FRA pre-school in Parksville has open spaces

The style at the pre-school is child centred - the children contribute to the way the facility operates

Dolphin Tales, a new non-profit, Reggio Emilia-style preschool has open spaces in Parksville.

“We decided to develop the preschool because the Family Resource Association (FRA) has expertise in child care and we thought we could contribute something to the community,” said FRA executive director Deborah Joyce.

“We did a feasibility study and found there was need both in terms of seats and style, so we’re introducing the fist Reggio Emilia style preschool in the area.”

“Reggio Emilia is a style that supports our philosophy at FRA, it is child centred where the children contribute to the way the facility is run,” she said of the system named after the village in Italy where it was developed after the Second World War.

“Children are naturally curious so we facilitate their curiosity and it becomes based on their interests. It is not a pedagogical model, with children as receptacles,” she said stressing that it is a very inclusive model that welcomes all kinds of children.

FRA is publicly funded, but the preschool is a separate, self supported, non-profit program, charging on a cost recovery basis.

Accepting children age three to five, about half of the 40 spaces are currently full, she said. They only really got started this January, partly due to the complications of the late start to the school year due to the strike.

Joyce said they are excited about how the preschool adds to the professional mental health and social services the FRA has been providing to children, youth and families in the community for 25 years.

For more information call 250-951-0887 or 250-752-6766 or stop by 502 Bay Avenue in Parksville to see the preschool for yourself.

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