In 2006, after being approached by a number of parents of young children in Canning Vale, a local early childhood teacher, Lisa Vreeken, investigated the possibility of starting a prekindy program. At the time, the nearest available program had a waiting list of 60+ children and many Canning Vale families weren’t unable to get their 3 year old into a program.
Lisa explored a variety of funding sources and locations for the program. Early in 2007, feeling the idea was possible, she gathered a few interested parents together and formed a Steering Committee. There was no funding available but after many meetings, emails and phone calls, permission was granted by the Department for Child Protection/Communities, for the use of the Activity Room in the Canning Vale Community Centre on days it was not being used by Armadale Child Health Services.
The Steering Committee held a number of sausages sizzles to raise money for Incorporation fees and insurance. Late in 2007 the Association became Incorporated and the process of applying for a licence to operate a prekindy program began. The Association applied to Lotterywest for $15000 to purchase furniture and equipment for the program. The application was successful.
Early in 2008 an information and enrollment night was held. Enough children were enrolled to hold 2 x 2 ¼ hour sessions per week. The granting of a licence was still a few months away so the committee gave the parents an option of starting sessions as a supported playgroup, with parents staying on the premises. The program operated in this way for 6 weeks until the licence was granted on 8 June 2008. A program assistant was employed and by Term 3 that year enrollments had grown enough to open another 2 sessions. By Term 3 the following year, there was enough interest to open a fifth session on Friday mornings.
Canning Vale Prekindy Inc is now in it’s 9th year of operation and continues to provide 5 prekindy sessions each week.