Daycares moving into six Seine River schools


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Communities across Seine River School Division (SRSD) stepped up to help fill a need after the Kids at Play (KAP) program was cut to help the division’s climb out of a multi-million-dollar deficit.

The final details on leases are being worked out so that daycares can open in September at six elementary schools: Treasurekeepers at Arborgate School in La Broquerie, Children of the Universe at Ste Anne Immersion, Tache Early Learning Centre at Dawson Trail School in Lorette, Little Steps at Ecole Ile des Chenes, La Salle Kidz at La Salle School, and the previous KAP instructor who is forming a new daycare for Ecole St Norbert Immersion.

This will allow kindergarten students to continue attending school all day at these locations.

“We’re very cognizant of the fact that eliminating the KAP program was posing quite a bit of difficulty for parents,” said SRSD board chair Wendy Bloomfield.

“And when those discussions were going on, some daycares and individuals started reaching out to the board to say, ‘hey, would you be open to us sort of filling the gap.’

“We felt it was really important to follow through with that because the community was rallying behind it to help parents in the difficulty we know they were facing after the elimination of KAP.”

The community daycares are doing the legwork of getting all the proper licensing to open up in schools and coordinating with secretary treasurer Amanda Senkowski on leases based on square footage that will see the school division providing the maintenance for the school space.

“Amanda our secretary treasurer was the key individual who embraced the idea and really worked diligently with the various different groups to see what space would be available, and to work out the lease agreements with them,” said Bloomfield.

The goal is to be revenue neutral.

“It’s based on our legitimate costs. We’re not putting any profit on top of it,” said Bloomfield.

Not all schools have daycares going in this fall. An available daycare and having space in the school are the two key ingredients needed to make it happen.

“If community groups come forward, we’re certainly open to the idea. It is also dependent on our need for classroom space,” said Bloomfield.

“All of our communities are really growing quite rapidly. So unfortunately it depends on our need for classroom space because we can’t give up classroom space if we need it.”

This is a new venture for SRSD, and it will be reviewed by the board of trustees to see if and where improvements can be made.

“We’re quite optimistic that it’s going to work out well for our schools, the families, the daycare centres themselves. But it’s a learning experience too. We’ll have to maybe do a follow-up in a few months,” said Bloomfield.

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