Lake Cowichan’s lack of a pre-school has left many parents of young children choosing between sending their kids to a pre-school in another Cowichan Valley community, or using a local daycare. But a few residents working within the education system, including Lake Cowichan Teachers’ Association president Chris Rollins, are working towards giving local parents another option.
Currently, the most popular option for parents is the daycare at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena (CLSA), which has offered the program in lieu of a registered pre-school. While Rollins said that the program contains some great daycare providers, and even has physical literacy initiatives planned, the lack of a pre-school has inevitably left gaps in local resources.
“I don’t want to paint them as being inferior, or not doing their jobs,” Rollins said. “The ideal situation would be to have more early learning opportunities in Lake Cowichan – any resources parents want. There are some great programs at the library too, but it would be great to have more.”
Last year, Rollins and others were at the annual Lake Days celebrations, asking parents what they would like to see in terms of early education. She said a lot of requests centred around a registered pre-school.
The group is currently in the research stages for a pre-school, and are consulting residents on what resources they want, what programs are working elsewhere and what they can do to establish something in Lake Cowichan.
“We do need more programs accessible in Lake Cowichan for kids and young families,” Rollins said. “We’re hoping to get the community involved in terms of attendance and providing resources and sponsorship.”