Quality Care in the Fresh, Clean Air

wee elijahLinda Martin, Director of Wee Creekers.   Ever wonder if high quality child care could ever be a reality in a rural mountain setting? Well, Coal Creek Canyon is lucky enough to boast celebrating 16 years of Wee Creekers Child Care. Serving infants through school aged, Wee Creekers has been focusing on what’s truly right. Happy Mountain Kids, and happy they are! How do we do it? Easy. Low teacher to child ratios, small group sizes, gentle, kind, kid-loving teachers, and as much organic food as we can possibly afford. GMO’s are bad for us and they affect our children, sometimes to the point of behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and even physical illness. We serve non-GMO food and we are a co-op for Door to Door Organics so we can help support our families’ missions to remain healthy in an increasingly toxic world.

Our philosophies are quite simple. A child’s work is PLAY!! Please believe that!! Children need to feel connected to the group. They need to feel respected and loved and we need to “meet them where they’re at”, which is to say, we don’t let generalized expectations get in the way of guiding children to experience things in their own way, in a way that they are comfortable with, a way in which they can learn new information safely and reliably. We don’t force kids to eat foods. We provide plenty of healthy choices and let them decide what and how much. We don’t insist our preschoolers are potty trained.

We recognize that children are in control of their own bladders and will experience fewer issues later in life if we let them decide when underwear is a good idea. Our potty “training” motto is “No typically developing child goes to Kindergarten in diapers, and none of their classmates remembers when they got potty trained”. Many parents think that if we don’t train them, they will never learn. That’s like thinking that a baby will never learn to walk if we don’t hold their little hands and walk them around everywhere. Not only will they figure it out on their own, but they will do it in accordance with the needs and ability of their own body and that’s a good thing! Encouragement is fine, but pushing children is not. We believe children should be internally motivated.

They should help clean the room because it shows they are responsible for the toys they played with, not because “I said so”. They should put their snow boots on because they want to go outside with the group. We give them time to make these sorts of important (internal) decisions.

We believe in a well-rounded curriculum. We recognize that academic learning is happening constantly in a classroom where children feel they belong. We expose them to new concepts and ideas all the time, but we also recognize that academic achievement is meaningless if a child doesn’t have the socio-emotional skills to accompany it.  From the Babies (“Minnows”) and Toddlers (“Turtles”) to the Preschoolers (“Rainbowfish”) and School-agers (“Otters”), each classroom works closely with children on understanding feelings, social dynamics, empathy, and responsibility. Teachers model being a caring citizen in our community and kids take it to heart. Sure, we experience conflict, and that’s the best time to work on conflict management! No need to freak out.

Let’s just fix it, instead! Kids feel good about themselves and learn to respect themselves, others, as well as the environment around them. There is a nice balance of structured and unstructured play, plus PLENTY of outdoor time!

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Wee Creekers has a relaxed, warm, and loving atmosphere. You can feel it the moment you walk in. Teachers do not get paid much more than a couple of lima beans a day but they get support and flexibility (and good chocolate) in return for their loving, creative and knowledgeable contributions to the program. Many of them have been here more than 10 years, which is unusual for a child care setting. One has been here as long as the program has been around and has sent her own fabulous daughter through the system. We are very proud of said daughter and can’t wait to send her off to Kindergarten this Fall! You see, we believe it really does take a village to raise a child and we are just the village for the job! If you live in the area, and if you think that child care is a lot more important than just picking up an intact child at the end of the day, then Wee Creekers may just be the place for your family!  Summer programs for infants through preschool are filling up fast. School-agers will be welcomed back for before and after care in the Fall.

For more information call (303) 642-2223.

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