Early Years Expansion In Perth And Huron Counties

Five Avon Maitland District schools will receive a total of just over $6-million to expand their Early Years programs.

Board Director Lisa Walsh explains the Exeter Elementary School is getting funding for 15 new spaces, Anne Hathaway gets a total of 49 new spaces, the YMCA Early Learning Centre in Stratford Northwestern Secondary School will get 49 new spaces, Upper Thames gets an additional 73 child care spaces and Sprucedale Public School gets 15 additional spaces. Walsh says some children start the Early Years program as young as six months old.

“We really believe that licenced, affordable, inclusive early years programming is really a bonus to our families. Families can drop off their younger child in the early care spaces and also their child who’s going to elementary school at the same time,” says Walsh. “They’re warm friendly places and children are using shared space in some cases, so they might take them into the gym, they might co-use the library etc. So for children, it’s great because they’ve been there as an infant and as a toddler.”

Walsh says that makes the transition to regular elementary school much easier for the children.