Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools will be piloting an expanded Kindergarten program in a trio of schools for the 2021-2022 school year.
Kindergarten PLUS+, a user-pay, full-day, Monday to Friday program will provide children additional time with a Kindergarten instructor and assistant.
Superintendent Karl Germann says the program will promote a child’s growth and development and will complement and enrich the instruction that children receive in their regular classes.
“We know families might want to give their kids an additional start, or boost, because of COVID-19,” he says.
“It also probably meets the needs of some families, because if you’re that parent that is working, it’s often quite difficult to pick your kid up after a half-day program, or to try and find care on alternate days,” he adds.
Germann adds at the current time, the monthly user-pay rate is likely to sit between $200 and $300. He adds, however, that the trickle-down savings could easily outweigh those costs.
“Your kid goes to school, get taken care of at school, and they get an extra boost…it certainly helps working families try and meet their needs as well with childcare,” Germann says.
For the 2021-2022 school year, the pilot will be offered initially at École St. Gérard Catholic School, Mother Teresa Catholic School, and St. Catherine Catholic School. Germann says from there, depending on success rates, they will look to expand.
“There has certainly been an expression of interest that people would like to see it expanded to other schools…we want to try it in a few schools, do it right, and it if works well, do it again,”
For more information on the pilot, you can head to the GPCSD website.