News Release - Changes Announced for Preschool Programs

News Release - Changes Announced for Preschool Programs

The City of Port Alberni today is announcing changes to its preschool program offerings to better align these services with the City’s core recreation programs.

For over two decades, the City has been providing licensed preschool programming through Discovery Preschool at Hilton Centre.  The fee-for-service program provides children, ages 3 to 5, with 2.5 hour sessions up to five days a week.

Effective June 30, 2017 the City will no longer be running Discovery Preschool, opting instead to provide regular children’s recreation programs out of the same facility. 

The Discovery Preschool service was originally started by the City at a time when preschool programs were not well established in the community.   With a number of licensed preschool providers now in operation, the City is moving away from the conventional program to focus its resources on core recreational programs, a strategic priority of the organization.

“The City is committed to promoting the healthy growth and development of children, that is why we are continuing to play a central role in the provision of children’s programs through our facilities and in partnership with Kiwanis Hilton Centre, Alberni Children First Network, and other community organizations,” said Theresa Kingston, Director of Community Services.  

The change in service delivery is aligned with the 2015 Organization and Compensation Review report that recommended the City review its non-core services and non-tax revenue opportunities.  Subsidy rates for the preschool program are not meeting the City’s objective for children’s programs and the service is no longer identified as a core recreational offering given the presence of other service providers in the community. 

Instead of the existing program, the City will now be offering new alternate children’s programs out of Hilton Centre during the day and evenings.    These include exploratory programs for children and their parents through art, music, stories and other recreational experiences.   

The current program will run until its normal seasonal closure at the end of June with new regular children’s programs starting in September.   

Parents of existing students have been notified of the change and provided with information and community resources to assist with the transition.       


For more information:

Theresa Kingston, Director of Community Services
City of Port Alberni

Tim Pley, Chief Administrative Officer
City of Port Alberni