No More Chemo – A Daycare Celebration

For half her life, Callie’s weekly routine has consisted of a round of chemo.

The reality of Hope’s Home is sometimes things don’t always go the way we would like them too. There are times when we are crying by hospital beds, being a pillar of support for a family going through a tough time, and saying our last “I love you’s” to a kiddo who has been with us since they were a baby. So when that can be our reality, we have to make sure we take advantage of all the small and large victories that happen too. And Callie finishing off her 70th round of chemo was one of those things we had to go all out for.

childcare - hope's home warman

At 10 months old, Callie had complications which made her unable to eat food; and she has since been exclusively tube fed ever since. And it was just a short 5 months later that Callie received the news that the doctors found a tumor in her brain. And although the tumor was not cancerous, it didn’t mean there wasn’t a long road ahead for her. A week after they found it, Callie underwent brain surgery, but the surgeons weren’t able to remove all of it. So they moved on to the next option, which would end up being 70 rounds of chemo in 70 weeks.

no more chemo - hope's home

The door the centre decorated for Callie’s party

Callie has had quite the journey in her little life; and although it’s been hard, she’s also had some victories. In December 2019, Callie finally began eating food!! At daycare, Callie’s friends were encouraging for her, and slowly but surely she began trying a couple bites here and there. Callie has now tried so many different foods she even has a couple favourites. This was a huge milestone for Callie and her family because it meant she was one step closer to no longer being tube-fed.

On Tuesday, the day after Callie’s last round of chemo, our staff and kiddos went all out for a chemo-free celebration party. They decorated the centre, had a dance party, played with balloons (a crowd favourite), and had a snack of some of Callie’s favourite: cheezies and popcorn twists. (She likes cheezies so much her mom calls her the “Cheezy Queen”)

complex medical needs - hope's home hope's home complex medical needs daycare

 

We were so excited to throw this party for Callie. She is the sweetest, strongest little girl. Having her at Hope’s Home has been such a blessing and knowing that she will be coming to daycare tumor free from now on brings all of us so much joy. We love you Callie.

 

That’s why there is no place like Hope.

international womens day - advice from our CEO

International Women’s Day

Women in Business – Advice from our CEO

Being a woman in business, even in 2021. can still be a challenge. So each year our society fights to make progress over gender disparities and skepticism, and each year we get closer to the goal of eliminating those biases and inequalities. There are many stories of success and victory for female leadership – Kamala Harris being elected the first ever Vice-President of the United States, Whitney Wolfe becoming the first female CEO to take a company public, to stories in our own backyard: Jennifer Denouden being a leader for Canadian CEO’s to Jacqueline Tisher, who has built a legacy for children in Saskatchewan.

As a successful, provincial wide non-profit, we are proud to be led by an inspiring, passionate, and hardworking CEO who is choosing to challenge those biases every day. Not only did Jacqueline build Hope’s Home from the ground up, she also built it without any framework. Since Hope’s Home is the first ever medically integrated daycare in Canada, there was no blueprint for how to do it. With a team of equally as driven and passionate females – they filled a gap in our community that has helped change and improve the lives of countless families.

So today, on International Women’s Day, we sat down with Jacque and asked her about her journey as a business woman. We ask her about her victories and her setbacks, and her advice for every young female entrepreneur out there.

Women in business - hope's home

Photo taken from Hillberg & Berk, Jacqueline Tisher interview

Did you have any fears in the early stages of Hope’s Home? How did you overcome them?

Facing your fears is a part of taking risks. Hope’s Home was the first of its kind. There was so much to learn and research to do, to figure what was the best way to support families of children with complex medical needs. Taking this risk meant leaving a secure job at the hospital, which I loved so much! Starting a new business meant facing my fear of losing job security, financial security, and professional security as a nurse. It meant rising above that fear and embracing my burning passion for children with diverse needs. Passion is empowering. Passion creates dreams and smashes fear. Passion gives you the freedom to take risks that will make a difference in the world. Yes, it has been scary at times, but Hope’s Home is worth it!

quotes about dreams and conquering fears (2)

Did anyone ever doubt you as a female CEO and your ability to run a provincial wide organization? If so, how did you deal with that?

