The school district will be opening a playschool-type centre for young children and their caregivers at Tahayghen elementary this fall, says superintendent Mike Woods.
The provincial government has asked school districts to take the lead in providing early learning opportunities, and the funding for the new program at Tahayghen is part of that change, Mr. Woods said.
The district is receiving $20,000 to start up the program, known as a “strong start early learning centre” and another $30,000 to run it for its first year.
Several strong start centres are up and running in other parts of BC. They are located in schools, focused on children aged 3 to4, but open to preschool children of any age, free of charge, available five days a week, and staffed by qualified early childhood educators.
They are not day care centres and children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver, Mr. Woods said.
The Ministry of Education is giving the school district a further $174,000 for early learning initiatives, he said.
No decisions have yet been made about how to spend that money, and the district is thinking about holding a symposium to discuss possibilities, he said.
The money is this district’s share of $12-million which the Ministry of Education is giving out across the province to support early learning activities. According to the ministry, the children in this district are the most vulnerable in the province, and our funding was increased because of that.
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