Alexis Phillips, Tabatha Reis and three-year-old Elizabeth are eager to show off the new Little Munchkins Daycare space in the McBride elementary school. They are hosting an open house on Thurs Oct 27 beginning at 2:30pm and hope to be operating next week. /ANDREA ARNOLD

By Andrea Arnold

Valley newcomers Tabatha Reis and her sister Alexis Phillips are excited to announce the opening of Little Munchkins Daycare in McBride.  

“We chose McBride because we wanted to be closer to our family in Alberta,” said Reis.  “McBride is close to the border, but not in the prairies.”

Reis holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a focus on child development. When she had her own daughter she realized how hard it is for parents to find childcare, so she started a daycare to help fill the void.

She operated the original Little Munchkins out of her former home in the Okanagan for the past two years. After relocating to McBride saw there was a need here as well.

“We saw there was a need for childcare and wanted to help,” said Reis.  

The two are hoping to help McBride residents by providing not only daycare services for children aged three to five but also an after-school program for kids up to age 12. They have secured space in the McBride Elementary School and intend to have a drop off time of 8:00am so that parents can drop off the younger kids at the same time as the school aged kids.

Reis will be focused on the daycare program. At this point they do not know how many kids they will be able to accept into the program, as they are still looking to hire qualified ECEs or ECAs that would allow for more kids.

“The ratio (of child to adult) has to be maintained,” said Reis. 

If they can hire more staff, they will be able to offer more spaces. 

Phillips will oversee the after-school program. She is working on some childcare courses online and has been helping with Reis’ young daughter since she was born. The requirements for the one in charge of the after-school program is less technical. The individual must be a responsible adult with some education and a clear criminal record.  Depending on registration numbers, they may be looking for a few more staff members.

As they begin offering their services, they will be operating under a fee reduction initiative to provide affordable daycare. This means that the government will be covering a portion of the costs, reducing the amount parents are responsible for. 

“Once we are established we will be looking into the $10 a day program,” said Reis.  

The pair arrived in August and have been able to enjoy some non-work related time discovering what the area has to offer.  

“We love it,” said Reis. “Everyone is so helpful, and the area is beautiful.”

They are holding an Open House in their space within the elementary school and registration on Thurs. Oct 27 from 2-4:30pm.

“We have our own room with access off 3rd Ave,” said Reis. “Please do not go through the school.”