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The B.C. Government’s Child Care Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding contributions made by child-care professionals, innovative individuals, organizations and local governments who support child-care initiatives in their communities. Hills says the Centre caters to the children in its Out of School Care program, as well as parents and the community, and staff go above and beyond to teach them.

“It’s the way they interact with them, the way they treat them as people,” she says. “They respect the kids as if they were an adult alongside with them. They really encourage them to be all they can be.”

More than just standard day care programming, the Centre also incorporates traditional values into its daily teachings. Traditional life skills like trapping, cooking, native language and gaming are taught by people from within the Moberly First Nations community. Hill says her daughter can’t wait to go to Dakii, and the promise of going the next day helps put her to bed.

Day Care Manager Kim Slack says the news of the award came as a surprise, and is welcome recognition after years of hard work.

“It means a lot,” she says. “It’s just having that recognition after so many years and never getting anything like that. It’s very special.”

The Centre opened up in the fall of 2006, and up until the end of June 2011, it offered after school care for children aged 5 to 12. However, after a summer survey showed the needs of the community had changed, they switched to become a day care for children up to 5 years old. After seeing the success, the Centre is now looking to expand to include both programs, although that’s far in the future, as it would require physical expansion of the Centre itself.

There are currently 15 children enrolled in the program, with a maximum of eight there a day. As Dakii is the only day care in Moberly Lake, it helps young families get back to work, as well as saves some parents from having to drive to Chetwynd every day or rely on a babysitter.

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