Throughout several blog posts dating all the way back to my pregnancy with Liam, you have heard me mention our childcare center, ROOTS. I am devastated to announce that our beloved ROOTS is closing next month and we are now on a desperate hunt for new childcare.
Herein lies the problem. How are we ever going to find someplace with ALL that ROOTS gave to us with Liam? There were little perks like non-toxic cleaning and a priority to being eco-conscious (and bestowing this onto the children).
And then there were the big things. Liam had been there since he was 8 months old. Some of his buddies from ROOTS he knew from infancy because of our postnatal classes at Birth Roots (confusing, but a different organization than our childcare center), and many of his dear friends that he sees 5 days a week, for 8 hours a day, he met at ROOTS.
The staff has been the most loving, spirit-nurturing group I could have ever hoped for. While there have been faces coming and going they were carefully selected individuals who knew the names of every child in every room, not just the ones under their own care.
Every day Liam was exposed to art, yoga/movement, free play, exploration, books, learning, nature, and music. Not only world-wide genres on the ipod, but singing, drums, guitars.
The outdoor space at ROOTS didn’t have your typical primary-colored play structure. It had a boat, a giant sandbox, a play house, stepping logs, a garden, a water table, and toys to explore with.
The staff, or “guides” in each room have hand-written or typed a daily journal for each child, including pictures. Where else can I find a childcare place willing to do this? Sometimes, if I am not running late, I will stay for morning circle time with Liam and join in on the songs. It ALWAYS takes me at least half an hour to collect Liam at the end of the day because I’m chatting with the guides and other parents picking up, or playing with Liam and his friends. They go for walks around the neighborhood, to playgrounds and to the library. In the infant room, where Nora would have been starting next month, the guide will wear a baby in an Ergo or Moby wrap, rotating the babies in the buggy and the one being worn. They are familiar with, and use, baby signs for communicating. Liam has an impressive vocabulary, knows letters, and has learned about things like sea life, and the butterfly’s life cycle. He throws down the best Downward-facing Dog and Triangle yoga poses I’ve ever seen. His natural ability for music is nurtured and excelled by guides who play the guitar, drumming circles, and dance parties. The guides will integrate montessori activities, like using fine motor skills to place objects from one container to another with tongs. Liam has an imressive art portfolio at 2 years old.
If anyone knows of any childcare facility even remotely close to this stature in Portland, please, PLEASE contact me and give me the information! Not only will we miss our community and excellent care at ROOTS, but I am having a massive anxiety attack about what I will do for childcare. I begin working again at the end of August and I need to transition an infant into a place that I’ll be unfamiliar with. Liam will have to transition to a place where he won’t have friends and caretakers he’s known almost his entire life. Excuse me while I grab a paper bag and breathe with my head between my legs right now.