Our story begins some 50 years ago when the Society of Graduate Students at the University of Western Ontario established the Western Day Care Centre to meet an identified need for childcare within close proximity to the University. This organization received its first Charter and began operation as a non-profit childcare centre in February 1972. The University donated rent-free space in two homes located at 1140 Western Road and there began a tradition of quality childcare and early education that remains unsurpassed to this day.
In 2003, the University of Western Ontario announced plans to re-develop the parcel of land at 1140 Western Road into a student residence. A new daycare centre would be built nearby, and the University requested proposals from organizations willing to run the new facility. The Western Day Care Centre was unsuccessful in its bid to continue its operation at the new centre and ultimately the Board of Directors, administration, and staff were faced with the choice of dissolving the organization, or relocating the daycare and becoming fully independent.
With incredible commitment, determination, and sacrifice the staff and administration together with a small, dedicated group of Board members, decided that Western Day Care Centre’s distinctive model of early childhood care and education must be preserved. The initial challenge was to create a business model and find financial partners willing to take a chance on funding our fledgling enterprise. Without the assistance of these Board members we would not have been able to continue operations. We cannot thank each of them enough for believing in the Western Day Care Centre.
With initial funding secured, a lease for the facility on Blue Heron Drive was signed and the building on Emery Street West was purchased. On November 15, 2004 twenty-two children moved to the location on Blue Heron Drive. The Emery Street West site required extensive renovations and the children who would attend that facility were cared for in temporary locations until construction was completed. On March 21, 2005, twenty-eight children moved into the newly renovated Emery Street West site. From that point on, all of our available resources and energies throughout 2005 and 2006 were focused on rebuilding our client base and stabilizing our financial situation.
In 2013 The Blue Heron location went under extensive renovations and was able to open a new infant room which increased our enrollment capacity.
Today, Western day Care Centre, Emery Street location is licensed for 120 children and Western Day Care Centre, Blue Heron location is licensed for 88 children.