Three Off-Island childcare centres have signed on to a made-in-Montreal program that challenges daycare educators to systematically eliminate waste and implement environmentally-minded programs.
The program, now in its third year, was adapted from a similar ENJEU program created in 2004 for CEGEPs and colleges. There are now 24 participating daycare centres within the Montreal area, including three Off-Island.
ENJEU Executive Director Catherine Gauthier said the program guides educators through the process of creating an environment committee, developing a sustainability policy, and identifying specific changes that can be made to reduce the environmental impact of childcare centres. ENJEU also provides telephone support for educators and two training sessions each year on topics such as increasing children’s contact with nature and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“We provide support and communication tools to make sure we help educators communicate effectively,” said Gauthier. “We have to make sure parents and employees know what is being done in the daycare centre. it is the key to sustaining these actions over time.”
In the last year, program participants have collectively introduced 27 new environmental programs or changes, such as introducing a composting program, replacing paper napkins with reusable cloth, introducing more environmental and nature-oriented themes within the curriculum, buying staples such as organic flour and oils in bulk, and reducing or eliminating paper notices by switching to electronic methods of communication.
Source : Montreal Gazette