Brienna Remes and Laura von Krosigk, Building Blocks Educare
At Kelowna’s Building Blocks Educare, pre-schoolers are learning about Emily Carr and Michelangelo. The art component is one example of how the Building Blocks curriculum provides an enriched educational experience for children from birth to 12 years. The program is designed to prepare children socially and intellectually for elementary school and their academic lives.
Brienna Remes was teaching in China when she saw firsthand the benefits of that country’s early childhood education system. Remes brought elements of China’s education system back home when she returned to Kelowna and opened Building Blocks Educare. One of her first students was the daughter of Laura von Krosigk, another local mom who was running an advertising agency at the time.
“I went to Brienna needing care for my daughter but the things she learned far exceeded my expectations. I could see that she was loved and very well cared for, that gave me peace of mind and reassurance,” von Krosigk says.
Sharing the same passion for providing families with quality child care, Remes and von Krosigk combined their skill sets to expand Building Blocks into a larger, premium child care facility in 2012. Building Blocks now has 23 employees and student enrollment over 75. Expansion plans are in the works. The partners are searching for another location to open a second child care centre in Kelowna – doubling staff.
Remes and von Krosigk credit Building Blocks’ teachers for developing a curriculum that draws from areas of expertise such as Montessori and Fun Family Phonics, presenting children with a rich variety of learning experiences in a safe, secure and nurturing environment. The child care centre was recently named a finalist for the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s mid-sized business of the year award.
von Krosigk says she’s learned many lessons as an entrepreneur.
“We have such a great faculty at Building Blocks, it is important that we provide them autonomy. I have learned to let go and trust in what we’ve built.”
Adds Remes, “If you are confident in what you’ve built and stay true to that, things will work out. It may not be exactly the way you thought they would, but they work out.”