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Decolonizing childcare in Colwood

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The daycare will emphasize connecting with Indigenous culture
Eley, Thomas
Publication Date: 
11 Mar 2024


An Indigenous-focused, trauma-informed daycare in Colwood will allow young children to reconnect with their culture.


A trauma-informed approach to daycare means it will operate differently from a traditional daycare and will not include timeouts or set sleep schedules.

“The idea is allowing the child to learn things on their time,” Gage said.

The facility is being supported through Aboriginal Headstart, and The 48 spaces provided will be fully funded, allowing the centre to have a higher staff-to-child ratio.


The facility will emphasize connecting with culture, focusing on education from an Indigenous worldview, considering sustainability, and encouraging drumming and dancing.

“Children that know who they are, and where they come from, and have a sense of belonging tend to grow healthier and happier,” said Gage.

The construction is scheduled to be finished in May, and the centre will be open in September.

It will be available to families using the childcare spaces, support workers, and therapists. So it’s a wraparound service.”


The daycare will be exclusively for Indigenous children and their parent’s services, said Stenson.

“This isn’t about discluding anybody. This is about the statement ‘Every Child Matters.’ These children deserve to understand who they are in a safe environment.”


There will be ample outdoor space with a rain garden that uses runoff water from the roof and storms to feed a garden that will help teach children how to be self-sufficient.

The centre will sit on the traditional lands of Lekwungen-speaking people. It will have 24 spaces for infants and toddlers and 24 for 3-to 5-year-olds.


The children at the centre will learn to care about one another, and those who will be responsible for caring for other kids will learn how to do so in the Indigenous worldview.

“In a colonial worldview, We talk about rights, and in the Indigenous worldview, we talk about responsibility.”