If anyone doubted me as a female CEO – I did not hear it or listen to it.  I believe my passion for advocating for these children, my business mind, and my ability to build strong relationships has made my role as CEO successful.  I surround myself with mentors and strong leaders – from my mom, who is my hero and an incredible leader/businesswoman, to other business leaders, entrepreneurs, coaches, and professionals – who I lean on for advice, support, and guidance.  Great leaders have a circle of support who strengthen their weaknesses, provide transparent and honest feedback, and build each other up to be the very best in life.

What were the biggest lessons you learned while running and growing Hope’s Home?

Oh, so many Lessons!  When I think of the lessons I have learned in the last 16 years, I hear these quotes in my head:

  • Policy doesn’t change the world…passion changes the world.
  • Walk before you run.
  • It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to beg for permission.
  • People leave managers, not organizations.
  • Your values determine your actions.
  • Our children are our future – they are worth it!
  • Listen to your heart.
  • Stabilization.
  • People first.
  • Life is too short to be bitter…make the world better.
  • Life is fragile.  Make memories.  Enjoy the journey.
  • What mark are you making in the world?

Hope’s Home is about people.  It is about our children, family, and our staff.  Every decision we make as an organization needs to keep our children in the center.  This is who we are and why we do what we do.

Do you have any advice for young women? Aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Dream big. Discover what your passion is. What keeps you awake at night?  What makes you excited? What gives you purpose?  I would encourage young women and aspiring entrepreneurs to ask yourself these questions to set your sight on the goal. It will mean you will have to face your fears and take a risk. It means you may fail. These are the greatest lessons! Never give up or be scared to challenge the norm to follow your dream. As I told my daughter Acacia who lived her life from a wheelchair – focus on what you can do, not on what you cannot do. It is important to be an ever-learner. Seek knowledge and wisdom in those that have journeyed ahead of you. Love yourself first and live out of this place of strength and purpose.

women in business - international women's day hope's home

From the opening of Hope’s Home Prince Albert

This years theme for International Women’s Day is “#ChoosetoChallenge gender bias and inequality.” What does that statement mean to you?

I believe each human is unique, born with special gifts, talents, and abilities. Discover those gifts that make you special and those around you unique. Treat each other with respect, kindness, and love. Challenge injustice, prejudice, and care for the people of our world. Embrace and celebrate our differences – this is what makes humanity so incredible.

 

Feeling inspired on International Women’s Day this year.

Today makes you feel inspired about the future and reflect on all the amazing women who have pathed the way for future generations. Jacqueline Tisher has certainly made a difference to all the young women she has met and the people who have heard her story. Which women have made an impact on your life?  Tell us about them in the comments! And don’t forget to share your own #ChoosetoChallenge story. Happy International Women’s Day!

event planning tips

5 Unique Event Planning Tips and Tricks

Event Planning isn’t for the faint of heart. You need to be fearless and passionate about your project and willing to put in the effort and the hours to make it happen! My name is Kelsey Stewart and I’m the lead event planner with Hope’s Home and have brought you events like Swinging with the Stars and the Speakeasy Soiree! As a non-profit, our events and fundraisers are integral to the operations of our organization; and therefore each event is planned with attention to detail and a ton of heart.

From large scale galas, to golf tournaments, to more intimate events, I have a bit of experience in everything! Throughout the years, I have learned many ideas and secrets of what can bring your event to the next level! Whether you are planning a fundraiser or a corporate event, I can guarantee that these 5 unique event planning tips and tricks will help your event surpass everyone’s expectations.

