YMCA looks at eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity of part-time preschool

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS/WEATHER - BY ERIN POTTIE epot­tie@cb­post.com

SYD­NEY — The YMCA of Cape Bre­ton will con­duct a mar­ket study to de­ter­mine the eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity of main­tain­ing its part­time preschool.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer An­dre Gal­lant said the YMCA is can­celling its cur­rent half-day preschool held a few days a week, in favour of a full-day, week-long preschool and day­care beginning in Septem­ber.

In mak­ing the switch, YMCA of­fi­cials say they have met some re­sis­tance from par­ents of chil­dren en­rolled in the cur­rent pro­gram.

Gal­lant said the de­ci­sion comes af­ter years of plan­ning for the cur­rent ren­o­va­tions and construction at the Syd­ney fa­cil­ity. The need for child care in the com­mu­nity was among the is­sues dis­cussed for the project.

By adding the two new pro­grams, Gal­lant said the YMCA is in­creas­ing its ca­pac­ity in terms of child-care hours by 600 per cent.

“ The needs were for full-time, full child care and that’s still the case,” said Gal­lant. “I ad­mit we did a lousy job of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with fam­i­lies that are cur­rently in our preschool pro­gram and

I ad­mit we did a lousy job of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with fam­i­lies that are cur­rently in our preschool pro­gram and telling them what change was com­ing. An­dre Gal­lant, YMCA of Cape Bre­ton chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer

telling them what change was com­ing.”

YMCA of­fi­cials held a meet­ing in Jan­uary to dis­cuss changes for par­ents who have chil­dren cur­rently en­rolled in preschool. Some of the fam­i­lies who at­tended the meet­ing said they would like the pro­gram to re­main the same.

Gal­lant said in or­der to carry out a part-time pro­gram, a space will have to be rented out­side of their fa­cil­ity. To guar­an­tee the or­ga­ni­za­tion doesn’t lose rev­enue, it will have to dou­ble the num­ber of chil­dren at­tend­ing the pro­gram by in­clud­ing an af­ter­noon part­time preschool, while also in­creas­ing pro­gram fees.

The YMCA has said a mar­ket study will be com­pleted by the Cape Bre­ton Uni­ver­sity’s small busi­ness de­vel­op­ment cen­tre, with help from In­tel­li­gence Con­sult­ing.

Gal­lant said the method­ol­ogy for the study is still be­ing de­ter­mined, but noted par­ents who have chil­dren in the preschool pro­gram will be con­sulted.

The preschool pro­gram has been in op­er­a­tion for the past 25 years, open­ing an­nu­ally in Septem­ber and run­ning un­til mid June.

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