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Why Does PLASP Have a Waiting List?
For 18 years in a row, PLASP has been recognized by the community as the Best Provider of Child Care by the readers of the Mississauga News and the Best Before and After School Program Provider by the readers of City Parent Magazine. PLASP has also been chosen as the Gold Winner for the Brampton Guardian Readers’ Choice Award for the second year in a row. Award-winning, PLASP provides before and after school care in 1,479* programs in 214* school locations across Peel and the Greater Toronto Area to 9,689* families.
As a result of our award-winning reputation and volume of programs offered, there is sometimes a waiting list for some of the programs that PLASP offers. If a family is placed on a waiting list for a PLASP program, it is because we do not currently have space available in that program. PLASP does not charge families who are placed on a wait list. A deposit will only be charged once your child is confirmed.
“We are always very aware of the waiting list for some of our programs and our goal is to find available care for families that require it within our programs,” said Sandy Edmonds, Vice President of Operations. “The safety of all the children in our programs is always a priority. There are licensing requirements and a staff to child ratio that exists for the safety of our children and our staff. Over-enrolling our programs can impact our ratios – or exceed our licensing capacity.”
As much as possible, PLASP reminds families that wait-lists fluctuate daily and are subject to change. For this reason, PLASP is not able to tell parents the length of the wait-list or their child’s place on the waiting list.
It’s important for families on the waiting list to remember that the same changes that create their need for child care (change in work schedule, availability of family members to provide care, etc) could also happen conversely for an existing family – which means those children no longer require care. When this happens, new space(s) in a program may become available to a family on the waiting list.
“We know that it’s frustrating for parents to have their child on a waiting list for child care that they desperately need,” said Sandy. “We do everything we can to expand our programs where a waiting list exists.”
PLASP works closely with the Ontario Ministry of Education on licensing requirements and with our school boards and school administrative staff to provide the necessary space requirements for our programs. Program expansions may require additional licensing approval and physical space provided by the school. There is an application process that may be required if additional licensing and/or space is required.
In the meantime, PLASP will try and work closely with families to determine alternate arrangements that may work for them. For example, school age programs can accept a percentage of kindergarten children into their programs, and vice versa. This will work if a family is on a waiting list for the kindergarten program – they may temporarily enrol their child in the school age program while they wait for a spot in the kindergarten program to open up.
These exceptions require the approval of the area manager assigned to the school. Staff to child ratios must still be met. The ratio between staff and school age children (1:15) varies from the ratio between staff and kindergarten children (1:13). Additionally, staff working with kindergarten children in PLASP programs are Registered Early Childhood Educators. These factors are taken into consideration when enrolling children into programs outside of their age group. This can not be done by parents online. Families interested in this option must contact Parent Services at 1.888.739.4102 to inquire if this option is available to them.
Families that can’t be temporarily accommodated in other PLASP programs will be placed on the waiting list until space in the desired program becomes available.
If parents are on a waiting list for a PLASP program, PLASP will send email updates every three months. We require parents to respond to these emails to confirm that they are still interested in being on the waiting list for the program that they have requested.
It’s important for parents to ensure we have an accurate email address on file to send wait-list updates and confirm continued interest in the requested programs. For us to effectively manage our wait-list, we are required to cancel wait-list requests if no reply is received within the specified amount of time provided. This may jeopardize a family’s priority sequence on the waiting list.
*2014-2015 PLASP Annual Report
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