Business

New daycare in Bayview offers oasis for kids

Julia Lewis and Hailey Doyle, 2 1/2, play Legos at Oasis Children’s Center. The  individual activity areas allow all around stimulation of young minds. - Michaela Marx Wheatley / The Record
Julia Lewis and Hailey Doyle, 2 1/2, play Legos at Oasis Children’s Center. The individual activity areas allow all around stimulation of young minds.
— image credit: Michaela Marx Wheatley / The Record

BAYVIEW — It’s all fun and games at the new daycare in Bayview.

The Oasis Children’s Center opened its doors recently and there is no shortage of parents looking for childcare.

Director Julia Lewis said many families called before the center was even open.

“We’ve hired our initial teachers, but maybe I have to hire more,” she said.

Parents were very excited about the new place. Waiting lists are long for childcare on South Whidbey. Most children’s names can be found on waiting lists long before they are born.

Currently the center is taking three- to four-hour drop-ins for children 29 months and up, as Oasis Children’s Center awaits final state certification.

Parents are welcome to tour the place.

“Come by and check out how much fun we’re having,” Lewis said.

Once the center is completely certified, which will happen within the next 90 days, the center will welcome toddlers from 12 months through 5. She doesn’t accept infants at this time.

Oasis Children’s Center is located in a brand-new, roomy building with lots of large windows in Bayview.

“Even on a rainy day, you don’t feel stuck inside, ready to go crazy,” Lewis said.

There is a toddler room that gives the kids space for playing and jumping around. There are no tables in the room, and it’s all geared towards physical activity, Lewis said.

“They are little ground people,” she said. “They need room to roam around.”

Lewis’ pride and joy, however, is the extra-large room for the kids who are 29 months and older.

It’s structured into activity areas — some for play and games, some for dance and movement and others for learning. Of course, there is the standard coloring area and Legos and blocks section, but there is also a sensory exploration area and an aquarium with colorful fish inside.

“I believe learning comes from hands-on activity and learning centers. I believe in having a curriculum,” she said.

The children will be encouraged to move through the areas throughout the day so they all get their share of ABCs and fun time.

Oasis Children’s Center also has an outdoor area. Besides toys, there will be a little garden and lots of flowers.

Lewis has been working in the early childhood education field for nearly 19 years. Her education and experience include early childhood and special education and she has 14 years of management experience.

Opening up the Oasis Children’s Center has been a longtime dream and she isn’t done yet.

“This is phase one. Eventually, way down the road, we would like to build our own building,” Lewis said. “Then, we would take toddlers through 12-year-olds.”

She moved to Whidbey Island after marrying her husband Steve.

He is the safety and all around helper guy at the center. He is also an EMT/firefighter for Fire District 3.

Together they have three kids; twin girls Helen and Morgan and their son Paul.

The daycare is located in the new building on the corner of Bayview and Howard roads, just off of Highway 525.

Call 321-3101 or e-mail director@oasischildrenscenter.com for more information.

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