Presented to the May 2017 OSCA Board Meeting
Decision Item: Licensing: Background Information
Christy and her team have been at the forefront of understanding the implications of the new Child Care Act which comes into effect in August 2017. This act requires the Firehall to become a licensed facility in order for it to offer After 4 programs to children 6 years of age and younger. Licensing the Firehall in order to offer After 4 Programming for the JK/SK age-groups does not appear to be a viable option for several reasons:
- The licensing process creates issues for other programs. Two licenses would be required to serve our existing client base. The licenses would technically require 4 rooms to be dedicated to this programming, which would create insurmountable space issues for the rest of the After 4 programs. The licenses would also technically require some modifications to the facilities.
- The licensing process is time consuming. If we begin the licensing process now, we would not be able to guarantee that we would have the licenses in place for September 2017. There are many steps in the process which can create delays. This creates uncertainty around whether spaces will be available or not, and in the end, most parents would very likely make alternate arrangements in order to be certain their children would have care.
- The JK/SK After 4 program has been operating at a significant loss. The licensing requirements would increase the expenses of this program. Without fairly dramatic price increases, the licensing would make the After 4 JK/SK losses even greater than they have been. Our mandate is to create a sustainable Firehall. Continuing programs which operate at significant losses is not viable in the long term.
It appears that Hopewell School will be required by the Ministry to provide spaces for all JK/SK children who sign up, but it also appears that Glebe Parents’ Day Care (GPD) who currently operate out of Hopewell will not necessarily be able to accommodate all of the additional children expected and thus it remains unknown whether every community member will have somewhere for their needs to be met. Good Morning Creative Arts and Preschool in the Glebe is licensed and is planning to expand programs to meet some of the need. It is possible to pursue licensing in the future if there is sufficient community need. Staff are investigating the options for providing episodic programming after school for all school-aged children including the JK/SK age group. More information on this will be forthcoming as soon as it is available. To our knowledge neither the JK/SK breakfast club, nor JK/SK summer camps will be impacted by the new act so we plan to continue these programs in 2017/2018.
Decision Item: Licensing: Motion
Whereas the Ministry of Education has updated the Child Care Act to require licensing for facilities delivering after school programming to children who are 6 years of age and younger; and
Whereas OSCA Staff have investigated licensing options for the Firehall and have determined that it is not a viable option for the 2017/2018 school year; and
Whereas The Program Committee has voted to support this motion;
Be it hereby resolved that:
- OSCA will not offer ‘After 4’ care for children in junior and senior kindergarten for the 2017/2018 school year,
- OSCA staff will discontinue the investigation and pursuit of licensing for the 2017/2018 school year, and
- OSCA staff will communicate this information to the community as soon as possible.
- Admin fee: When parents join or leave the After 4 program mid-month and want a pro-rated refund, this causes various administrative issues. In order to recoup some of the costs of this additional administrative work, the program committee decided that staff can introduce different weekly and monthly rates for the After 4 program with the weekly fee being elevated to compensate for the extra work involved in administering those who join or leave mid-stream. The program committee approved of this approach, and left it to staff to determine the appropriate amount.
- Episodic Programming: Staff are working on a plan to conduct a trial run of episodic after-school programming at Southminster in the large room.
The idea would be that 2 hours per day, 4 days per week (Mon-Thurs) OSCA would pick up kids from Hopewell, and offer programming for a 10 week session at Southminster that might include: yoga, drama, ballet, fun programs, art, science, girls who code, robotics academy, Ian Dudley, and other enriching programs.
The program committee felt that this would be an appropriate calculated risk in the fall session.
Our initial assumptions were:
- 8 classes * 10 weeks @ $100/class = $8000 income. Costs include 4k for facility, 1.5k for supplies etc.
- PC felt that given the interest in part-time spaces in the After 4 program, and a general sense of community needs, it is likely that the spaces can be filled if the programming is very strong.
Also of note, the space could potentially be used for some adult fitness programming as well but it may be too warm. Staff to consider further. Staff are working on a plan for this trial run.
- After 4 Survey: The After 4 survey showed a great deal of improvement over last year’s survey. Items to work on include: Southminster cleanliness (though it may be that the floors are just stained, and can’t be cleaned further), and heading outside more if possible given the warmer weather (construction has prevented this on-site in the past few months, but now that it is warmer perhaps they could venture further). All in all a very large improvement here!
- Summer Camps Registrations: Summer camp registration is ongoing. EBTKS (for our youngest campers) have lower registrations from last year. We are monitoring the situation, and will attempt further social media outreach. A re-brand was suggested as the camps are well-liked but the name is cumbersome. Overall registration numbers: 500 this year vs. 680 last year (at this point) however EBTKS is down by 113 registrations.
- Open House Update: The open house week was a bit success and the Easter Egg Hunt brought in somewhere between 3-400 people!
- Youth Night: Youth night has been cancelled until further notice due to lack of attendance. Staff are conducting outreach and considering a re- brand/separation of age groups for next year.