Once a location for business travellers to rest their weary heads, today this new state-of-the-art centre offers a nurturing and caring environment that invites young children to discover, learn and simply play.
Formerly the El Dorado Hotel, the Terry Tayler Early Learning and Care Centre is a brand new childcare centre in a diverse Vancouver neighbourhood that provides care for two programs for toddlers and preschool-aged children. Run through the Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), a community organization that operates high quality early learning and care programs for children from three months to 12 years, the Terry Tayler development is known for its innovative design.
The centre is built to a LEED Gold Standard, has an amazing 6,000-square-foot outdoor play area that features a garden, and inside, the nature continues with open spaces, natural toys and furniture. Named after CNH’s founding president, the Terry Tayler centre is a long-awaited childcare development.
“The project had been ongoing. It was about 15 years ago that the project first came to light,” said Diana Taykandy, CNH childcare coordinator – operations.
Developing a new childcare space in the city owned facility along with working with blue prints met its challenges throughout the years.
“Our forte is childcare and we know what we like for children. But we are not skilled for reading blue prints and working with architects,” Taykandy said, adding that staff worked with a city liaison who had expertise in developing childcare facilities and working with city guidelines, which helped significantly. As well, working with Natural Pod helped make the project a reality. Natural Pod first connected with CNH staff several years ago when founder Bridgitte Alomes presented a workshop on natural play to staff.
“The staff enjoyed it. It was a very hands-on workshop. It was a good way to introduce Natural Pod to our staff,” Taykandy said. Fast forward several years, they were able to reconnect with Natural Pod for this project, and consulted with Bridgitte, who provided ample input with furnishings and the look and feel of the rooms.
“We definitely like their philosophy. We like the materials introduced to us and we like their concepts. We follow an emergent Reggio curriculum. Natural Pod fits right in with that,” Taykandy added.