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For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2008

Community Celebrates Under the Big Top

Child care, early years programming and schooling now available
under one roof in Malton

BRAMPTON, ON (May 22, 2008) – Malton’s Lancaster Public School, students and parents celebrated three important milestones Under the Big Top on May 22: the school’s 40th anniversary; the grand opening of Region of Peel’s Lancaster Learn.Play.Care. Child Care Centre; and the official launch of the Peel District School Board’s Early Years Hub.

The circus-themed event attended by school board and government representatives recognized the benefits of solid partnerships in serving families and children in the community.

“We are excited, and as the mother of a three-year-old, I know how important it is to be able to offer families in Malton early years programs, child care and schooling all under one roof to meet the community’s needs more efficiently and effectively,” said Regional Councillor Eve Adams. “Providing all these services at one location makes for an easier transition for children and peace of mind for parents who know that their children are in a safe and familiar environment.”

Lancaster Public School, which opened its doors in 1968 as Lancaster Senior School, is one constant in an ever-changing community. In 2000, Lancaster Senior School became Lancaster Public School, serving students in kindergarten through grade five. The school now celebrates 40 years in providing education to students in the Malton neighbourhood.

"Over the past 40 years, Lancaster has grown and evolved to meet the needs of the students and families in the Malton community," said Jim Grieve, Director of Education for the Peel District School Board. "Teachers, staff, students and community members have all played a tremendous role in the school's rich history of student success."

In June 2007, Peel Regional Council approved plans to launch two Best Start sites at Lancaster Public School and Havenwood Public School in Mississauga, in partnership with the Peel District School Board. Best Start is a 10-year, province-wide initiative of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, to expand services and supports for families with children under the age of six. Best Start strives to make early childhood services accessible to all children and to provide seamless access that integrates child care, early education, schooling, public health and parenting supports.

As a result of Council’s commitment to children in Peel, the Lancaster Learn.Play.Care. Child Care Centre opened in January 2008. The new building, with joined access to Lancaster Public School, is the first Regional child care centre in Peel to offer a kindergarten program that will be fully integrated with a school. The centre’s kindergarten room opens into the school’s kindergarten room through a doorway built for easy access; children enrolled at the child care centre have access to the school’s classrooms, library, gymnasium and outdoor space, and jointly attend the school’s daily assembly. Children will continue on their path of learning in a seamless fashion, as they move from the kindergarten programs into higher grades at the school.

“The Lancaster model is a milestone for the Region of Peel as we’re now providing multi-faceted services to the family, thanks to a partnership with the Peel District School Board,” said Janet Menard, Executive Director of Transition and Integration for the Region of Peel’s Human Services department. “We look forward to growing this partnership and to provide quality service for more residents in Peel in the future.”

The Lancaster Early Years Hub is a free drop-in facility where parents, guardians and caregivers with children under the age of four can play and learn together in a stimulating environment. The Hub is one of four opened by Peel District School Board.

“Many families are not sure what to expect when entering their child into school for the first time, and our hubs are designed to help them with the transition," commented Jim Grieve, Director of Education for the Peel District School Board. “Research has shown that when parents and families get involved in their children's education at an early age, children are more likely to succeed in school.”

This integrated service model – providing programming for children from birth though grade five – makes Lancaster Public School an anchor for the children of Malton and their families, ensuring their transition through infancy to childhood is smooth.

The Peel board serves more than 150,000 students in kindergarten to grade 12. Operating 232 schools in the municipalities of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, the Peel board is the largest employer in Peel. For more information, visit the board's website at www.peelschools.org.

The Region of Peel Human Services Department, established in June 2007, provides services that support full participation by all residents in the economic, social and cultural life of the Region, in particular by providing a continuum of supports for vulnerable or at-risk members of the community. The Department’s divisions include Ontario Works, Children’s Services, Early Years Integration, Social Housing (Peel Living), and Social Housing Policy and Programs.

The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the Town of Caledon.

For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit our website at www.peelregion.ca.



Jennifer Marvin
Public Affairs Associate
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, ext. 4668

Ryan Reyes
Communications Officer
Peel District School Board
905-890-1010, ext. 2652

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595, e-mail



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