School Board Supports Montessori Grant Application
Prince George, B.C. – A grant application by the Prince George Montessori Education Society has received the support of the Prince George School Board.
The goal of the grant is to obtain funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development for the purposes of installing a modular building at the site of Polaris Montessori for the provision of new licensed childcare spaces.
The support was given unanimously at this week’s School Board meeting (Tim Bennett abstained from the vote because his son currently attends the school and his employer, Big Brothers Big Sisters Prince George plan to apply for the same funding).
Ideally, the society is looking to create 75 new spaces in a modular building supporting three classrooms appropriate for a variety of age groups.
“There is a known shortage of childcare in Prince George in general and in the College Heights area specifically,” wrote Karen Stahl in a letter to the Board of Education. “We have a growing wait list for preschool and out of school spaces and have been receiving requests for some time now to create infant/toddler spaces as there is a complete lack of this programming in Prince George.”
She says some of these spaces will help fill the void left by the fire at Highglen back in April 2013 when 50-75 child care spaces were lost.
The Board supported the grant application at no capital cost to the school district and with the understanding that there be no incremental operating costs to the Board related to their support.
The Board also asked they obtain the support of both Northern Health and the City of Prince George.
Shelley Bond, manager of the Montessori Childcare Centre and Early Learning Centre, told 250News this week that the grant would cover 90% of the funding needed noting they would be able to make up the difference.
“We’ve met with some other organizations in town that have given us verbal support and we have a little bit of money too.”
Depending on the size of the modular, she added they would be seeking a grant of between $300,000-$500,000.
All of this after the Ministry of Children and Family Development announced a 2015/16 Child Care Capital Funding Program for non-profit organizations for the creation of licensed child care spaces located on school grounds.
Grant applications must be submitted by February 26, 2016.