The County of Huron, Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) and London Bridge Child Care Services are excited to announce the opening of a ‘Family Age Grouping’ Child Care program at Exeter Elementary School.
In December 2017, the Ministry of Education announced Exeter Elementary School was approved for Early Years Capital Program Funding. The approved funding was for a ‘Family Age Grouping’ with a licensed capacity of 15 children. This program is the first of its kind in Huron County and will bring children of all ages together into one space instead of being separated by age groups as is the typical model in child care.
“Families across the province deserve access to quality, licensed child care in their own communities,” said Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “By committing up to $1 billion over five years to create new child care spaces, including up to 10,000 spaces in new schools, our government is suporting working families and ensuring children receive the care they need.”
This joint capital project with the County of Huron and the AMDSB, began in September 2019. AMDSB accepted the tender from Elgin Contracting and Restoration Ltd. to proceed with the project in a contract amount of $567,657. The work included renovating an existing resource room on the west side of the school and infilling the adjacent alcove to construct a 127 square metre space. The space includes cubbies, washroom and change area, sleep room, food prep area, storage room and a separate meeting/staff room. The Child Care has an entrance at the west side exterior vestibule.
London Bridge Child Care Services, who operates the Relouw Early Childhood Learning Centre across from Exeter Elementary School, is the provider for the program. London Bridge offers licensed child care programs and before/after school programs in London, Sarnia, Exeter, Hensall and Zurich. This unique program provides an opportunity for siblings to be together during the day and supports their belief about learning from others, regardless of age.
“The County of Huron is pleased to partner with London Bridge Child Care Services and the AMDSB, to offer this child care program that will help to support children and families in our communities.” said Huron County Warden, Jim Ginn. “This centre will be providing holistic environments where children of all ages can foster relationships with peers, educators, and their community.”
“The Avon Maitland DSB is grateful for this funding from the Ministry of Education, which has allowed for the creation of these essential child care spaces in the Exeter community. We are pleased to continue our positive relationship with the County of Huron and London Bridge Child Care Services, as they provide high quality care for future Exeter Elementary School students.” says Cheri Carter, Superintendent of Corporate Services.
“This is great news for local families who have been waiting for much needed child care spaces to the Exeter area,” said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson. “I often hear concerns about the lack of affordable child care, so I look forward to seeing the benefits of this unique approach for some of our youngest community members.”