Preena had made the decision to close her daycare, which operated in Pitt Meadows for the past three decades. With her husband retiring, she says it's time for the couple to spend more time together and travel.
Daughty Preena accommodated her schedule to the needs of the parents. Early morning breakfast was served if the kids needed to be dropped off earlier, late night care was provided in the case of emergencies. Summers passed with little vacation time for her.
Not toddlers, but a few teenagers fill the reading room daycare goers of a previous time who drop by from time to time during their summer vacation. Their legs now jut out far passed the ends of the chairs they used to comfortably sit on. Parents also stop in for a coffee as they drop off their kids.
to turn people down if she already had eight kids. The daycare became a central feature in a tight knit neighbourhood.
"My goal was to create a safe, small group home setting," said Preena, Nike Air Max Thea Sneakers Black who in the past three decades would only accept eight kids at a time.
He remembers taking one daycare graduate now married and living in Victoria to his first day at kindergarten.
Shelves of toys outline the perimeter with two tables and surrounding chairs in the centre. A vibrant garden mural stretches across the four walls against a bright purple background.
As a high school student in Sri Lanka, Preena dreamed of working with children. with her husband and 14 month old daughter, the thought of owning a daycare began to percolate.
Preena sits on the floor beside her helping with the ambitious project. With her short black hair away from her face and in beige capris, comfort is key for anyone devoted to playing with energetic toddlers.
Preena is hosting an open house at the daycare Saturday afternoon.
"We're building a tower to the sky," said one toddler.
In 1980, with another baby on the way, Preena set to work to get her daycare license. Her first four kids came through the doors of Wildwood in 1981, shortly after the birth of her son.
"I remember those early mornings," said Preena's daughter, Dilani Andrews. "I'd wake up to kids eating breakfast in our kitchen. There were always kids around, so it was nice as a kid. I'd come back from school and have a place to play."
Around the corner, five kids patter around the playroom, building puzzles and stacking blocks, excitedly plotting elaborate games.
sit in the centre of the room and a couple of larger, grown up chairs flank the corners.
"It's sad to see it end," said Mary Morallato, whose two sons were the first to enter Preena's daycare. "It doesn't really affect me personally anymore, but she was definitely an institution in Pitt Meadows."
Preena's Wildwood Park Group Daycare closes its doors for good today. To commemorate its years of operation, Air Max Women Thea
But the basement of Preena's home Wednesday morning is bustling, as it has for 30 years.
"Is it true? Is it true?" she asked herself repeatedly.
"His parents were recently separated," said Nissar. "His mom worked early and his father didn't show up. When the teacher asked, 'Where's your dad?' He pointed to me." Nissar laughs.
The daycare is divided into two rooms, one for toys, one for books. Along one side of the reading room is a bookcase with picture books and pop up books for new readers. A small table with equally small chairs Nike Air Max Thea 90
For days in November, Daughty Preena woke up with sweaty palms and stomach aches. She worried excessively.
"Parents liked the small ratio. I could give the kids more attention, take them for walks, prepare them for kindergarten."
'Auntie Daughty' did it for the kids
"I really enjoyed having all the children around," he said. "I realized that for some of them, they needed a father figure in their lives."
The evenly spaced, unassuming Wildwood Crescent houses convey little about that.
"Those early days were a bit difficult," said Preena. Her husband Nissar would then serve and bath the kids, and help clean the daycare in the evenings.
Word spread about Wildwood and soon Preena had Air Max Tavas Grey Flash
Preena began work at Queensborough Daycare in the mid 1970s. During these days, she struggled to find quality care for her daughter, who was too young to accompany her to Queensborough. Frustrated by the lack of resources and quality facilities in the area, the first seeds of Preena's Wildwood vision took root.
"It's going to hit me next week," Preena said, "when I don't hear their voices."
"I love working with children," said Preena. "You get to guide them through their mistakes and challenges. These things they carry on as adults."
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