Sir William Osler, Kids Inc. partnership recognizedJune 15, 2022
On the strength of a successful ongoing partnership, Sir William Osler School and KIDS Inc. child care have been honoured with the Manitoba Child Care Association’s 2022 Educaring Award.
Staff from the school and the child care facility received the award at the MCCA’s conference banquet on May 27.
The Educaring Award recognizes the partnerships between schools and child care facilities, in particular those who exemplify the “Three C’s” of Communication, Collaboration and Consistency.
Brenda Still, Project Supervisor at KIDS Inc, said she wrote the nomination application for the award not just as a way to celebrate a thriving partnership, but to share the example with others.
“The reason I wrote the application for the award was that I wanted to set this as the norm,” she said. “I felt it was important to put this example out there.”
The child care, which is conveniently located within the school, is well-utilized by Sir William Osler families. Staff at the school and the child care facility have become a tight knit ensemble of educators and child care professionals.
“The bottom line is the kids,” said Principal Dominique Ostermann. “To me, it’s one community…if you are working together in a building, you should truly be working together.
“On paper we are two separate entities, but within the building we have just found a way to make sure we are all collaborating.”
Approximately 55 per cent of Sir William Osler students attend KIDS Inc. either as a preschool child enrolled in nursery/kindergarten or a school-age child.
Both the school and the child care facility take pride in having an “open door” policy with each other, whether that be for administrative matters or for helping a student have a seamless integration from school to the child care.
“What we are targeting is a seamless day,” Ms. Still said. “You drop your child off at 7:20 AM and you pick them up at 4:40 PM, and they’ve remained in the care of the same collection of adults.”
Staff from both entities can share success strategies for individual students, along with professional insights.
“Sharing of knowledge and expertise is very important,” Ms. Still said. “I’ve approached staff at the school for information on technology and other resources they know, and I’ve had teachers come to me for information on early learning and child development.”
The school and child care also work collaboratively by sharing resources, space and equipment. KIDS Inc.’s budget includes sports equipment that is shared with the school.
“We purchase items that are housed here (at Sir William Osler) to share together,” Ms. Still said. “Because we have three locations, I’m able to access resources at those other locations that we may need here. For example, during the school’s Festival du Voyageur Days, they needed a curling set, and I was able to get a set that is normally housed at our Montrose School location.”
The partnership between the school and childcare facility was evident during the school’s recent renovations. In the summer of 2021, when the renovation project required the temporary relocation of the child care facility, both Sir William Osler and KIDS Inc. administrations worked together to find a solution. As a result, the child care was able to be temporarily relocated to nearby École River Heights School for the summer months.
That same level of cooperation was also evident as both the school and child care facility managed different demands due to Covid, such as changes to usage of building space. As construction continues at the school, both entities have to remain flexible with the use of space in the building.
“There’s a lot of moving parts, and the fact that everybody has remained friends and the relationship has consistently been respectful, thoughtful and thinking about each other’s needs, I felt that needed to be celebrated,” Ms. Still said.