1. Give Early Bird Incentives.

    • Making special pricing for early bird tickets is a great way to get tickets sold fast! You can get a good idea of the “hype” behind your event if people want to buy tickets early. Ensure that the incentives you are providing are significant enough to convince your audience that it is worth it. And make sure that you are prepared to sell-out at that lowered price. You don’t want to undervalue your event at the early bird price and then end up selling-out and not hitting your targeted revenues for ticket sales! Balance is key.

2. Sell, Sell, Sell!event planning - theme ideas for fundraisers 1

    • Sell your target audience on why they should show up! You need to define what you are doing at the event that sets you apart and sells your tickets. Make sure in your promotional posts that you sell all that your event has to offer. Include information about unique features, added benefits to sponsorship levels, what comes with the ticket, etc.

3. Get Creative.

    •  You have to put time and effort into every little piece of your event. Experience matters!! Do some research in the sector and find out what is up and coming in the industry. Make it happen! Get away from the same old, same old. Find things that set your event apart from the rest! It could be in the food you serve, in the entertainment you book, or in the theme you choose for your event. There are so many opportunities for you to challenge your creativity – so get to it!

4. Pics, or it Didn’t Happen.

    • One of the best ways to measure the success of your event is if people want to share it! Make an event hashtag and use it to promote your event. Make sure that you repost any shares that use the hashtag to encourage more people to share their event photos!
    • Design your event so that it encourages interaction on social media. This could be by using a photo-booth, putting the hashtag on the event program, or a live twitter feed on a TV or screen!
    • Make sure your event is beautiful and unique. You need to create visual eye candy for your attendees. Little pieces of the event that are “shareable” will make your audience want to share it with their following!

event planning tips - table setup

5. Trust Your Vendors and Let Them do Their Thing!

    • These are the experts in the field! So lean on them. I love to meet with my vendors, tell them my vision for the event and then ask what crazy ideas they may have! They may be more up to date on industry trends, up and coming technology or maybe they just have a unique idea! This could be your decor rentals, entertainment or chef. It doesn’t matter what vendor it is – make sure you ask what they think and what ideas they have! It could take your event to the next level.
    • For my Regina readers, here are a couple vendors that I would trust with my life!

And there you have it! 5 event planning tips and tricks that are sure to elevate your fundraising or corporate event planning game. At the end of the day, it really comes down to having trust in the people you’re working with, letting your ideas run wild, and understanding that every detail is important. It’s been a weird time for event planners with  COVID-19 cancelling everything. But I am so excited for life to open up again so I can go all out on my next event for Hope’s Home.

Do you have any other tips you have found helpful in your event planning? Have any questions for me? I would love to hear it! Leave a comment down below or send us a message on Instagram!

frequently asked questions about hope's home

5 Frequently Asked Questions about Hope’s Home

Since Hope’s Home is the first medically integrated daycare in Canada, we often get a lot of questions.

We frequently get asked questions about our organization and exactly how it works. To makes things easier, we have compiled a list of 5 frequently asked questions so the answers are all in one place! Here we go:

1. How do we classify as a non-profit even though we charge daycare fees?

Developmental worker at Hope's Home

This is one of the number one questions we get asked! Although we charge daycare fees (which are competitive to every other childcare centre), they don’t begin to fully cover our costs. Since we provide integrated and inclusive childcare, this requires more staff than a typical daycare. On top of hiring Early Childhood Educators, we also hire Developmental Workers, Nurses, Physical Development Consultants, Administrative Staff, and Nutrition Specialists. Therefore, in order to cover costs, we need help from donors, partners, and the Government to fund our programs.

2. Is there a complex medical or developmental need that is beyond our staff’s scope of practice or capability?

We pride ourselves in having trained nursing staff on the floor at all times. However, most of the time, these children require additional special care. This question is decided upon on a case by case basis. Below are two examples:

  • If the child had a very complex condition that required direct one-on-one care, it would depend on if we can fund the proper staffing for him/her and get additional funding from the Ministry of Education.
  • If a child had a form of autism, we would do an assessment to see if our environment is a good match for him/her. Children with autism often find the daycare environment over-stimulating. This would be a situation where we would see if attending our Early Learning & Childcare centre was in the best interest of the child.

