February is certainly moving right along. Today's feature is Deanna Ellis-Nearing, owner and operator of Explore and Discover Early Learning Centre located at 258 Highway 105, North Sydney, NS. A local daycare facility run by fantastic, knowledgeable, and supportive staff. We got the chance to speak with Deanna today and here is what she had to say:
Tell us why you started this venure:
Childcare has long been a family venture for me. I started helping my Aunt in her centre as a teenager, becoming employed in my early 20’s. I knew early on it was the right career path for me. My father helped my aunt open her centre, when I was young, and in turn she mentored me and helped me open our first location in Sydney. Explore and Discover North Sydney is our second location. Each year we operated in Sydney included enrollment of a number of students from the Northside due to lengthy wait lists. We also hosted many Early Childhood Education students who also lived in the North Sydney and Sydney Mines area. As our small business grew we naturally began looking to that area for expansion.
Tell us what it is that you offer/bring to Cape Breton:
Explore and Discover North Sydney offers 30 quality licensed child care spaces for children 18 months to 5 years. Early Childhood has really developed over the last number of years and we strive to offer a modern program with an educated staff who work to stay current by attending numerous professional development workshops each year. We also provide a mentoring program for Early Childhood Education students who attend local training institutes in the CBRM.
Any big plans coming up?:
Our 10th year in business is shaping up to be the most exciting yet. We are currently in negotiations to purchase our third location in Sydney Mines, finally bringing infant care to the Northside. The exciting part of this project is we also hope to facilitate space in our building for a post secondary training institute. Our goal is to make available secondary education locally to families in Sydney Mines with the ease of childcare available in the same building.
What is the most important thing you learned about running your own business in Cape Breton?:
One of the biggest things I’ve learned about running a business in Cape Breton is that being unable to find quality employees who want to work is a myth. I have been extremely lucky in the quality of staff from the local area that I’ve been able to hire. Our business requires many hours beyond the typical 9-5 researching and preparing for each day
What are your favourite things to do or places to visit in Cape Breton when you are not busy running the business?:
My husband and I love to "Staycation" right here in Cape Breton. No matter how often we pack a tent or book a cabin and go, we always find something new on our adventure. Cape Breton offers so much to explore and with the help of the wonderful small business owners who operate the Inns, cabins, shops, outdoor adventure and eating establishments you always have an amazing time! Some of our favorite spots are The Dancing Goat in Margaree, Lantern Hill, and Hollow in Ingonish, Captian Mark’s whale tours in Pleasant Bay, Governer’s Pub and Eatery and the Big Pond Community Hall for a great company and a great time!
Thank you so much Deanna for sharing with us today!