KATIE HUNTER The Standard
SCUGOG: Started in 2003, Curiosity Child Care, owned by Jodi Konick, is still going strong after 20 years of business.
Jodi graduated in 1995 from the early childhood education program at Durham College. She started working for a few great childhood organizations, such as Professional Reliable Youngsters Development Enrichment (P.R.Y.D.E.) and Umbrella Central child care centres.
While working, having children of her own and commuting, it became a challenge, so Jodi decided to open her own childcare centre. With the support of her colleagues and family, she opened Curiosity in July 2003. As she enjoyed time with her own children at her centre, she knew she made the right move.
Curiosity Child Care is a nursery school and licensed child care centre with a before and after school program. It is a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (C.W.E.L.C.C.) approved centre which offers care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children, all in one building.
One of the best things Jodi loves about her job is connecting with the families, by sharing common interests in their child’s well-being.
That said, I had to ask what part of the job was her least favourite. Jodi stressed the current childcare situation; many families need care for their children, but spaces are limited.
In the process of Jodi’s 20 years, she has learned to trust and appreciate her staff, and in doing so, she has learned so much from them, as well as the children.
When it first opened in 2003, it was more directed at teacher-led programs, but over the years, positive changes to the way teachers view children as learners has guided change in the program. With a play-based education, a child-led approach, teachers can observe each child as they develop and progress at their own speed. This way of leading creates opportunities for teachers to get to know each child individually and embrace their ideas and interests and channel needed learning through those vehicles.
In the 20 years, Jodi mentioned how she has a local author and illusionist visit regularly. On one of Pete DeLisi’s first visits, he presented his show and taught the children a couple of tricks to perform at home. The children were so intrigued by this; she could see the wonder in their eyes as they practised their tricks. Over the years, Pete has also written some great children’s books, which he reads to the children when he visits. As of July 12th of this year, Jodi was excited to give one of Pete’s autographed stories to each child enrolled at Curiosity.
Covid was difficult on everyone; fortunately, Curiosity was approved to be open as an emergency childcare centre, during the pandemic closures. The constantly changing rules were exhausting on all her staff, but with support from each other and provincial grants, it taught everyone to be resilient and appreciate each other even more.
Curiosity Child Care is an environment which fosters belonging, engagement, expression, and well-being in our children, families and educators. Curiosity strives for inclusion by celebrating their similarities and individuality.