A new daycare has been built at College Park School.
The daycare, an open space with lots of windows for natural light, measures in at 6,000 square ft. It’s just one outcome of the growing relationship between the Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD) and Odyssey Community Childcare (ODC). They partnered up three years ago to begin providing Out of School Care for children in kindergarten to Grade 6, said ODC’s executive director Jackie Taitinger.
“For the Out of School Program, the mandate for the LPSD was to keep kids in their schools,” said Taitinger. “So, they’re in their element and parents don’t have to worry about them walking home alone and in the winter ... so they’ve got a safe place.”
The Out of School Program has always taken place in each elementary school’s library, said Taitinger, where the kids would be watched over by instructors while doing activities, having a snack, playing games or doing their homework. But with the new daycare at College park, ODC and the LPSD finally have an exclusive area designated for daycare activities. And it’s getting quite a lot of attention from parents.
“We even have parents coming from out of town, like Wainwright and stuff, to utilize the daycare,” said Taitinger. Part of this is due to the inclusive nature of the daycare, which accepts every child, regardless of any special needs they might require.
“Inclusive childcare is a big thing for us, because we think that every child deserves to have quality care,” said Taitinger, and that her program co-ordinator has worked within the school division for years with special needs children. The daycare even accepts infants; however, at this time, all cribs are full.
Taitinger hopes that College Park School, along with the daycare, will be open by November, though no date is set in stone. The daycare, in accordance with the Saskatchewan-wide Out of School Program, will run from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and the cost will be on an hourly basis. Taitinger said that on average, however, parents will probably pay from $650 to $1,150 monthly, depending on how much they work during the week.
As of now, the program is over half full (with a maximum capacity of 95 children). About 20 staff are set to be onsite at all times, along with a fulltime cook to provide snacks and meals for the children.
“This is a lot bigger ... it’s exciting,” said Taitinger, of the daycare, which when it opens, will cause a spike in the amount of children enrolled in the Out of School program. To apply for the daycare, call Jackie Taitinger at 780-875-1300.