*Please note: Aside from this website, Nicole White and Sweet Pea Path Home Daycare have no other web presence, including social media platforms or other websites.*
My name is Nicole White and I have been providing daycare here in Burlington, Ontario, since February 2000.
Over my years of providing care, I have been blessed that my life has been touched by so many tiny hearts. Having cared in the past for children with special needs, which include Type I diabetes, premature delivery (29 weeks), Down Syndrome, deafness, autism and physical challenges has given me an appreciation of the chaos, messes and happy noise that can be generated by healthy children. The true miracle of these members of my daycare was watching the strong children play alongside of their peers with health challenges, not noticing or noting that their friends were any different. The allowances that were subconsciously made, the strengths that were subconsciously utilized and the simple love for one another were wonderful moments of which to be a part.
Our home is located in a shaded, quiet area in the Brant/QEW/Guelph Line area. Daycare is provided on the main floor. Baking in the kitchen together, learning through puzzles, games and play, cosying up on the sofa for a movie on a rainy day…family style care as opposed to institutionalized care.
The big backyard offers 4500 sq. feet of dappled/shaded playspace…and enchanted forest in which the children run, play and dream. A richly mulched are measuring 33 X 15 feet is a safe home to climbers/slides for active play and a village of playhouses and cars for imaginary play.
This past summer, we added more natural playspaces, using tree logs for a safe walking-sitting spiral and tree trunk slices for stepping stones throughout the play areas. A stepping stone path, surrounded by richly scented cedar mulch will welcome the children into the bean teepee…an eight foot tall teepee that can be a fairy house to one child and a secret fort to the next, with places to sit and read a story, play with toys or have a quiet moment.
Every spring, the children plant seeds and seedlings in the vegetable garden, around the pole teepee and in the berry patches. It’s a pretty amazing thing to watch a child hold a seed in the palm of their hand and try to imagine it growing into a tall plant that will provide food for all. Throughout the summer and fall they nurture and harvest from the gardens. Crunchy green beans right from the vine? Juicy berries just picked and still warm from the sun? Yes, please! These are a few examples of the delectable snacks we enjoy together in the summer months.
We can’t grow all of our food, so every Tuesday the daycare receives a delivery of fresh, organically farmed veggies and fruits, locally baked organic wholegrain breads, yogurt and more.
I am the lucky recipe tester for the blog/app/cookbooks Oh She Glows, testing new recipes and giving feedback. When the recipes are baked goods, I save them for activity time with the children and we all have a great old time learning about the ingredients, smelling and tasting them, counting and measuring, adding ingredients and stirring, etc. The youngest child is always the “Official Taste Tester” and lets us know how we did! the children bring home some of the baked goods to share with family. Often, you’ll be asked at pick up time if you’d like to ‘taste test’ a recipe, so that Angela from Oh She Glows can make her recipes the best they can be. Oh She Glows recipes are chock full of vibrant veggies and fruit, whole grains and plant-based protein, and our daycare lunches and snacks often come directly from the blog/app and cookbooks. You can check them out at:
We ❤️ our organic CSA weekly delivery!
Kids in the Kitchen
During the cooler months, the children enjoy baking activities in our cozy kitchen. Muffins, cookies and treats of all kinds are made using healthier ingredients. Omega 3 rich chia seeds and flax, mineral dense oats, natural sweeteners such as pure maple syrup and honey, nutritious nuts and nut butters…a treat can still pack a nutritional punch!
Taking the time to smell and sample the ingredients creates interest, measuring helps teach counting, adding ingredients to the bowl and stirring are motor skill developers and waiting for our recipes to finish cooking instills patience and an acceptance of delayed gratification.
Leader of the Day
This is a program I discovered when my own children were in JK and SK and they loved it so much that I incorporated it into our daycare, where it continues to be loved by every child. Daily, on a rotating schedule, one child is the leader of the day and helps to hand out snacks and supplies, has first turn during activity and gets to select the first book we read that day.
I believe that natural, eco and child friendly cleansers are best and choose to use them everyday. Products such as Ecover, 7th Generation and Honest Company are employed throughout the house to clean surfaces, equipment and toys and vinegar is used for disinfecting. Each child in my care is provided (by me) with their own playpen and highchair, so there is no sharing of this equipment. This method allows me to avoid using chlorine bleach after every use of a playpen or highchair .and saves your little one from sleeping in a bleachy playpen and eating off of a bleachy surface.
