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Meet Daphné, a daycare owner

12 Dec 2020

Daphné Laberge-Larivée is a traveller, entrepreneur, and warm-hearted person who enjoys beautifying the everyday and brightening every moment with her innovative ideas.

The past few months have confirmed for her that one of her strengths is her ability to adapt and adjust, no matter what. With the happiness of her loved ones always in mind, she uses her ingenuity to restore balance and create a bit of magic around her. That’s how the green alley behind her home became a scooter park with ramps and circuits for her boys and their neighbourhood friends, how her room became a calm space to work out in (away from all the hustle and bustle of family life), and how a new tradition was born: “I prepare packages that include drawings from my kids, pictures, and lots of little things to send to my parents. They receive a beautiful box full of love and joy, it’s a real treasure for them.” 

This creativity, combined with her love of travel, turned into a unique project just over four years ago: going on an adventure with her “petits loups,” the children from her daycare. With an open mind, she accepted an invitation from Sanaa, the director of a daycare with the same name in Morocco, to come and visit. After all, travel broadens the mind!

In order for the kids to get to know each other, they first talked via FaceTime during the children’s snack time. While it was morning here in Quebec, it was the end of the day in Morocco. A few fundraising events and a lot of planning later, 10 children and 10 adults flew to Casablanca to meet their new friends. “It was fascinating to see parents nervous when faced with another culture, while children naturally went inside the daycare, as if they had always gone there.” 

A warm welcome and rich culture were waiting for them. After a few days with their hosts, the small group took the road to Marrakesh and then on to Essaouira for a seaside stop. Back in Casablanca, the Montreal Petits Loup invited the Moroccan P’tits Loups to a Quebec-themed evening to share their culture. This emotional experience was such a success that Daphné would love to do it again and discover new places, when the situation allows, of course. 

In the meantime, she cultivates an interest in travel and the world with the new group of children at her daycare every week. Everyone takes a seat on the plane, cardboard passports in hand, to enjoy the snack served by the flight attendant. The chef introduces the merry band to flavours from new countries, while the educators introduce them to those nations' rich traditions.

“It’s thanks to my team that I can do these wonderful activities. With the kids’ routine and everything else, it’s not possible to plan these things alone. I have a great bunch of educators with me.”

These precious individuals that she sees every day and whom she considers her second family make her vision for an illuminating and stimulating care environment a reality. Vegan and organic food cooked on location, cream-coloured paint punctuated by wood from her father’s land, and the kids’ artwork decorating the walls... It feels good to be there, like you’re at home. 

“Every Christmas, the children build a paper chimney and fireplace. I hang my team’s Christmas stockings on it. It’s really magical.”  

Passing time together, that’s what sums up the holidays for Daphné. It’s a special season that she usually spends surrounded by her family, parents, sister, and the kids. Despite being physically distant, her family members have grown closer online, creating a new dynamic and beautiful memories. Technology will help bring holiday fun to everyone this year by allowing them to raise a glass together, each in their own homes. Daphné is eagerly awaiting her Christmas stocking, carefully prepared as always by her mother. It’s a heartwarming tradition she cherishes year after year. 

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