By Eva Potter
Rebecca Whited can barely contain her enthusiasm when talking about her new venture, B.E.S.T. Moments Child Care. After working 80 plus hours per week and raising a family, she decided the best way to spend more time with her own three young sons and “allow their childhood moments to flourish” was to create her own job as a home-based, New York State registered childcare provider.
She said the children in her care provide a daily source of inspiration to see the world differently and to live life in an open, honest and caring way.
“I want the children in my care to remember the amazing things they learned and shared while they are with me. I hope that we inspire them to be lifelong learners and explorers of the world we live in,” she said.
In January 2012, Whited began the five-month-long paperwork process of becoming a certified and registered childcare provider. This included background and health checks; completion of first aid, CPR and AED training; hazard checks; water testing; radon testing; floor plan approval; development of an emergency and evacuation plan in case of severe weather or fire; development of her own learning program; safety training; and a thorough building and grounds inspection.
Whited described the essence of her day care as more than just a safe place to bring your children during work hours.
“It is a home, I am a mom and I love and care for these kids like they are part of our family because they are. I am a life-loving, outdoor-orientated person, so we learn colors, numbers and shapes on our nature walks around our 3-acre property,” she said, adding that kids also learn responsibility as well as table manners.
Whited credits her husband Kevin, Dolly and Jim Little of The Crosspatch ranch, Wagoner Tree Service, and Annie and Mike Widger for helping to remodel their playground area. She said all the hard work paid off because all the kids love it.
“We learn teamwork and nutrition from our garden. We’ve hatched chicken eggs as a science project, because hands-on learning is what is going to inspire these kids to be curious, and that is what they will need to be inspired when they go to school. We make cookies and homemade pizza, jump through sprinklers, read stories under our maple tree and sing songs to butterflies. I’m not afraid of messes and think they learn from them,” said Whited.
Rainy day activities might include an art project, puzzles, Play-Doh, games and music. Whited does create daily lesson plans and looks for teaching opportunities in everything she does, but she is always tuned into the curiosity of the kids and goes “wherever the questions take us.” She said no question goes unanswered, and if she doesn’t know the answer she will Google it at naptime and “we learn it together when they wake up.” Meals, snacks and nap/quiet time are all part of daily the routine.
B.E.S.T. Moments Day Care is certified by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services. In order for Whited to keep her license, she must 30 hours of training every two years, which will keep her up to date on the latest health and safety issues, as well as provide inspiration for new educational programs for the children in her care.
According to Whited, what makes her day care different from the rest is that “it is not a building. It’s a loving, caring nurturing home and the kids here end up in our hearts and our family.”
B.E.S.T. Moments is located at 7684 Toad Hollow Rd. in Eddyville (just a few minutes outside of Ellicottville and Little Valley) and offers care for children ages 6 weeks to 13 years of age, from 6 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Other hours are available upon request. Whited said she does have limited openings at this time. For more information on rates and openings, go to www.bestmomentsny.com or call (716) 307-8200.