However, we do our absolute best to accommodate all children who want to attend our centres and we will go above and beyond to find the right way to acclimate your child to his/her new environment.

complex medical needs - inclusive childcare regina

3. Does my child have to have a complex medical or developmental need to attend the daycare centre?

Of course not! That’s what makes Hope’s Home so special – our integrated and inclusive daycare model. Children with complex medical or developmental needs get to interact, play, and have the same opportunities as typically developing children.

However, we often have a waitlist for our centres. And since there aren’t other childcare options for children with complex medical or developmental needs, they do have priority admission.

4. What if my child needs extra support?

If a child has a developmental need and requires a little extra love and support, Hope’s Home can help the family apply for an EA Grant (Enhanced Accessibility Grant). This is provided through the Ministry of Education that helps us fund an extra staff member, specifically for your child!

5. I’m interested in volunteering for your organization, where do I sign up?

Unfortunately, due to the complexity of some of our children and the specialized training our staff get to properly care for them, we don’t take volunteers to come directly volunteer with our children. However, there will be times when we need help and we will put a call out on social media for volunteers then. So make sure you’re following us on Instagram or Facebook so you don’t miss an opportunity! Some examples of volunteers we have needed in the past include:

  • Help cleaning up our backyard play area
  • Working a bbq or bottle drive to help raise funds
  • Painting/Renovations at our homes

 

Have more questions about Hope’s Home? Comment down below!

Child of the Year 2020 (1)

Celebrating Developmental Milestones

Each year we take a moment to recognize the strength and determination in the kids we care for across the province. 

Each location nominates children in their room that they think are deserving of the Child of the Year title. Staff choose children who have overcome barriers, hardships, shown determination to accomplish their goals, etc. The staff then vote on the nominated children in their location.

This year Hope’s Home had some absolutely inspiring children win Child of the Year. And although we would love to brag about each and every child, there are privacy restrictions we have to respect.

Brody was one of the winners of Child of the Year 2020. Coming to daycare was a hard adjustment for Brody when he first started last fall. The loud noises and busy kids were too much and overstimulating. With it being his first time at daycare and his first time trusting people other than this family, it was a huge learning curve to figure out the right strategies and approaches that would be best for him.

Over time and through trial and error, our staff worked together and found the best ways to communicate with him and integrate him into the classroom.

Today, Brody enjoys music and floor time, can sit through the craziness of a toddler classroom, and is no longer scared of the physical touch of his aunties and uncles. He’s overcome so much since he started in our care, and we are so proud of him and everything he has accomplished.

early childhood education activtities - privacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also incredibly grateful for our hardworking staff members who went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure Brody enjoyed his time at Hope’s Home.

Congratulations Brody, we love you.

 

 

Incorporating Therapies into Childcare

Incorporating therapies into our day-to-day activities at daycare is one of things that makes Hope’s Home so special.

Children with complex medical or developmental needs often have various therapies they need to do everyday to promote healthy development. In order to provide high quality, inclusive care – we staff Physical Development Consultants to help children with their therapies in a way that doesn’t segregate them from the rest of the children.

To learn more about this, our wonderful Physical Development Consultant, April, explains more about it.

What exactly is a Physical Development Consultant at Hope’s Home?

Inclusive daycare - Hope's Home edited

As a Physical Development Consultant (“PDC”), I work closely with the Developmental Workers. My daily goal is to make sure that our children with complex medical needs and developmental delays are equipped with the programs and plans they need to master new skills and participate fully in activities. Whether with adaptive equipment, a hand over hand assistance, or them building the skills to be able to dance on the floor with their friends, we aspire to give the child the maximum participation and incorporate fun therapies into their daily activities.

I am a Physiotherapist by profession, specializing in pediatrics for most of my career. I have been trained for some Neurodevelopmental Techniques of therapy and recently received a certificate of training for the Cognitive Orientation Approach for Individuals with Motor Difficulties.

