Little Phoenix Rising to Life

February 19, 2021 / by United Way

One of Canada’s first trauma-informed daycares is getting closer to opening its doors thanks to donor support.

UWGV is proud to be working in partnership with Family Services of Greater Victoria and Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society in creating the Little Phoenix Daycare.

What makes this daycare so special is that it will be providing wrap-around support for children who have experienced trauma whether that’s related to family violence, sexual, psychological, physical and emotional abuse, or traumatizing experiences such as living in a refugee camp. Counsellors and art therapists will be available on site to help children.

Everything in the physical space has been designed to be calm and non-triggering, from the colours and textures used to the lighting and sound in the space. For example, colours being used are soft mauves, blues and greens, not hard primary colours familiar in other daycares.

Another unique aspect of the daycare is a research partnership with University of Victoria’s School of Child and Youth Care led by Dr. Alison Gerlach. The School has been helping in the development of the daycare and will generate new knowledge about designing and delivering a trauma-informed daycare program that can be shared with the community.

Research indicates that the earlier the intervention, the better the child is supported in their development. By tailoring support to children who have experienced trauma, they are more likely to develop positive peer relationships, intimate relationships and make better choices as they grow up.

The space will welcome up to 31 children, seven infant toddlers, and up to 24, 3-5 year olds. As far as who will attend the daycare, referrals will come from other social service partner agencies. There will also be spaces for North Park neighbourhood children who aren’t coming from traumatic environments. The goal is that this mixture of children will breed acceptance and tolerance.

There will be resources available for parents too including parent support groups.

Listen to a Capital Daily interview here with Jane Taylor-Lee, Executive Director of Family Services of Greater Victoria.>


Funds are still needed to complete Little Phoenix Daycare so that it can open its doors later this year. We’re grateful to all of the donor support we’ve already received, including $31,000 raised by Women United, a group of philanthropic United Way donors.