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In Focus | Jen Kennedy of Creative Advantage Childcare

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.

What is your name?
Jen Kennedy

What do you always find yourself saying?
Affirmations! –“I love my life and am very blessed. I can be happy regardless of circumstance. I stay calm when I feel frustrated.” Yes, I talk to myself often.

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select and why?
Jim Carrey. Mostly because I love laughing, it’s super fun. I love being around naturally hilarious people (I grew up in a whole house full) and I just love people who are full of life and who uplift others. Jim Carrey recently said in a speech “I am here to plant a seed today that will inspire you to go forward in your life with enthusiastic hearts and a clear state of wholeness”- An intelligent man with his kind of charisma can certainly achieve this, and that is awesome. He just seems like my kind of guy!

If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?
I’m not really familiar with many public awards to be honest. When I was informed that I was nominated to be featured in KelownaNow and told that it was because “It’s a great way to show some extra recognition to the people who make our community great” I was truly honoured. To be acknowledged in my endeavor to help my community is the best public award I can think of. My deepest gratitude to KelownaNow and to whomever nominated me for this honour!

If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Interesting question, I am going to say Jesus Christ. He is the only historical figure that I can think of that had such a massive, positive impact on humanity. Beliefs in religion aside, I believe that this one man’s passion and influence may have prevented an abundance of crime, changed many people’s lives by providing hope and/or direction and has instilled a tangible list of morals and values into society that are to this day still widely-known as the 10 commandments. So while the concept of Jesus being the son of god is debatable or rather a of matter of faith, there is no doubt in my mind that his positive impact through mere inspiration and dedication to his cause has been nothing short of a miracle. The magnitude of his ability to inspire is one that is unsurpassed in my opinion.

Who inspires you?
People who go out into the world with the intention to inspire. Dr. Wayne Dyer is pretty much an inspiration machine, I mean everything that I’ve ever heard come out of the man’s mouth has been inspirational gold. “Never underestimate your power to change yourself”. “You’ll see it when you believe it.”

What are three things on your bucket list?
Taking my kids to a foreign country that is less privileged to live for a minimum of one month. I would love to divulge into the culture to experience the lifestyle that a huge percentage of the world’s less privileged population live.
Racing ostriches, is that a thing? If it is, I definitely want to do it!
Backpacking through the jungles of Thailand.

If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?
Wet Republic. There is a daytime outdoor club at the MGM Grand POOL in Las Vegas called Wet Republic. It has been voted by myself and my sisters as the hands down most amount of fun that an adult can have. I’m pretty sure if I owned an enormous yacht and invited all of my awesome friends; the general goal and one rule would be to have ‘as much fun as an adult can possibly have.’

If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select?
I’m going to go with the day that I die. Is that creepy? It’s super creepy isn’t it, lol, but I guess if I knew when I was going to die then I could make sure all of the things I want to do in life get done. I’m a big getter of stuff done. I have these grand plans for certain occasions in life that it would be pretty traumatizing for me not to achieve. For example I have been working on an elaborate grad gift for my children since the day they were born that will be 18 years in the making by the time it is ready to give to them. If I were to die young I would want to make sure that that is complete. I would also want to write to my children, things that may help them later in life or might comfort them. I would also want to make sure that I spent my last day on earth with the people I love.

What are you passionate about?
Living life passionately! I have always been a very real person. I seek out real love, real friendships, real experiences, real happiness; all of which I feel cannot be obtained or experienced on a higher level, unless you live your life with integrity and passion. I am also extremely passionate about children. They are as real as it gets. Their innocence, their adorable baby faces, the funny things they say. I can’t get enough of them. I have over 125 children enrolled in the two centers, a program of eight children in my home and my own three kids. Kids are definitely my passion, if they weren’t I would probably go crazy!

What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?
Well I guess I should say that the days on which my three children were born were equally my favorite…but that would be a lie. The first moments with my three babies when they were born were by far the most amazing moments of my life, meeting my life long loves for the first time! However, I could have definitely done without the endless hours of agony prior to their birth that would constitute the rest of this one whole day in question. And so, my favorite day in its entirety, I would have to say occurred recently in Las Vegas with my two sisters. An entire day of non-stop laughing…..actually three whole days.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Raising my well-mannered, smart, positive, funny, kind, healthy, and caring children. Children are in part a product of their environment and I am extremely proud to see that I have successfully instilled morals and qualities in my children that will help them live happy healthy lives.

Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna? What do you like about it?
I like Bouchons. Their menu is unique. It’s somewhere that you can really get something you would never make at home because it would take too much time and make too much mess.

What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna? Why?
I love skiing on both water and snow. I love these activities because I love to be active, feel alive in the outdoors, and because I get to teach these activities to my kids and we can enjoy them as a family.

