Schools in Okotoks and High River are introducing before and after school programs in the Fall.
Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools will be introducing programs at St. Mary's School in Okotoks and Holy Spirit Academy in High River.
Both schools are working with Calgary-based organizations for their programs, with St. Mary's teaming up with TOPP KIDS Out of School Clubs for their program, and Holy Spirit Academy working with Child's Play.
St. Mary's Principal Brandon Bailey says the need for this kind of program was made apparent as pandemic measures were withdrawn.
"One of the things that we noticed coming out of the pandemic as we started to transition from working in their homes to working out of the home, is that child care is a big need for families. Hearing that families were looking for before and after school care, we did a survey earlier in March and had 92 per cent of families that completed the survey saying they were very interested in the possibility of having this type of program available at the school."
On working with TOPP KIDS, Bailey says there's a focus on making the students' time spent in the program productive.
"We're trying to make sure there are some meaningful activities for students to be involved in, so we're looking forward to seeing some of the things students will be a part of. They have some coding centres available, some fine arts pieces, and some STEM activities. It really is going to be a rich learning environment as well. So not only n opportunity for students to be with their friends after school but also involved in some stimulating and fun activities as well."
Registration for St. Mary's K-6 program is currently open, with close to 60 inquiries already.

Depending on the popularity of the program, it could be expanded within the school, and at other schools in the division.

Bailey is glad to be one of the two CTR schools to offer it first.

“We’re thankful for the opportunity to provide this service and we know parents are interested and also very appreciative of the opportunity. We have interest already, so that’s great.”

More information is available on the St. Mary’s and Holy Spirit Academy websites.