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'The disappearance of smaller schools/centres' a trendto the editor,
Posted April 23, 2014
Reading that Simcoe County has just received a $1.74 million enhancement to increase licensed day care spots is just a bit too late for Beeton's only full-day preschool.
With the advent of Full-Day Kindergarten, Natural Wonders Montessori has been struggling to keep going. Losing the alternate day kindergarten children has been the deciding blow.
The province wants centres to make accommodations for infants/toddlers, but they cost much more to staff as you require double the amount of staff in a toddler room as you need in a kindergarten room. Toddlers need one staff member for every five children, but with kindergarten-aged children the ratio is 1:10 (Infants need one ECE for every three children).
Weighing all the factors led the school to declare in September that this will be their last year in business (after 12 successful years). With the recent closure of Thor College in Thornton, we are seeing a trend towards the disappearance of smaller schools/centres.
Although it is claimed that the number of licensed facilities is growing, they will continue to be the larger centres that often have higher staff turnover, more illness transmission, and less of the warm, nurturing ambiance that young children (and their parents) crave. Is this really the direction that we want to take for the future of our children?
The owners will be leaving Beeton to move closer to family. They have really enjoyed their time in this community and are sad that their ideal of quality early years education is slipping away.
Best of luck to the children and their families. Please think carefully about who is caring for your most precious beings.