Parents do not have to be reminded of the inconvenience and reduction of options in the world of childcare caused by the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (the “Act”). While the intention of the Act to protect children is commendable, the repercussions of the licensing requirements have unfortunately caused some great summer camp options to no longer be available for children under the age of 4. Many parents appreciate the value of summer camp in instilling kids with confidence, social skills, activity experiences and development and love of the outdoors. Learning to be part of a team and community within a community only enhances the opportunity. Unfortunately, camps that could previously welcome campers under the age of 4 without a day care licence can no longer do so no matter how reputable or incident-free the camp is.
Zodiac Day Camp, entering its 20th year of operation, was not satisfied to bid farewell to its much loved “junior population” of campers under the age of 4 whom Zodiac has served for many years. Instead, Zodiac proactively navigated the intricate process of becoming a licensed day care operator. As Director Ellen Howard put it, “We have enjoyed successfully working with children under the age of 4 both in Zodiac Day Camp and Zodiac Swim School since 1978. We were willing to tackle the various regulatory steps to pursue our day care licence because we so strongly believe in the safety and value of our programs. Furthermore, we wanted to help meet the important childcare needs of families in our community, including providing varied opportunities for children to reach their full developmental potential through active learning, exploration, play and inquiry.”
Ellen and Rick Howard, co-owners of Zodiac and parents of 3 children of their own together with some of their resourceful staff, literally “crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s”, and were delighted to recently open registration for the Summer 2017 licensed Zodiac Day Care. To say that there has been excitement in the Zodiac and general communities would be an understatement. Spots in Zodiac Day Care’s new Summer 2017 Half-Day and Three-Quarter Day options for 2.5 to 4 year olds are literally being snapped up. As Rick commented, “We expected a positive reaction, but have been surprised by the pent-up demand. We still have some spots in our 7 1-week sessions, but the rest will likely fill up soon.” Zodiac’s ECE-supervised and age-appropriate sports, arts, discovery, and general day care programs at its Leo Baeck Day School (South) campsite at 501 Arlington Avenue will take place both in indoor air-conditioned facilities, as well as outdoor fields/playgrounds at beautiful adjacent Cedarvale Park. Nearby Forest Hill Collegiate pool is the venue for each participant’s daily high-quality, low-ratio Zodiac Swim School swim lesson.
In addition to the new Zodiac Day Care program, Zodiac Day Camp is proud to continue to offer a variety of 1-week sessions in its reputable, popular and diverse regular day camp program for campers aged 2 to 15 years in Summer 2017.
To check out the programs, visit www.zodiaccamp.on.ca and/or attend Zodiac’s Open House/ Family Fun Day on Sunday April 23rd from 10:15 am to 12:30 pm. A variety of camp activities, tours, snacks and more will all be part of the fun… bring your kids for a free, fun taste of what the kid-centered, quality Summer 2017 experience at Zodiac Day Care and Zodiac Day Camp will be like!