On April 30, St. Michael’s Catholic School celebrated the opening of the KIDS Care Centre, a multi-age childcare center which houses the current operating before and after school care program for school age children and the Little Saints Junior Kindergarten which will be operational in the fall of 2019.
During the evening, a presentation was made by Julia Mason, school principal and Gerald Klassen, council chair for St. Michael’s School to dedicate the KIDS Care Centre to Barb Cole who volunteered throughout the summer of 2018 and was instrumental in obtaining the licensing and funding to renovate and buy large equipment for the center.
Cole explained that the KIDS Care Centre does come with history. This specific project was initiated in the Montrose Elementary School back in 2000. Sandie Simmons, Jayme Casler and Cole had connected back in 1999 and have been in pursuit of establishing the KIDS Care children’s center ever since.
She had written a grant for the Montrose and Fruitvale Elementary Schools and secured substantial funding for renovations and equipment for the initial school age program to convert a classroom in both schools for KIDS Care Centres.
The goal of KIDS Care was to establish a one stop center for children and families on school sites that provided childcare, programming and resources for all ages. When the Montrose School closed Lynn Proulx, director of Sunshine Children’s Centre, was able to put the equipment and furnishing to good use to support children and families in Trail through an afterschool program that was run out of St. Michael’s Catholic School, St. Mike’s Kids Care. The Fruitvale Centre was transitioned to the Beaver Valley Nursery School Society and still operates out of the Fruitvale Elementary School.
As for “St. Mike’s Kids Care” program, in March 2018, 15 years later, Cole met Mason for the first time at St. Michael’s School for some other business and noticed some old furnishings in the after school room that were there from the original KIDS Care Centre in Montrose.
Mason’s dream was to have the school age program administered by St. Michael’s Catholic School and expand on the programming.
When the Columbia Basin Trust funding opportunity was announced to expand childcare spaces Cole and Mason agreed to work together to establish this center they both dreamed of.
On July 27, 2018 KIDS Care Centre was approved by licensing to open in September, 2018 for before and after school care and a pre-school age program.
Also the CBT funding was secured for renovations and larger equipment.
For more information on either program please contact facilitators of the program Jayme Casler and Dana Mckay at 250-231-6173.