SUNDRE — Children enrolled in a local daycare will courtesy of combined grant funding from Mountain View County and the town have the opportunity to embark this summer on several educational adventures.
The Sundre Daycare Centre’s summer programming gets started on July 5, with weekly activities and field trips lined up every Wednesday for the coming months.
“Staff and the board of directors are going above and beyond in ensuring that these kids are going to have memorable experiences and enrichment,” said Janelle Mikal, Sundre Daycare board of directors president.
The planned excursions — which include visits to the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, Heritage Park, the TELUS Spark Science Centre, and local activities like a scavenger hunt at Snake Hill as well as a clown workshop that will feature bouncy castles on the fields behind the school — were made possible through a couple of grants, said Mikal.
Two trips are also planned to the bowling alley in Olds and the splashpark, she said.
Mountain View County approved a contribution of $6,745, while the Town of Sundre allocated another $2,500 through a grant review committee that makes recommendations to council.
“The grant ensures these field trips are accessible for the majority of children in the area,” reads a portion of a press release, adding the expense of $60 for kids aged 3-4 or $45 for those who are 6-12, “is much less than the actual cost of these trips.”
And parent volunteers who participate as chaperones will be offered free admission as well as a reduced rate for their kids, which includes the cost of transportation, said Mikal.
“Which is a huge expense,” she said, adding that arranging to have a bus to get the children to the city for one day runs up a tab of about $900.
While the field trips might technically have been possible without the grant funding, the cost would have more than likely ended up being prohibitive, making them unattainable for parents who would be either unwilling or unable to afford the expense, she said.
“I’m just ecstatic that we did receive this funding, and that we are able to take kids of the community and surrounding communities on these field trips that might not normally be accessible for them to go.”
When Mikal stepped onto the board of directors a couple of years ago, she said grants were not as actively being sought out.
“We weren’t going on field trips,” she said, adding this is the second summer the daycare was approved for funding to offset that cost.
Additionally, for children whose parents work full-time throughout the summer, the affordable day trips could offer the kids an opportunity to go places they otherwise might not be able to, she said.
The scavenger hunt and clown workshop events that are planned in Sundre come part and parcel for kids who are enrolled in the daycare, with no transportation or admittance cost involved.
“It builds such a strong community for Sundre,” said Mikal about the importance of providing opportunities such as field trips, adding the activities also offer a chance for parents to enjoy some peace of mind with the comfort of knowing their children are not only well taken care of but also out making memories while learning at the same time.
Visit www.sundredaycare.ca for more information about the daycare, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
“We’re a volunteer board of directors, and we’re always interested in recruiting skilled professionals to our board,” said Mikal.