Mariti Mellow owns and operates L’il Amigos Daycare and is proud to say that she has the longest running Licensed Family Childcare Centre in Port Hardy, and they are celebrating their 25 Year Anniversary this month.
“My goal is to provide high quality care for young children, and to enhance learning and development in children,” said Mellow. “Helping children meet their needs, respecting individuality and building good relationships is very important to me.”
Mellow was born in Leon, Spain and moved to Mano River, Liberia in West Africa when she was five years old.
She moved to Port Hardy 36 years ago in 1981.
“I love living here in our beautiful little town, and I met and married my amazing husband of almost 28 years, Gary, who supports me and my business and is a great help to me always,” Mellow said, who also added that she thinks Port Hardy is “a wonderful community.”
Mellow raised two children in Port Hardy, Kristy and Quinn, and she has built many wonderful lasting lifetime friendships during her time here as well.
“I enjoy supporting our community by participating or donating to functions that go on throughout the year,” she said. “Some of my other interests I enjoy are fitness, sports, nutrition, health, fashion, home decor and spending time with my family and friends having lots of fun.”
She added that the initial reason she chose to start a daycare 25 years ago, was that “back in 1991, maternity leave was only six months and there weren’t as many options for where to leave five month old twins. Family is very important to me, and I am dependable, consistent, accommodating to parents and children’s needs, experienced and loving. My centre is not only family orientated, but it also provides the intellectual and physical stimulation needed to develop your child’s potential.”
L’il Amigos Daycare provides family, preschool and after school settings, and Mellow’s goal is to “teach the children life skills, such as respecting others, being polite, following instructions, responsibility, anger control, problem solving and pre-school skills for their transition into kindergarten. I also have trained staff on hand so we can offer programs such as swimming lessons and field trips. We also care and work with special needs children and offer a pre-school curriculum called Mother Goose Time for all children enrolled in our daycare.”
While most parents would like to be home with their children enjoying their new experiences, today’s society increases the need for childcare.
“This is the reason why you trust someone else to care and teach your child – you want to be sure it is the right place,” said Mellow.
“I felt I could provide this for my daycare families and decided to open L’il Amigos Daycare. Being dependable, consistent, accommodating to parents needs, experienced and loving, means each morning when my day begins, no matter how I’m feeling, I put on a positive attitude and remind myself to smile, hug and make eye contact with all my l’il ones. I’m then prepared to start my day. It’s very important to me to maintain a good relationship with my daycare parents and families.”
Mellow truly loves what she does for a living, and she believes there is good in all children and that they need to “be made aware of this. Children are a gift, I never imagined when I started I would do it this long, but I realized what I was doing was important and started educating myself more.”
When asked about some of her favourite memories, Mellow stated that she has had “many wonderful families go through my daycare, and I have built wonderful relationships and friendships. I take great pride in my work and how satisfied I’ve been able to keep the families that have chosen L’il Amigos Daycare.”
She added that while her job is difficult at times, “what job isn’t? Running a daycare is messy with endless cleaning, and also sometimes very stressful with super long hours, and then there’s all the paper work involved.”
Mellow feels that any hard day is always worthwhile in the end though, because “helping a child achieve something they have been trying to do is a wonderful feeling. Them believing, trusting, coming to you for help, and you teaching them the skills to help themselves thrive and succeed when they get older and leave your care, is exactly what makes my job the best.”