Sundre non-profit daycare expands to River Valley School

SUNDRE — Sundre Daycare plans to expand the delivery of its programs beyond its walls at the Sundre Community Center, said the nonprofit’s president, Janelle Mikal.

Starting in the fall, the center will have space available at the River Valley School (RVS) to offer a childcare program, Mikal said.

“We are delighted to have the hall at Sundre School,” she said. “We will have year-round access from this fall. Thus, we will be able to offer daycare programming.

To date, she said Sundre was only able to provide kindergarten services two days a week and every other Friday.

“And now we can have a room in the school where these kindergarten children can come for more tailored care provided by Sundre Daycare for the rest of the week,” she said, adding that the children can stay in school. .

“Previously, we just had the out-of-school care room in RVS for use after school and non-school days,” she said.

“But we just made an agreement to have the room all week during school hours. So when kindergarten children don’t have kindergarten classes at RVS, their parents can still drop them off at school for full-time childcare with us.

Mikal told the Albertan Thursday, April 7 in an interview that the organization had heard comments from parents informing the daycare that “kindergartners didn’t like going back to the ‘baby room’ — the preschool room. So now they can stay in school and be big kids.

Additionally, access to the River Valley room for the daycare program this fall will by extension create new spaces for even more children through daycare programming, she said.

“This daycare is going to be huge,” she said. “These children were now coming to our preschool room, which is only allowed for such a large number of children. So that takes away seats for preschoolers.

Additionally, she said the nonprofit was working to develop a programming partnership with the school.

“We also hope to partner with River Valley and the kindergarten teachers in our child care program to teach these children skills that will help them in kindergarten,” she said. “This partnership is under development.”

The arrangement for the daycare to provide services to kindergarten students on non-attendance days is essentially a continuation of the school’s ongoing collaboration with the center’s Valley Kids program, which has been in place for more than 10 years, said Leslie Cooper-Shand. , major.

“Previously, the space was used for before and after school care, and occasionally by staff and students for science projects or to access the pottery kiln,” Cooper-Shand wrote via email in response. to follow-up questions.

“At this time, we have enough classroom space to meet our current needs and we are pleased to work with this community partner to support Sundre families with childcare needs,” he said. she declared.

“These are already RVS kids, and it’s great to have them around the building more often, getting to grips with the educational environment they will hopefully be in for the next eight years of their school careers.”

Other projects the daycare is working on involve exploring the possibility of offering a hot meal and snack program at the daycare, Mikal said.

“It’s pending licensing approval, as we will have to increase our costs to cover (the additional expenses),” she said, adding that the costs must first be deemed reasonable before approval.

Board grows with one director

The organization held its Annual General Meeting on Friday, March 25, with attendees having the chance to hear some of the highlights from the past year as well as a preview of upcoming summer programs.

“It was nice to have this opportunity to come together and invite our community members and parents to hear about our year in review,” Mikal said, adding that 2021 all around “was a good year.” .

The organization managed to stick to its budget in a financially difficult period and even saw an increase in registrations, continuing an upward trend that has been going on for several years. Several field trips, which took up to 36 children to the TELUS Science Spark Center in Calgary, were also successfully completed, she said.

“We will also have field trips coming up this summer,” she said. “So I’m excited about this for our kids.”

Asked about attendance at the meeting, she said, “We always hope to have more participation from our community as well as our members.”

That being said, she added that three potentially interested parents showed up alongside members of staff and the board, which remains largely unchanged except for a new headmaster a major.

“Everyone stays another year in their job,” she says.

Mikal was elected president for her third term. Stan McNutt retains his position as secretary for a second term, while Kyla Story was re-elected vice president for her second term. Lesley McGill is also staying on for a second term as Treasurer.

“We were able to appoint a new member for our general membership,” Mikal said, adding that Shona White had been appointed director.

“So we were able to expand our board of directors by one member.”

She said the organization also has a new interim executive director, Soleil Rothenburg, who has worked at the center for years and takes over after Leah Penner leaves.