New child-centred enterprises

Aging Community. What aging community? Kids and their caregivers are the focus of two new Brome Lake enterprises.

Knowlton’s L’Happy Place is dedicated to supporting home-schooled children from ages 1 to 13. Les Petits Trésors du Lac on Bondville Road will offer government-supported daycare for those between 18 months and opens this spring.

L’Happy Place has been up and running as a kind of alternative daycare and drop-in centre since mid-February, under the watchful eye of Marie-Josée Grégoire, her partner Julien LeCroix and their two onsite experts, aged 5 months and 5 years. They are currently open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with an ambitious program of conferences and workshops, yoga for kids, dance, vegetarian potlucks on the weekend, and meditation sessions. There is also a boutique with home cleaning products for sale.

“We want to help create a community for those who educate their children at home,” said Grégoire recently, over the joyful noise of her own brood.

“We are offering a space for homeschooled kids to get together with other homeschooled kids. It’s also a chance for their parents/teachers to share experiences with others.” For more information, find L’Happy Place on their Facebook page.

As these words are chiseled onto the digital tablet, Les Petits Trésors du Lac is still under construction, at 481 Bondville Rd. When completed, it will offer a brand new, purpose-built environment for preschoolers in an area that embraces Brome Lake, and neighbouring communities.

Strong public demand had already reduced the number of available places from 76 to 40. All 10 spots for infants aged three months and up have been snapped up.

When fully operational, it will employ a staff of 15 and offer a government accredited program at a cost of $7.75 a day. “We did a study,” said Trésor’s Catherine Bernier, “and found a very strong demand for daycare in this area.”

The centre will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m, and offer supervised playtimes, a learning environment, plenty of outdoor room to romp, a full kitchen and air conditioning for sultry summers and harried staff. Services may expand to include weekends and late nights if there is enough demand, and are available in French and English.

Trésors also welcomes children with handicaps. The building is expected to be ready in April/May. Bernier and her team then need a government seal of approval before opening the doors. For more info, visit