WHO WE ARE
Dalhousie Parents’ Day Care is a licensed, non-profit, unionized, parent/staff co-operative centre.
We are licensed for 72 children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age. There are five programs:
The staff are trained and have a Diploma in Early Childhood Education or equivalent. Staff who hold an E.C.E. must also be a member of the College of Early Childhood Educators.
We also have on staff: a program coordinator, an administrative coordinator, a cook, a housekeeper and assistant housekeeper.
Infant Program: The infant program has 10 children from 6 months to 18 months of age and four educators.
Toddler Programs (18 months - 2.5 years): There is a junior and a senior toddler program. Each has 15 children from 18 months to 2 ½ years of age with three educators.
Preschool Programs (2.5 -5 years): There is a junior and a senior preschool program. Each has 16 children with two educators.
The staff at Dalhousie Parents’ Day Care are committed to providing high quality, culturally sensitive and an anti bias program for young children. The educators practice reflective teaching as they implement an emergent child-directed curriculum. Early Leaning for Every Child Today (ELECT) is the framework that guides and supports the educators in designing their programs.
Co-operative Philosophy: Both parents and staff are involved in the daily operation and activities of the centre. All decisions regarding the operation, activities, philosophies, policies etc. of the centre are reached by consensus.
The centre is overseen by a Board of Directors. Staff and parents are elected at the Annual General Meeting to sit as representatives on the Board. The Board meets monthly (with the exception of July and August).
There are several committees or working groups of the Board that meet regularly and consult on various aspects of the centre i.e. Personnel, Policy, fundraising, etc. All parents and staff are welcome and encouraged to participate on these committees.
Parent involvement is encouraged in several ways:
a) Parents can volunteer to sit on the Board of Directors or a committee.
b) Parents can volunteer to assist on field trips, participate in program activities, repair toys, etc
We understand families have busy schedules and we appreciate any help or contributions that parents can make towards providing quality care for their children.
The centre also operates with an alternative staff structure. There is no hierarchy at Dalhousie, all staff have equal responsibilities and importance and are therefore expected to participate fully in the activities of the centre. The program and administrative coordinators act in a supportive role rather than an authoritative one. We use a team approach and reach decisions on the operations and activities of the centre by consensus. All staff receive the same salary regardless of their position in the centre.
Union: The staff belong to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2204. The union has been instrumental in improving salaries, benefits and working conditions for staff. The union also provides a mechanism and resources to lobby governments for affordable, accessible, universal child care.