A closer look at therapies.

The programs and goals we set to support the achievement of the child’s developmental milestones are in continuance to the goals of the parents and all the supporting professionals that are involved in the child’s life. The various therapies are decided upon by the specialized professionals and carried out by the PDC at Hope’s Home in an integrated way.

A list of outside professionals we work with:

Therapy Philosophies - Hope's Home editedIntegrating Therapies to make them fun!

After deciding on goals for the child, we work together as a team to translate them into different activities that are incorporated through play in their day-to-day fun. Ensuring that our staff are trained to adapt materials and help the child regulate emotions; and that tools such as switches to support communication and adapted equipment are accessible, is all an integral part of inclusion for Hope’s Home.

All of the therapies also occur in their classroom to allow other children to play along. This gives us more opportunity to educate and create that loving, caring, and helping relationship between typically developing children and children with complex medical or developmental needs.

Hopeful Stories

For example, when a child is in a standing frame they can happily do pretend play in the kitchen with friends. So even though standing for certain periods of time is considered part of their therapy, they are enjoying their time and therefore the therapy is incorporated in play.

A favorite memory was seeing a child in a walker playing eagerly with friends in the backyard. With just amount of challenge and support, he was able to let go of the walker and did his independent steps to catch his friends. And when you see a proud grin and friends proudly celebrating, you just know Hope’s Home made it happen.

Our Physical Development Consultants are an un-funded position at Hope’s Home. If you wish to help us out and ensure that our children are getting the best care possible by having a PDC on staff, please visit our donate page.

 

That’s why there is no place like Hope

Hope's Home - voted best daycare

Consumer Choice Awards – Best Daycare Regina, Hope’s Home

We are so excited to announce that Hope’s Home Regina South has been selected as Best Daycare in Regina!

Consumer Choice Awards - Best Daycare Hope's Home Regina

The best part about the Consumer Choice Awards is that the recipients are nominated and voted on by YOU. All our lovely parents, donors, staff, volunteers, and supporters chose us. It makes all our hard work worth it, knowing that the community we serve believes in us, and our mission, vision, and values.

We are so proud of the work we are doing and we can’t wait to continue to provide these invaluable services to our community.

 

Thank you Regina! ❤️

Partner Painting - ideas for Early Childhood Educators

Teaching Kindness – Project Ideas for Early Childhood Education

Implementing early childhood development activities is so important for our kiddos.

This month, some of our lovely Early Childhood Educators created a project based on sharing, turn taking, and how to be kind to your friends. Keep reading to hear all about it!

We started this kindness project by talking to the kids about emotions and what they can do to make their friends happy – using a thumbs up for being kind and a thumbs down for an unkind action. They have started to use this new language throughout their day’s interactions – it has been great to see!

We have seen incredible growth from this Kindness Project such as:

  • The kids helping each other get shoes on and off when we are going outside
  • Coming to an adult to tell us when they shared a toy with a classmate
  • The kiddos are asking their friends for a turn instead of the adults always intervening in situations
  • They are learning to negotiate for a turn with the toy in a friendly way

Some activities that have helped reinforce these kindness behaviors:

1. The Sharing Tree.

This is a tree the kids painted and put in the hall. We add hearts to it when they do kind things both at home and at daycare. The entire centre is taking part in this – it’s great! It encourages the kids to keep kindness in the forefront of their mind because they enjoy the reward of putting on a new leaf and watching the tree grow!

Sharing tree - ideas for ECEs

2. Partner Painting.

Partner painting is where the kids are put into pairs to paint a picture, but they only have one art tool. This encourages them to use their sharing and negotiation skills to take turns creating their art. This helps build on the skills they are already learning while promoting team work as well.

Partner painting - ideas for ECEs

3. Fill the Bucket.

An activity we haven’t started yet, but plan to, is Fill the Bucket. This will visually demonstrate to the kids how doing nice things will make themselves and others feel better.

 

That’s why there is no place like Hope.