Distract, redirect and prevent are the first methods used throughout the day. Often, disputes can be resolved and behaviour changed through careful observation and redirection to something more appropriate. Distracting a toddler works better than telling them what to do and helps them form safe and happy habits. Prevention is key…avoiding toys from home which can cause conflict (many daycare children are too young to share or understand the concept) and removing toys from play that are causing conflict goes a long way to peaceful playtime. Noisy and busy for sure, but much less conflict!
Have you ever tried out a mindful moment? When a child in my care is consistently acting out during a day, I will often avoid constantly providing negative reinforcement and, instead, scoop that child up in a cuddle, sing a soft song, look at a picture book or read a story together…whatever peaceful moment will stop the momentum of behaviour and turn them onto a more positive path that day. If he or she is acting out due to a temporary need for attention, very often positive attention works.
Safe barriers and boundaries are already set up, including safety gates, toys for older children up high etc. Time outs can be employed when someone needs a few minutes to breath and collect themselves or when dangerous or aggressive behaviour is happening. I defer to the parent’s request for discipline.
Each child’s birthday is a very special day and is treated as such with a party at daycare…face painting, decorations, cupcakes and games fill the day. The birthday child gets to decorate a birthday to crown to wear for the day. Everyone goes home tired and happy.
How Was Our Day?
Each evening, every family receives an email with details about our daycare day. You will read about the snacks and lunch menu, activities we enjoyed, toileting (if requested), sleep time/duration and often something funny that happened. Parents who give permission in the registration paperwork also receive pictures from the day. I find this a loving way to be included in your little one’s daycare day in earlier years and a great ‘conversation starter’ in preschool years. It helps to combat the:
“What did you do at daycare today?”
The fee for care is $45.00 per day. Your daycare fee includes snacks, beverages and lunch. Teachers do not pay daycare fees for school holidays which include Christmas Break, March Break and summer days.
The fee for before and after school care is $26.00 per day, comparable to the YMCA school aged care program. Your before and after school care fee includes transportation to and from school plus an after school snack.
There are no early or late fees, ever. It isn’t your fault if you need to get to work early occasionally or are stuck in traffic on the way home. I don’t believe in penalizing busy parents…I am here to be a support during the busy transition back to the work force.
Parents Past and Present Reviews…
We have been so lucky to have Nicole as our daycare provider for our daughter Mila. She was recommended by one of my best friends, who also had her daughter in Nicole’s care. Nicole (or Niki as Mila calls her) is the sweetest most caring woman! She puts everything she has into caring for the children and ensures that each one of them feels loved each and everyday. She fills the childrens’ days with the best home cooked meals and great engaging activities that Mila always comes home talking about. The special love and attention each child gets each day is just amazing! Niki’s is the best place for my daughter and I couldn’t imagine having her anywhere else! We hope when the second baby comes along they will have a space at Niki’s. She feels like a member of the family, and Mila loves her so much; as she says multiple times on our drives home everyday 🙂
Jamie and Artur
Sweet Pea Path has been EVERYTHING I could have wanted in a daycare and more. Niki’s experience, energy and love for the kids is the real deal. She has been so accommodating in everything…from respecting and following our parenting methods to welcoming our child for extra days here and there whenever she can; she is very flexible in fulfilling our requests and needs. My daughter comes home happy every time. Everything is done with love…the amazingly healthy food they eat, the organic garden they grow together, her attention to detail and the different activities they get up to everyday (it makes me want to go to daycare!). As a mom who did a lot of searching for the perfect place, I can guarantee you won’t find anywhere quite like this.
Searching for the right daycare can be a daunting task for all parents. For our family, it was so important to find a place that would treat my son as part of the family, I was looking for another ‘mom’ for my babies while I was at work. That meant finding a place where they would be loved, respected, be able to explore and learn from experiences in a safe environment and be nourished with real and natural food. I found all of those things and more with Nicole ‘Niki’.
To put it simply, I must pass 20+ other daycares on my drive to Sweet Pea Path but I couldn’t imagine sending my children anywhere else. My son loves Niki as much as I do. Not only will you find a welcoming home with lots of toys and natural spaces for the kids to explore the outdoors but you will find a mom whose willing to get dirty, bake, garden, sing and dance alongside your littles. She is everything we could have asked for and we’re so lucky to have found her. From the moment you meet her, you won’t be disappointed! She has the best intentions for your child at heart.
If you’re looking for a loving, patient, accepting care provider and a space focused on play based learning and your child’s needs. if you’re looking for a ‘mom’ replacement look no further. You’ve found it!
