News & Events

Thanks for a year of School-Age Care!

Our year-long school-age care adventure comes to a close this month, and we are so happy to have had the opportunity to meet the kids and families of Lord Selkirk and Selkirk Annex elementaries.

Starting last summer, we've explored the seasons, cultures, food, and enjoyed all the celebrations the year has to offer!

Our teachers stepped up to the challenge and we absolutely LOVED presenting programs for the older kids before and after school.

Closing for the summer

Unfortunately, licensing regulations restrict us from offering our services to both school-age and preschoolers and toddlers at the same time. This means in order to offer an all-day summer program for the older kids, we would have to close our occasional care.

Compromise doesn't work

Last year, we attempted an afternoon program that would be allowed by licensing, from 2:30 - 6pm, after the early years kids went home. It just didn't find an audience that could cover the cost to provide it. Especially when the teachers would be working 9-hour days, earning overtime wages.

It just didn't make ... dollars. And Buddings is a business. 

Making the call...

Since we can only serve either school-age families, or early year families, for the summer we had to choose to continue our occasional service for toddlers and preschoolers, aged 18 months to kindergarten.

Camps and programs for school-age kids are more widely available, but access to care for preschoolers, and especially toddlers, is quite limited. Filling that gap, since 2011, is our raison d'etre. More of our families use the Occasional care program. It seemed like the best choice.

And the kindergarten kids who joined us all year are still able to attend!


Regretting the call...

... it means restricting our hours to a maximum of 40 per month. 😥

Meaning families who need the most hours, that would normally be our best flexible care customers, are the ones who leave us for full-time spaces that they don't really need, because we're not allowed to meet their needs either. Since more subsidized spaces are available, it's a cheaper option as well.

Again, licensing and the childcare regulations offer no explanation or means to appeal the restriction, and since we're not a full-time program, we're excluded from those funding programs as well. 

Maybe keeping the school-age program and closing the occasional program would make more sense... ?


What about next fall?

Come September, we'll still be restricted to one program at a time, and through changes in the childcare landscape, flexible care may have run its course. At this time, we are not planning to reopen the before and after school program for the 2024/25 school year. 

Thank you to the families, and even more, to the teachers, who participated in the year. It has been an honour to work with you.