Sheridan Montessori Preschool Centre to Close at the end of August
Sheridan has made the difficult decision to close its Montessori Preschool Centre, located at its Trafalgar Campus in Oakville, effective August 31, 2014.
The Montessori Preschool Centre runs an educational program that serves 33 children, age two-and-a-half to six years old, who attend either morning or afternoon class. It is also home to a summer camp. Both the current full-year program and the summer camp will continue as planned. No students will be registered for the new academic year that would have started in September. The closure has been timed to align with the existing programs to cause the least possible amount of disruption to parents.
“Over the past five years, there have been significant changes to the early learning and child care system in Ontario, including the introduction of full-day kindergarten,” said Richard Finch, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Services at Sheridan. “On balance, these changes have been excellent as they have created greater access to enriched learning experiences for all Ontario children. Unfortunately, one of the unanticipated consequences has been the dramatic impact to early learning enrolments outside the school system.”
Registration at Sheridan’s Montessori Preschool Centre has been in steady decline, which has resulted in a significant gap between expenditures and revenues. In addition, the Montessori program does not have a direct link to the curriculum in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at Sheridan. No changes are being made to Sheridan’s Bachelor or diploma level programs in ECE. There are no plans yet for the existing space occupied by the Montessori Preschool Centre.
Sheridan is working to accommodate the two full time and one part time staff members who will be affected. Parents of children who are currently enrolled in the full-year program have been invited to attend a special meeting on June 18 at 7 p.m., during which time they will be introduced to other Montessori school providers in the local community.
“Despite the fact that our core mission is to provide outstanding undergraduate education, we have enjoyed educating the youngest members of our community through our Montessori school” said Finch. “It has been our tremendous honour and privilege to support the educational needs of many young learners over the years.”