Globe and Mail: Can empty classrooms help solve the daycare crunch?

Dec 05, 2013

Globe and Mail: Dec 5, 2013

The Ontario Government took steps to address the gap within before and after school programs by “introducing legislation that mandates school boards to provide before and after programs for all elementary students where “sufficient need” exists”.

There are school boards, such as Kitchener-Waterloo, where this policy is in effect. The school board run a morning and afternoon program for students up to Grade 2 and contracts a “youth development” programs for older children in half its schools.

Scott Podrebara, who oversees the program, says parents pay fees, making “it totally revenue neutral and the smart thing is using buildings that are already heated and lit.” The space is flexible for family needs and kindergarten students remain in their familiar space, with familiar faces.

Other Provincial Efforts
-New Brunswick- The Step Ahead Family Learning Centre which was a three year pilot project to build five school based family learning centres around the province
-Nova Scotia- They are hoping by next Spring to open four multipurpose family centres in schools
-Newfoundland- Studying options for two possible locations of its own

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