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Sunflower came into being as a child care centre in 1971 as "Pestalozzi Day Care". It grew out of a co-operative babysitting service which was started by parent residents of Pestalozzi College. The centre continued to grow and evolve, and in 1977 became incorporated under the name of "Sunflower Co-operative Day Nursery Inc.". In 1979 Sunflower had outgrown the college premises and moved to the St. Pierre Community Centre in Sandy Hill. 

In 1988 Sunflower restructured and expanded to create separate English and French preschool programs in order to meet the French language needs of the growing number of Francophone families that we were servicing. Please note that, while Sunflower offers both French and English programs, the business language and official documents of the centre are English. 

When the St. Pierre Community Centre was sold by the City of Ottawa in 1997, the centre relocated temporarily to 88 Main Street, while a search for a permanent site continued. In August 1997 Sunflower formed a partnership with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the National Research Council to provide childcare in a federal government work site. In January 1998 the centre moved to our present location, in the CMHC building complex, at 700 Montreal Road.