YMCA looks at economic viability of part-time preschool
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.