The District of Houston will be getting a new child care facility at Silverthorne Elementary School (SES).
In his report to administration at their June 16 meeting SD54 superintendent Michael McDiarmid said that funding was recently approved by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
The school will receive $1.5 million which will go toward renovating the west wing of the school to include a variety of new childcare spaces. The facility will provide services for various stages of development: infant, 3-5 years and multi-age. It will be available before and after school.
Renovations will also be used to provide new meeting rooms and various classroom upgrades.
Currently the Beanstalk Childcare Centre is the only licensed child care facility in Houston. The facility has been owned and operated by the Houston Community Services Association since the late 1990s.
In an emailed response to Houston Today SD54 Secretary Treasurer Dave Margerm said the original idea for a daycare at Silverthorne was first discussed in the fall of 2018, with the District submitting an official application for funding to the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
He said the facility fits into broader discussions about low capacity in all of Houston’s schools.
“The option of closing one school has been considered for the past 4 years,” he said, adding that the Board and School District have instead opted for a more pro-active approach to increase the capacity or utilization within a school(s). “Consequently, in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Ministry of Education, the option to incorporate public daycare into school facilities has been approved by the Board and funded by the Ministry. This will allow the school district to support community childcare services and help integrate K-12 education with pre-kindergarten age children.”
Margerm said the current partnership plan for a daycare provider is for Beanstock Daycare to run the facility, which will provide approximately 48 spaces for children in the age ranges of 0-3, 3-5 and before and after-school childcare.
The facility is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2021, for occupancy in September.
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