A “wonderful” first year will be celebrated when Sylvan Lake Child Care Centre hosts its official opening with tours, a barbecue and cake, next Thursday night.
The event is planned in conjunction with the town’s annual Family & Community Information Fair and runs from 5-8 p.m. at the facility behind the community centre, said executive director Tanya Bennett.
The centre, which can handle 34 children at one time is almost full with just two or three spaces available. Half of the spaces are for youngsters aged 12 months to three years old and the other half for those 3-6 years old.
“We’ve grown a lot from just opening the centre to almost being accredited,” Bennett said. “We’ve served 53 families with full-time, parttime or drop-in care so far.”
They’re hoping to request a site visit from Alberta Resource Center for Quality Enhancement (ARCQE) in October. It usually takes six weeks to get a visit which will lead to accreditation, she said. Accreditation means they’ve taken another step towards offering quality child care, and it qualifies the organization for additional government money for programming.
Each of the staff members takes turns planning programming which is reviewed weekly. It can include art, outdoors and play learning experiences. “We try to follow what the kids are interested in, change to suit their needs,” said Bennett.
A recent field trip to Sobey’s was a real hit, she added. “We’re trying to meet anything they may need to learn before Kindergarten. It’s all through play and building social skills. The social aspect is really important.”
Bennett was also ecstatic about the space the centre utilizes. “The space is fantastic, the kids have access to a whole lot of awesome space.”
She said volunteers are always welcome. People can come and help out, be an extra pair of hands, share experiences, read stories or assist on field trips.
The organization has an annual meeting coming up in October and is looking for several board members to replace those who have left. “Parents, especially, are welcome to come and join the team.”
Fundraising is another area where more support is always appreciated.
To learn more, attend the official opening Sept. 6.