The Nest Early Learning Center

The Nest Early Learning Center - Carin Smolinski

December’s Meet the Members profiles a vital resource in the community, The Nest Early Learning Center and owner Carin Smolinski shares her story:

I moved to BC when I was eight years old and have lived in the Sea to Sky for sixteen years. Previously, I lived in Japan for twelve years, where I founded ABC International School twenty-six years ago. It is an elite private international preschool for expatriates and English speakers in Tokyo. I am the proud mama to a blended family of four children, ages nineteen, fifteen and ten year old twins. They are my greatest joy and biggest teachers.

Having run my schools in Japan (I have another one in Tochigi Prefecture) remotedly for twelve years, pre-pandemic I would go to Japan three or four times a year. In 2020 I was not able to go, so long story short, I got a little restless and missed the littles and working with a dedicated and passionate team of educators. Another lady had tried to make a go of it in this space and was not successful. Knowing the desperate need for chilcare in Pemberton, I took over the space, rebranded and changed from a daycare to an early learing center with elementary school aftercare and arts camps.

The obstacles and challenges facing independent chilcare providers that are put in place by the government are extremely frustrating, time consuming and make a running a quality center next to impossible. If it weren’t for my schools in Japan subsidizing The Nest, and working without pay, it would not be financially viable to provide the high quality of early childhood education, smaller class sizes and high teacher:student ratios that I believe children deserve. I also survived five floods at The Nest in my first year of operation, which was one of the most challenging years of being an entrepreneur! But with the amazing team at The Nest, (and my incredible family) we made it through!

Despite all the challenges, there are no words to express the feeling when I step back and look around at the magical environment, the intuitive gentle educators and the engaged, supported and joyful children! Knowing that our little town has a world class early learning center and that our team makes a difference in the lives of our students and their families makes it all worthwhile.

I would like people to know that The Nest Early Learning Center is Pemberton’s answer to a purposeful, high-quality early learning program within our Montessori and Reggio Emilia inspired center. Our educators bring wonder and awe into the classroom through active participation, experimentation, exploration, and presentation of learning provocations based on the children’s interests. The Nest has been created as a home away from home for young learners, with plenty of scope for play and connection, curiosity and interaction fostered through gentle nurturing and positive guidance.

The Nest recommends children get on the wait list at birth, however, don’t let this discourage you from applying at any time. Learn more and apply here:

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