For more than a decade, redefining daycare and taking it to new levels has been Nancy E. Klensch’s passion, commitment, calling and, in various ways, her life.
The dynamic and innovative Calgary high-achiever’s passion was innocuously triggered by an entirely private urge. Shopping around for a Calgary daycare for her young son, she couldn’t find any that offered much more than minimum standards.
So, with gung-ho passion and much savvy, she created a better idea – Summit Kids.
“Most daycares are set up primarily to take care of young children in a safe environment. That’s it!” she explains. “But that’s not enough. There had to be a better way. It’s vital that childcare spaces provide spaces and opportunities where kids can thrive on their own terms!
“We wanted to create a concept and a place where children can achieve their best, while parents have the peace of mind knowing that their children are safe, having fun, cared for and enjoying their time in childcare. Summit Kids is not just a place, it’s a personality,” she says with warmth and determination.
Fast forward 10 years, and the pioneering, Calgary-inspired concept and success story has 18 locations, 120 meticulously-selected and trained staff, legions of well-prepared-for-life “graduate”’ and loyal parents. Numerous accolades like the Prime Minister’s Award honouring excellence in education as well as a listing on the Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s fastest-growing companies bestow Summit Kids.
The groundbreaking concept continues to grow and the Summit Kids program is now expanding – with a uniquely innovative difference. The October 11, 2019 grand opening of the Summit Start Riverview location will be a terrific new dimension for the popular childcare concept.
“We believe it is imperative that children are not isolated when they are learning,” Klensch points out. “They need to include people of all walks of life in the children’s daily activities while they are at this critical stage of development. It will ensure that their perspective of the world is not limited in any way.”
In collaboration and partnership with the Bethany Care Society, one of Western Canada’s largest voluntary, not-for-profit providers of health, housing and community services for seniors and persons with disabilities, Summit Start Riverview will be situated in Calgary’s popular Bethany Riverview facility on 26 Avenue SE.
“It’s a place where history will meet the future in a very human setting,” she adds. “A place where young and old will learn and benefit from the special setting of inclusivity and diversity. The key to Summit Start Riverview’s success will be the intentional inter-generational programming that will be part of the children’s everyday activities.
“The integration of these two communities at the far ends of the age scale will serve to build strong, worldly and confident kids while ensuring a sense of community, contribution and value in the residents of Bethany Care Riverview. The spaces have been specifically designed to allow numerous opportunities for interaction. A prime example of this is our centrally-located dynamic children’s playground. It is visible from a variety of locations and allows the residents of Bethany Riverview to hear and see the children playing.
“After all,” Klensch emphasizes with enthusiasm, “The best communities are inclusive, encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to interact and grow together.”