Wee Can Pre-School & Early Childhood Program
A Personal Message from the Founder of Wee Can
As the founder of this program, I would like you to know the story of how Wee Can came into existence.
I have been a registered nurse for over 20 years. Most of my professional nursing career has been in pediatrics. I have worked in pediatric intensive care units and emergency departments for 12 of those 20 years.
At present, I am employed part time as a Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department at the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo. There, parents often ask me “why do you want to own a pre-school and day care?” The answer is: The three most important people in the world to me are my husband and two children (we have twin boys). Gannon is “typical” and Rory has Cerebral Palsy. As parents, we know what it feels like to go through the denial and final realization that you have a child with needs that are different from “average”. When searching for child care for our children, my husband and I found it difficult to locate a quality program that was able to accommodate the unique needs of our son’s mobility issues and not have the feel of an “institution”. The closest acceptable program was a 30-45 minute commute. We needed something in the Southtowns. At that point, I became committed to developing a quality educational program for both children with "special" needs as well as children with "typical" needs in our community.
Through my own children's Pre-school experience, I realized how important it was to all the children in their class to be exposed to each other. The compassion and acceptance shown by the "typical" children in the class was absolutely something I would have not have believed if I did not witness it myself. There were a lot of questions the first week of school. "Why can't he walk?" "Why does he need that to help him stand?" After the children had their questions answered, they wanted to try out my son's equipment. After that, my son was just another member of the class, just like all the other members of the class, nothing "special". He was accepted by the children for who he was. The entire class always rode in the elevator with Rory, they took turns pushing his wheel chair and took turns sitting next to him at the lunch table. Rory gained so much from the experience of being with "typical" peers, and the other children gained equally as much from learning that people can be "different" from them, and that's OK, they can still be friends.
When I decided to open my own child care program, I went back to school and took 12 credit hours in Early Childhood Education. I have been a member of the Association for the Education of Young Children since 2002. I am also a member of the Southtowns Family Child Care Network, the New York State Family Child Care Association and the Child Care Coalition of the Niagara Frontier.
I am confident that as you get to know me, you will agree that I have very high quality-of-care standards. Here at Wee Can we will never settle for average employees or an average program. I look forward to the opportunity to provide your child with a high-quality educational program able to meet his or her unique needs. Every child is unique, special needs or not. Any good teacher can accommodate each child's learning needs and adapts the teaching environment and the classroom to those unique needs.
Julie Wettlaufer/RN MSN-Founder and Executive Director
This site was last updated 07/24/09