The Kenora Association for Community Living's Kids' Zone program provides care to preschoolers, through inclusive child care that welcomes all children. Kids' Zones' staff provide a unique early-learning environment, keeping in mind the unique needs of all children.
The KACL's first Kids' Zone space (Lakeside) opened in 1997, with the second Kids' Zone (St. Marguerite Bourgeouys) space opening in 2007. Kids' Zone believes that play is one of the most important tools for children to learn, which includes learning to get along with other people, and that all children need a safe place to play, to be themselves, and to take steps toward becoming healthy, complete people. Children need to know that they are important, that they are listened to and that they are cared for. If children live with these messages, they will have the tools to better relate to others and to be responsible people who care for others.
Kids' Zone programs make care available for families with children ranging from infant to school age. Kids' Zone Lakeside began offering care for infants up to 18 months when it opened its infant room, once renovations were completed, in 2009. Toddler and preschool programs are offered in both sites which assists children's development during this stepping-stone of growth. Preschool provides children aged 2 ½ to 4 with opportunities to have fun while they explore their curiosity with staff and with other children, and build the essential skills to be successful in school. School age care is also available, for after school and for school holidays, both at SMB and at Pope John Paul School. Children are provided with a fun and welcoming environment to explore new experiences
Each Kids' Zone location is licensed by the Ministry of Education as a certified childcare space, and locations are staffed by qualified Early Childhood Educators. Kids' Zone is eligible to accept children whose families qualify for subsidy through the Kenora District Services Board. All of Kids' Zone's programs are working within an emergent curriculum format that prepares children for a successful transition to school.
“But still our hearts yearn deeply for the personal relationship, for somebody who will understand us, love and cherish us, accept us as we are, and see in us, deeper than our limits, the meaning of our lives” - Jean Vanier