History of the Edmonton Hospital Workers Child Care Society

The Edmonton Hospital Workers Child Care Society was incorporated as a non-profit organization in October of 1981. A volunteer board has been part of the society since its inception, mostly made up of parents of children in either the Daycare or Day Homes (Aug 2006 – Day Home program was closed).

The Society was born from the needs of hospital employees who found that finding child care was difficult and wanted a centre that was close to work. There seemed to be a large number of single mothers who had no options or alternatives when it came to the hospital shifts. Our ability to offer child care for shift working mothers allowed them to be able to fulfill work commitments with the peace of mind of knowing that their children were in a safe, loving environment.

In April of 2018, Edmonton Hospital Workers Child Care Society was excited to have been named one the 100 new Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Centres across Alberta.

Description of the Early Learning and Childcare Program

Our early learning centre is located in the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital and provides care for 27 children ages 12 months to 6 years. The hours of operation are 6:45 am to 5:30 pm.

Currently we have 12 full-time enrolments in our toddler room (12 months – 2.5 years) and 15 in our preschool room (2.5 – 5 years). We also have a limited number of short-term contingency care spaces available for hospital staff or patient families to use when the need arises.

Our program is inspired by the philosophies and practises of the Reggio Emilia Approach and the work and philosophy of Magda Gerber. Our commitment to recognizing and respecting the individual strengths and interests of each child, along with our commitment to serve the Glenrose community, was one of the factors that lead to our leadership team becoming 2014 Child Development Professional Awards of Excellence recipients in the Team category.

Unique Features of the Early Learning program

Having the Early Learning centre at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital offers a unique opportunity for the parents and the children who attend, the staff, patients, and families at the Glenrose. Being part of the Glenrose allows the children to access excellent facilities with some very nice features. For example, the children have two hours of Gym Time daily, in the Glenrose Hospital’s full sized gymnasium. The older children enjoy swimming weekly at the warm water pool at the Glenrose. The playgrounds and equipment outside are developmentally appropriate for children of all ages and developmental levels, and there are miles of hallways to get out and walk through no matter what the weather, which encourages both children and staff to be active and fit. We have the opportunity to take part in a variety of on-site “field trips” to such places as the hair salon, cafeteria, power centre, dental clinic, and so on, as determined by the children’s interests.

The central location of the Glenrose Hospital also makes it very accessible for families working in downtown Edmonton. For working parents, especially those who are employed at the Royal Alex Hospital or Glenrose Hospital having a High Quality Daycare on site is a real privilege. It helps to reduce the stress of new parents, and helps parents feel connected and close to their children throughout their work day. Parents often opt to come and have lunch with their children!

Another unique aspect the location is that it fosters social and moral development of the children. They are exposed throughout their day to adults and children who are living with disabilities. The Glenrose programs work with the very young to the very old. What a learning opportunity for the children and what a chance to foster understanding and appreciation for people who have different abilities. Having the Daycare onsite also brings joy to the patients, their families and the staff at the Glenrose who see the little ones in the halls, the gym or Special Events.