Hope's Home COO Leaving

A Bittersweet Goodbye to our COO

Nicole Cook has been with Hope’s Home since the early days of the organization.

Nicole Cook

She’s watched it grow from the little home daycare in Jacque’s house, to seeing the organization expand across the province. For 14 years, Nicole proved to be an integral and irreplaceable team member as she guided Hope’s Home as our Chief Operating Officer.

It is a very sad day for us as we announce that Nicole’s last day with Hope’s Home will be January 15th as she has accepted her new role as the Associate CEO for Cowessess First Nations Chief Red Bear Children’s Lodge. It is the first Nation in Canada to assert its jurisdiction under the Bill-C92 Canada Act. Nicole will be part of the management team for the Chief Red Bear Children’s Lodge as a liaison between programs, operations, and overall development. After 14 years with Hope’s Home, Nicole is expanding her leadership skills and taking her extensive experience to continue to support and care for her number one passion – children.

Nicole came to Hope’s Home in October 2006 as a mom looking for childcare for her son Ethan. She then became an LPN in Hope’s Home and grew in various leadership roles until she became the Chief Operating Officer in 2013. Nicole has incredible vision and a knack for turning innovative ideas into reality. Her love for finding efficiencies has helped ensure the viability of a fast-growing non-profit organization, that strives to meet the never-ending needs and community demand with limited resources. She has provided oversight and leadership in the areas of finance, human resources to the day-to-day operations of nursing and early childhood education.

The 14-year journey at Hope’s Home has been filled with joy, heartache, perseverance, loss, laughter, tears, frustration, growth, challenges, and huge success! Well done Nicole for your contributions to the children, families, and staff of Hope’s Home.

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children. The warrior, for us, is the one who sacrifices him(her)self for the good of others. His(Her) task is to take care of the elderly, the defenceless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.” ~Sitting Bull.

Hope's Home COO Leaving

Hope’s Home will not be the same without Nicole, but we are so excited and proud of her for taking on this new endeavour and excited for what the future holds. We know she will join this new organization with so much spirit and strength, just as she did with Hope’s Home.

We love you so much.

Best wishes, and good luck,

Your entire Hope’s Home Family.

Child smiling through window

A Look Back on 2021

Happy New Year! 🎇

 
Before we leave 2021 behind, we want to take a moment to reflect on the year.
 
2021 was another year of unique challenges as we continued to navigate the pandemic, putting our kiddo’s health and safety as our top priority. We are proud of our ability to remain open during the most critical parts of the pandemic to support parents and families. We’ve had plenty of highs and lows navigating the storm, but we have done it together.
 
One of those high points was delivering brand new accessible vans for our Regina and Prince Albert Supportive Living Homes. None of which would have been possible without Affinity CU, Prince Albert Canadian Tire and a generous personal donation. ♥
 
We finally came back with a blend of in-person and virtual events for Swinging with the Stars in both Regina and Prince Albert, and hosted our 8th annual Charity Golf Tournament in Prince Albert. It feels SO GOOD to be back, in whatever capacity we can manage!
 
Above all, we’ve kept our kiddos at the center of everything we do. We show up every day for them. To see them learn, grow, hit milestones, celebrate their success and allow them to teach us about life from their perspective. We are reminded daily that each child is unique and requires different support than the child next to them. We show up for the lightbulb moments, and for the hard days too.
 
To our staff. You are without question the backbone of Hope’s Home. You are there every day. You understand our kiddos, you fight for them, you make sure they are included in their community and you love them as your own.
 
To our kiddos. You are the reason we show up every day. You teach us so much about life. You are our inspiration and our light on the hard days. You always give us a reason.
 
Thank you 2021. For the good and the bad, and all of the in between.
 
Look out 2022, we’re coming for ya! 🍾
 
#hopeshome #diversity #inclusion #inclusivechildcare #inclusivedaycare #yxe #ypa #yqr #warman #nurselove #eceappreciation #newyear2022 #newyears