My two year old son has been at Sweet Pea Path Daycare since September 2017. My older son, who is in JK, began doing before and after care not long after. Both of my children were in different daycare programs prior to this and were not thriving, especially my older one who was very anxious. Nicole “Niki” has not just opened her home to our children but her heart and her family as well. Our boys could not be happier and, as a mother who struggled with the idea of going back to work after having my second, I cannot begin to tell you the sense of relief I feel having found Niki. I know they are safe, having tons of fun, learning and eating healthy meals/snacks. Quite frankly, I wish I was attending her daycare instead of work 🙂
The other daycare children are wonderful and welcomed my two boys into their group as one of their own.
We are so extremely lucky to have found Niki. I am so relieved and thankful that I can go into work each day and not worry once about my boys. She really does go above and beyond for my children… And for our whole family. Thank you, Niki (and family), for providing my boys with love and the best possible care out there!
Nicole runs an amazing in-home daycare service for babies, toddlers and young kids. My daughter was in Nicole’s care for 4yrs full-time and a few years part-time when she started kindergarten. Niki always had the kids participating in craft activities, baking time (the kids always came home with fresh-baked treats that they had helped make) story time or just quiet time. She always made time for each kid independently and as a group and she loves all her “kids” just like her own. She was always patient and kind which made me always want to try harder at the end of the day with my daughter.
Nicole’s house completely feels like home to her daycare kids. There was never a minute where my daughter did not want to attend. Outside of my immediate family, I could not trust anyone more than I trust Niki! As I told a friend of mine who was searching for a wonderful daycare, “Nicole is the nicest daycare provider, even the nicest person, I have ever met.” That friend is Karen T..she met Niki and both of her sons became beloved members of Niki’s daycare family!(…you can read Karen’s testimonial below!)
Even though we have not been at Niki’s for a few years now since my daughter grew up, we still remain in touch and still both interested in how the other’s children and families are doing. I appreciate everything she provided to my daughter and I feel she was one of the most important stepping stones in life for her!
We have two daughters, both of whom were taken care of by Nicole since they were babies. My husband and I have had a very positive daycare experience by entrusting our children into Nicole’s care. She treats the children in her care like family, provides healthy lunches and snacks and keeps the children active, learning and safe…all of which were essential competencies of care when we made the ever-so-important decision of which care provider to hire.
I have always found Nicole to be very warm toward my children, and they are happy when they are in her care. She is organized, flexible and easy to communicate with. She is also very dependable and rarely takes a sick day. She offers a good balance of activities combined with the opportunity to just go-with-the-flow if a kid is having a rough day.
Over the past 4 years, I have been exceptionally pleased with the care Nicole has provided my daughters. So much so, that when we moved from Burlington to Waterdown, we decided to keep them with Nicole rather than sending them to a new daycare in Waterdown. My family and I (kids included!) highly recommend Nicole of Sweet Pea Path as a superb child care provider!
I was very fortunate to find the services of Nicole White (affectionately known by my sons as Niki) about 9 years ago. When it came time for our interview, we entered Nicole’s big backyard and felt so welcome and at home that my 2 year old crawled right up on her lap, where he happily remained for most of our interview! My decision was made immediately.
During the time spent with Nicole, my boys had a blast. Each day they came home wearing beaming smiles and were excited to tell me about their day. Activities included baking, painting, making play-doh, outdoor fun, reading…and ,best of all, learning! My sons always looked forward to going to Niki’s house and she became like a part of our family. She treated my boys like a part of hers.
I quite honestly cannot say enough about the care Nicole provided to my children. I never had a moment or inkling of concern because I always knew that they were in the best, most caring and loving hands possible.
Nicole provides each child in her care with the necessary to learn and grow in a fun and safe environment. She has a very calm manner and the children are naturally drawn to her loving ways. Every child in her care has a different personality, milestone goals and learning skills and Nicole takes these into consideration when planning each day. She is so considerate with phone calls or communication and the daily notes allow me to experience so much more of my daughter’s day. She is very open to any questions or concerns any parent might have and is willing to defer to parent requests for anything at all. You can tell right off just how much she cares and really tries to get to know each child’s personality and make them feel welcome in her home.
Nicole’s focus on healthy foods, daily exercise, fresh air (in her spacious backyard full of fun things to do!) coupled with her dedication to proper and green sanitation (cleaning hands before meals, washing toys and surfaces, personal playpens and highchairs) have kept my daughter healthy and strong, something I am very passionate about in my own home. All of the children are happily engaged in free play, play based learning, practical situation learning and story reading everyday and she makes sure to include every age group.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to have found such a caring, fun and devoted caregiver for my precious girl.