What is the name of your business/organization?
Creative Advantage Childcare Inc.

What does your business/organization do?
Well let’s see… Long answer – We provide care for children, meeting all of their physical and emotional needs while simultaneously aiming to; create meaningful memories and relationships, build character and confidence, instill responsibility and patience, encourage creativity and friendships, educate, inspire, and generally make a positive difference in their lives and set them up for lifelong success. Short answer: daycare.

Where can people find you or your business online?
www.kelownaCAchildcare.com

Where can people find your business on Facebook?
There is a Facebook page under Creative Advantage Childcare; however it is not updated often as I am bad with technology.

What is your mission?
My overall mission statement is quite long, it can be read in the first page of our parent package under “Our Philosophy”. In general, one of my biggest goals in business is to give parents confidence that while they are at work, that their children are in the best possible environment. I once received a card that stated –moving my child to your daycare was the best parenting decision I have ever made – this is the best compliment I could possibly receive. Parents know their children well and can tell when they are happy. Now, I could say that my service having a positive impact on each child’s life is my ultimate mission, and it is extremely important, but a parent having 100 per cent confidence in the care provided means two things; The first is that their child is clearly being very well cared for, and the second is that parents can be happier and less stressed out knowing this. Thus further impacting the child positively in an indirect manner. Happy children, happy parents, happy families.

If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be?
I am currently achieving all that I ever hoped to achieve within my daycare. For the field in general, I wish that all daycares were created equally. Different approaches and policies aside, what I mean is that I would like to see all daycares maintaining a high standard of care. I find it truly upsetting to hear stories of parents and children having experiences in daycares that were not positive. All children deserve to be treated with love and care. I would like to see all caregivers that do not have a true passion for children and the patience and care needed to do the job well to simply remove themselves from the field. Child care is not for everyone, if it is not your passion, no big deal just pick a different career.

Where do you want your business/organization to be in five years?
Exactly where it is now, with exactly the same staff. The only thing that I would like to see added is free evening aerobics classes for the moms. I am a certified instructor and have always wanted to run evening classes in our gym for the moms. Nothing beats working out and generating endorphins while doing something that fun. I lost 60 lbs after my second child doing step aerobics. Now that I teach it I love to add components of dance and get lost in the music – remixed 80s songs being my favorite, I mean who can’t get down to some Good Vibrations or Bust a Move? In five years from now I hope to have the time to fit this into my crazy schedule.

Who do you consider to be a forerunner within your field?
I’m actually not very familiar with other daycares in town or how they operate, however I have heard good things about For the Kids Daycare and Grins and Giggles. The one thing I do know is that For the Kids daycare bases its philosophy on the book Kids are worth it. This is a very good book on positive and effective guiding and caring techniques used with kids, so I imagine that this works well for them which would be why they have a good reputation.

What three qualities do you feel that your business/organization exemplifies?
Integrity, compassion, and healthy relationships

What would you like to say to your employees/volunteers?
You guys are THE BEST! My biggest fear in opening a large centre was that I would have to worry about my staff having the same dedication to high standards of childcare that I hold myself to. With you guys on my team I don’t have to worry one bit, thank-you so much for all of the love you put into your work!

How does your business/organization impact the community?
The answer to this is primarily reflected in my answer on what my business does. I am in the business of impacting the community by helping to raise the children of our community in a positive environment with a variety of developmental benefits. We also help parents maintain their careers by giving them confidence in their children’s care, which thus sustains the economy. The children of our community are the future of our community and the first five years of their lives have the biggest impact on the people that they become. If we can achieve all that we aim to do, during these critical years of their lives, I would say our jobs have a massive impact on the community now and in the long term.

If you were trapped in an elevator with several wealthy investors from any field, which field would you want them to be experts in? What would say to them/talk about?
I find real estate an interesting investment topic. I also want to purchase the building that I currently lease someday, so I am going to say that being trapped with real estate gurus would be my choice.

If I could change one thing about Kelowna, it would be:
Hmm, I don’t really know! Having an Olive Garden and an IKEA here would be awesome!

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Where do I start? Kelowna is beautiful and amazing. It has great weather, beaches, mountains, and an abundance of community activities for kids and adults. It’s the perfect size, not too small that there is nothing to do, not too big that it doesn’t have a sense of community or feel safe. I find there are very nice people here, many groups to be involved in, many charities and organizations doing compassionate and beneficial things all the time in the community, great schools, and fantastic small business owners. We truly have it made here in Kelowna.

Some general comments I would like to share are:
Thank-you so much for giving me this chance to share what my business does! It is a joy to serve the wonderful parents of Kelowna and to be a part of so many wonderful children’s lives. Merry Christmas Everyone!!

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below, and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna!



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