Choosing a home childcare with a pet as part of the home can have the additional benefit of allowing a child to have access to a pet and learning about pet ownership without the 24/7 responsibilities of a pet ... a plus for many busy families these days
Having a pet in the home childcare is an awesome tool for teaching children empathy, compassion and respect for another being as they learn to recognize the animals needs, read their cues and help meet their needs where possible!
Depending on their age, skill level and comfort they can help with simple tasks like topping up food dishes, replacing fresh water daily, combing or grooming tasks, petting and so forth.
Nevada is a 'rescue cat' with an amazing story!
I found her on a pot light in front of the Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas while on Christmas vacation ... we would never have been in that spot except they were doing work on the front entrance causing a 'crowd' to form getting in and out so we took a side detour and there she was huddled up trying to get warm. She was a tiny little thing weighing less than 2 pounds and shivering cold.
She instantly stole my heart and after several attempts to find her help in Las Vegas we were informed that the only option was that Animal Control would put her down.
As an animal lover at heart that was not something I could consider ~ so we found an emergency vet open over the holidays, paid for all her Vet bills and vaccinations and got her healthy and strong enough to fly back to Canada and bought her a plane ticket! She has been a loving member of our family for the past 13 years ~ last 8 of which she lived with my mother before returning to us in 2013 when my mom had to downsize to a seniors residence with a no pet policy.
Nevada is a short haired tabby Manx breed cat ... while my understanding there is no such thing as a true 'hypoallergenic’ animal her breed does come close to being one that most people can tolerate and is often given the term ‘hypo allergenic’ or ‘allergen friendly’ by Manx breeders.
I myself have bad dander allergies growing up and had to take allergy shots over the years to cope with being exposed as my step mother had both cats and dogs growing up. However Nevada has never bothered me as she does not 'shed' the way other breeds do … my understanding is that not the same level of 'dander' in the air that is usually the cause of typical allergic reactions.
Nevada is a healthy cat who sees a veterinarian regularly and is up to date on all required immunizations as per City of London Bi-laws for pet ownership.
With the addition of the pet to the home it is my practice to vacuum the playroom and main floor surfaces each morning to help reduce exposure dust and debris in general as well as any potential cat dander.
During the daytime the cat is not allowed to be where children are sleeping. During quiet time while children are resting upstairs the gate is available along the bottom of the stairs to ensure she stays on the main floor. When not in use children's rest cots and bedding are stored in closets that the cat does not have access too.
Pet doors have been installed to allow Nevada access to the 'kitty throne' while ensuring that children do not have access to the area that kitty litter is housed!
Nevada is a friendly and curious cat who will come out to investigate any new voices, but due to her advanced age she mostly just sleeps all day now and is rarely in the actual program space except in passing for accessing the litter box in the locked laundry room or occasionally in the nice weather she will opt to join us outside on her leash to get some fresh air herself.
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