Little Learners Chappelle offers comprehensive childcare services to families in Creekwood
Running a daycare is a dream come true for Snovil and Sweedal Dsilva. Along with another business partner, the pair co-owns and operates Chappelle’s Little Learners Daycare, offering childcare and out-of-school care for kids under the age of seven.
“Before we immigrated to Canada, my wife, Sweedal, was working as a teacher in India. She’s always been very good with children and she has so much experience doing so,” says Snovil. “Now, with Little Learners, she can keep providing high-quality learning experiences for children here in Edmonton, too.”
The business is a labour of love for the Dsilvas, who have dedicated countless hours over the last two years to launching the Chappelle location. From designing and building a warm and inviting atmosphere for children to play in, to installing security and safety systems for staff use, the pair has worked hard to ensure children and families in Creekwood are well looked after.
“Our motive in opening the business was simple: we wanted to serve the community by offering a space where kids were safe and encouraged to learn. Ultimately, we want to make sure parents are comfortable and confident that their kids are receiving high-quality childcare and learning opportunities here,” says Snovil.
As parents of two young children themselves, the Dsilvas are particularly attuned to the needs of other families. Through Little Learners, they hope to provide the kind of day care they would want for their own children.
“When we immigrated to Canada, we had the challenge of not having any family here to help with childcare — we’re the only ones in our family in Edmonton,” says Snovil. “We’re hoping that now, we can help families who were like us and maybe don’t have access to family members who can help with childcare during the work day.”
Since opening the day care in January 2019, the Dsilvas have been busy. As the executive director for Little Learners Chappelle, Sweedal is either on-site or working closely with staff from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.
“We are heavily involved in the day care’s day-to-day operations,” says Snovil. “My wife is there every day from Monday to Friday, and we’ve worked to ensure all of our staff are skilled and highly qualified.” Among those experienced staff is Ramandeep Kaur Braich, program director for the day care. Like most of the employees at Little Learners Chappelle, she comes from a background working in early childhood development. Since joining the centre in August 2019, she’s spent much of her time crafting activities to help children learn about and understand the world around them.
“Each week, we design custom programming to help the children learn through play. We’ll use games and hands-on experiences to help prepare them for when they finally do go off to school,” she says. “We always want to make sure it’s fun, though, so we use games and songs to make sure that every child is enjoying the activity while they learn.”
In addition to providing customized education-based programming developed by highly skilled staff, Little Learners Chappelle also offers healthy snacks and meals prepared fresh by a chef every day.
They’re also looking to employ the latest technology – by early 2020, Little Learners Chappelle hopes to be using a new app to keep parents in constant contact with their children’s daily experiences at the day care.
“We’re working on creating an app that will give parents access to what their child is doing each day — so they can see what kinds of activities we have set up for the week, and stay up-to-date on what the kids have been learning or doing each day,” says Braich. “We’re hoping that this will give parents a better view into their children’s daily lives and give us a chance to communicate in real-time with them about everything, from what they had for lunch to whether or not they had a nap that day.”
To meet the needs of families in Creekwood, Little Learners Chappelle also offers daily transportation for out-of-school care, with shuttles operating to and from the nearby St. Thomas Aquinas and Donald R. Getty Schools.
The combination of convenience, safety and supportive learning opportunities has kept the day care busy since its opening. With space for 59 children, Little Learners Chappelle has been operating at- or near capacity since opening.
“It keeps us very busy, but that’s what I enjoy about working here,” says Braich. “There’s something very cozy about our location, and when the rooms are filled with laughter and children playing, it just feels like home in a way.”
By Lisa Catterall