New Vernon daycare focuses on independence

Mighty Mouse Daycare is set to open Dec. 1 at #8, 2601 Hwy. 6, in Vernon. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)Mighty Mouse Daycare is set to open Dec. 1 at #8, 2601 Hwy. 6, in Vernon. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Mighty Mouse Daycare is set to open Dec. 1 at #8, 2601 Hwy. 6, in Vernon. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Mighty Mouse Daycare is set to open Dec. 1 at #8, 2601 Hwy. 6, in Vernon. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Mighty Mouse Daycare owner Alisha Sarmaga, centre, jumped at the opportunity to open a new daycare facility in Vernon as the need for child care is so high. The centre is set to open Dec. 1, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)Mighty Mouse Daycare owner Alisha Sarmaga, centre, jumped at the opportunity to open a new daycare facility in Vernon as the need for child care is so high. The centre is set to open Dec. 1, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

A new child-care facility is set to open its doors to serve the Vernon community Dec. 1.

Offering two fully-licensed early childhood programs for children between the ages of two-and-a-half and five, Mighty Mouse Daycare aims to provide the care that promotes every child’s independence, creativity and intelligence for two groups of 16.

Owner and operator Alisha Sarmaga moved from Calgary as she was drawn to Vernon for its weather — obviously — and vibrant community.

“We love it here,” Sarmaga said. “It’s not as busy as Calgary.”

But upon arrival, the need for child care in the Greater Vernon area became apparent to the young entrepreneur.

“I’ve always had a love for children, it’s always been a huge passion of mine to either work with them or to be able to have an opportunity to help the community and we were like, ‘you know what? We really want to work for ourselves and help the community,’” Sarmaga recalled. “When we saw the need for daycare and this space, we thought, ‘Let’s do it.’”

The desire to run her own businesses runs even deeper.

“I am a Métis status and I always wanted to promote that we can be independent, we can be businesswomen and I really strive to promote to everyone that if they can do it, we can do it,” Sarmaga said.

The daycare, set to open next month, is located in a former fitness centre along Highway 6. Sarmaga and her team put in a lot of sweat, blood and elbow grease to convert the facility into a welcoming atmosphere adorned with twinkle lights in the quiet room, barn doors with refurbished wood to separate the two programs and an outdoor play area complete with playground.

“I feel we’re different because we’re more of an open-ended facility,” Sarmaga said. “We’re very positive here and we promote positivity here. It’s going to be cool.

The independence-focused program will see students enjoy storytime, free play, outdoor play and crafting among other structured programming — oh, and snacks.

Parents and students are asked to bring a “sharing fruit” to contribute. This practice will help build confidence, pride and keep parents connected and engaged with the program and staff.

“It gives the satisfaction to the child of, ‘here, I’m sharing,’” Sarmaga said of the unique routine.

Opening a new business can be a challenge enough as it is, but Mighty Mouse is also opening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Extra cleaning measures and protocols are in place to adhere to provincial health office regulations and WorkSafeBC.

Even before the grand opening, Sarmaga said she already has her eye on expansion.

“We eventually want to do infant-toddler because there is such a huge need for that,” she said. “I don’t want to put out anyone in this complex, but if something else becomes available, our goal is to snap it up.”

Sarmaga said she is looking forward to welcoming children to the space Dec. 1.

“We had children come in through our open houses and seeing them play and be so excited is rewarding for us,” she said. “Everything we did — this is the end result.”

To learn more about Mighty Mouse Daycare visit them at mightymousedaycare.com.

READ MORE: Child care planned for Vernon schools

READ MORE: New program raising funds for Vernon SPCA branch


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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