By Catherine O’Hara, REVIEW STAFF
Raise N’ Shine Children’s Centre is a dream come true for Susan Ivanic, who has been working tirelessly towards realizing her wish of building her own daycare centre.
But the project took longer than expected – much longer.
Over the past 12 years, Ivanic has overcome numerous challenges that significantly extended her construction timeline, including waiting to receive the necessary approvals to see her project through and the unexpected death of her parents.
Standing in the centre of the bright space where youngsters will enjoy an array of fun and structured activities, Ivanic beams with excitement and pride.
“It’s been tough, but I did it,” she said.
Taking on the role of contractor, Ivanic meticulously calculated her costs and executed various aspects of the construction on her own. In areas of the build that required more expertise, she called on skilled friends and local trades, who were committed to helping her every step of the way.
“They were just great,” said Ivanic, who is also grateful for the assistance she received from Ward 14 councillor, Robert Pasuta.
As the centre started taking shape, the Millgrove mom relied on her children for additional help. Putting the finishing touches on the facility was truly a family affair, she said, noting that her 12-year-old son, Josh, installed the floor tiles while daughter Samantha, 14, proved to be a great asset when it came to assembling furniture.
The centre, which was slated to open on Monday (April 16), is located on a 25-acre property previously owned by Ivanic’s parents. It features a kitchenette area where Ivanic will serve up breakfasts lunches, a quiet spot to promote literacy, sand and water play quarters as well as an activities and arts area.
The daycare facility is also outfitted with colourful toys, props and stimulating décor.
A self-employed landscaper, Ivanic looks forward to creating a large, fenced outdoor area that will encourage tots to use their imagination. The playground, she said, will include large tree stumps and other natural features.
Ivanic, who previously operated a daycare out of her home in Dundas and is currently working towards become an Early Childhood Educator, is eager to welcome Flamborough children to Raise N’ Shine. And as her centre grows, so will its services. Ivanic is keen on hosting guests, including storytellers, to tickle the fancy of her young clients. Special classes, such as music lessons, baking and others, will also be offered at the Brock Road facility.
“I want to offer all the services as well as after school programs for kids who are in middle school, like a science club or something like that,” said Ivanic, who has been working with the Ministry of Community and Social Services, is waiting for her facility's licence.
The community is invited to celebrate the grand opening of the centre at an open house on Saturday, May 12. The festivities will run at the centre, located at 910 Brock Rd., from 10 a.m. until 12 (noon) and will also mark Mother’s Day. All moms who turn out will receive a flower, while guests in attendance will enjoy warm cookies and cold milk.