Patty Brotzell-Close Provides 33 Years of Child Care

By Joan Janzen

“Children are the only future of any people” is a slogan of Playcare Children’s Services, which opened its doors on Jan. 11, 1988. Yes, exactly 33 years ago, Patty Brotzell-Close began her childcare program in Kindersley. Having had experience working with children with special needs, Patty moved to Kindersley and discovered there wasn’t a childcare program in Kindersley.

“I started it in my home in the basement, and it was full with a waiting list within a few months, so I knew it needed to be bigger and better,” Patty said. “I wanted to stay close to the elementary school, so when the house next door came up for sale in 1990, I bought it.”

In 1990, Playcare Children’s Services Inc. became a non-profit corporation with a voluntary board of directors. It is open to children aged 18 months and older. Patty explained that at 18 months, children are ready to be separated from their parents, and are able to be part of a group.

After being in business for 33 years, Patty has become acquainted with a lot of children, and now she has children in her daycare whose parents came to her daycare when they were kids.

“I do have some second generation families. I”m not sure how that happened.” Patty said with a chuckle. “It’s a really special feeling and I feel quite honoured to have the opportunity to interact with families for such a long period of time.”

Occasionally Patty and her staff pull out toys and games from years ago, that have play value, even after all the years that have passed. “They’re foreign to kids, because they’re used to all the electronic things,” Patty said. “We’re learning how to play chess again, and they learn quickly.”

Some of the children come back to visit Patty when they’re older. “They’re always convinced everything in playcare has shrunk,” Patty said. “It’s fun to keep track of whatever route they’re taking.”

It’s obvious Patty enjoys working with children. “Kids are so authentic and accepting, and they have so much energy that’s contagious,” she says. “I love watching them learn, and seeing those light bulb moments when they’ve mastered a skill.”

Patty finds working with children rewarding, but even more importantly, she had the opportunity to have her own children with her as they were growing up. “That was super important to me,” she said. “Some of our employees have had their children in the program as well.”

Throughout the years, Patty has also been the recipient of more tangible rewards. In 2005 she received “Citizen of the Year Award” and a CMT Hometown Hero award. In 2006 she was the recipient of a Certificate of Excellence, which recognized her philosophy of care, support of child development, and her involvement with parents, families and the community.

“The award was a big deal; I was pretty proud of that,” Patty admitted. At that time Sharon Price, Superintendent of Education for Sun West School Division said, “Whenever there is a need in the community that involves children, Patty is one of the first to recognize that need and take the initiative to meet that need.”

Patty and Playcare Children’s Services continue to meet a need in Kindersley; the need for quality child care. Because “children are the only future of any people”.

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