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Dedicated daycare in Fort Resolution
Childcare co-ordinator has been with community facility for 16 years

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Monday, September 2, 2013

Kim Beck has been a key part of the daycare and preschool in Fort Resolution for 16 years, even before it was officially a daycare.

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Kim Beck is childcare co-ordinator with Li'l Darlin' Daycare in Fort Resolution.

She is now the childcare co-ordinator with Li'l Darlin' Daycare.

Beck said she has remained involved so long because she likes working with children.

"I like watching them grow and develop," she said. "I just enjoy the kids."

Li'l Darlin' Daycare is a full-time, year-round daycare with a part-time preschool program that starts in October.

Beck said over the years, about 150 children have gone through the program. She hopes it has contributed a lot to helping students succeed when they move on to Deninu School.

"The principal and teachers always come back and say you can really tell which ones have been in the program and which ones haven't, because not all the kids go. Some of them stay home with their parents," she said. "You can tell the difference on their behaviour and social skills. They are more ready for primary school."

For one thing, Beck said the daycare and preschool teaches children about socializing and routine.

"Some of them have just no idea what a routine is, so we start them off in a routine," she said. "By the time they hit primary school, they're more ready. They know what's happening."

The children are also taught lessons such as the alphabet, numbers, colours and days of the week.

Beck believes having a daycare is really important for Fort Resolution.

"A lot of parents, if they have a daycare to bring their child to, they can go back to work. It gives them initiative to go back to school and do training," she said, adding that, similar to any small community, it is difficult to find reliable babysitters in Fort Resolution.

"The daycare has been a big success since we opened," she said.

Beck has been involved with the daycare and preschool right from the beginning, except for a few months, and began as a teacher for three years before becoming co-ordinator.

She was born in Wainwright, Alta., but has lived in Fort Resolution since 1974 when she was four years old and her parents moved to the community.

The 44 year old has two grown children of her own, and became a grandmother for the first time in February.

She hopes her grandchildren will attend the daycare and preschool like her now-21-year-old daughter did when she was a child.

"In the fall, she went to kindergarten and I had nothing to do," Beck said of when her daughter entered the program. "So they kind of talked me into applying (to become a teacher) and sure enough, I got it. I didn't even know how to turn on a computer or anything then. I kind of worked my way up. I didn't know how to write a proposal or anything."

For its first couple of years, the part-time preschool was in Deninu School, and it then moved into the basement of what used to be the residence of the Grey Nuns. It then moved into a duplex, and finally Deninu Ku'e First Nation, under which the daycare and preschool operate, bought the trailer which the program currently occupies.

"And then in 2009, we turned it into full-time daycare," Beck said. "That was the first year it was full-time daycare."

The daycare and preschool, which have one part-time and three full-time workers, accepts children ages 18 months to five years, and is licensed for up to 17 children.

Currently, there are eight children in the daycare and as of last week, Beck is expecting about 11 to take part in both the daycare and preschool in the fall.

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