 2014, and moved into a brand new purpose built facility. The new home of Centennial Day Care is now in the LEED certified head offices of local business Andrew Sheret Ltd, at 740 Hillside Avenue, Victoria. This move has marked the culmination of several years of collaboration between Centennial Day Care Society and Andrew Sheret Ltd, with the creation of a centre that remains true to Wilna's original vision, and incorporates the dream of Andrew Sheret Ltd, to provide quality and affordable childcare in the workplace whilst serving the local community in Victoria. We believe Wilna Thomas would be just as proud of our new space and program as we are!
Centennial Day Care has seen its fair share of ups (increasing societal recognition for our work as Early Childhood Educators) and downs (government funding cuts) during its long history, but through it all it has held true to its vision of quality care. To all the many staff, board members, ECE students, and families that have contributed their talents and passions to our programs over the years we extend our many thanks, and look forward to many more years at our new location.
Board of Directors
Centennial Daycare Society has been providing quality early childhood learning and care programs since 1977. As a non-profit society our mandate is to provide a quality environment for young children, families and staff. Apart from funds set aside to ensure operational security, yearly budgets carefully allocate our revenue to sustain and improve the child care program and to pay worthy wages & benefits to our staff.
A small executive or Board of Directors is elected each fall at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Directors include former staff, current and former family members, interested community members, and the centre’s manager. The work of the board of Directors is to identify and clarify important policies that support the everyday functioning of the daycare; to collaborate on yearly administrative tasks; to support fundraising events; and to network with other community organizations. The Board meets approximately every 1 ½ - 2 months throughout the year, or as issues are raised that need attention.
All families with children attending Centennial Day Care Centre become members of our non-profit society, and their family has one vote at the Annual General Meeting or any Special Meetings.
Please consider joining the Board of Directors. Our Board is stronger when we have a diversity of backgrounds and skills, and family and community perspectives are extremely valuable to our decision making. Parents, grand-parents, aunts, uncles, friends, and community members interested in contributing to the well-being of young children are always welcome.
I look forward to working with you to build sustainable, quality child care in Victoria.